Thursday, September 29, 2011

Update

Jeff and I have three computers in our household. One laptop for each adult plus Jeff's beast of a giant Mac upstairs. That thing is big enough to qualify as a roommate. And it certainly makes enough noise. About once every other day it goes all menopause on us and overheats to the point that vacuum-like noises start coming from the office and it has to be given the Mac equivalent of Control Alt Delete to be put out of its misery. Not to mention the delays. Using that computer sometimes feels like being stuck in traffic. Or talking Edie into going upstairs to have her diaper changed. Slow. Frustrating.

My point in all this is to tell you that this computer houses all of our photos. And while we have an exterior hard drive where they are also stored, I don't know how (or if) I can plug it into my laptop and access what I need. I spent about 40 minutes this evening trying to upload some adorable photos of our day trip to Des Moines (I know what you're thinking - adorable and DesMoines don't belong in the same sentence, but I will surprise you! I promise) from a few weeks back. So you're stuck with text.

Sorry.

I've been coordinating a friend's wedding this last month - helping pull last minute details together, preparing rain plans and timelines, things like that. It's the first time a friend has paid me to coordinate an event and I must say that being able to write off a wedding weekend is a pretty sweet deal. We're headed to the coast tomorrow night where we will rent a tiny cottage in the tiny town where the wedding will be. Should be fun - a small wedding catered by the Skillet airstream trailer, lots of little girls under the age of 3 for Edie to dance with and a timeline built for people with toddlers. Rain is predicted, but my packing list includes rain boots for all. And if we get wet, I'm having dreamy visions of hiking back to our cottage and taking hot showers (have I talked about how much Edie LOVES showers?), snugging up in new dry clothes and eating grilled cheese and tomato soup.

We will return on Sunday night with lots of photos that I probably won't be able to upload.

Also?

I don't think I followed up on my Monster post. It's worth mentioning that putting Edie to bed at 7:30 instead of 8pm is working very well. She's not waking up any earlier in the morning, so she clearly needed that extra sleep.

That said, can I just mention how tired I am of tucking my kid in? In the middle of the night I mean. I don't mind doing it at 7:30. But she's started asking for me at night. Typically around 11:30 or 12, frequently right as my head hits the pillow to fall asleep. And confession time: frequently I just go in there, silently pull the blankets (there are **5** of them - all NECESSARY) up to her chin and then climb back in bed. It only takes a minute or two, it's not hard and it shuts her up. Plus, it only happens about 40% of the time - the rest of the time she sleeps 11-12 hours straight through. But then lately, I've been getting resentful - I mean she's 2 for god's sake. Do I really need to still wake up with her at night and do what she says? Who's the boss here? So the other night I decided to assert my in-chargedness. Come hell or high water, I was NOT going in there to tuck her back in. I prepared for this by teaching Edie to tuck herself in and explaining that I wouldn't be seeing her until morning time.

DEBACLE.

Edie wasn't pleased with my disappearing act. And she let her displeasure known. Probably to everyone in the neighborhood. At one point I remember lying in bed with Edie's door closed, our door closed and earplugs in and still hearing my child shouting for my attention. After 40 straight minutes of Edie yelling my name over and over and over, she finally shifted gears and started saying something about how she couldn't lie down and missing her yellow blanket. It was now well after midnight. After rolling my eyes into the back of my head, I stomped into her room in the dark, stood in the doorway with my arms crossed and my maddest face on. And she positively burbled with giddiness! She was SO PUMPED that Mom was here to help. Cue steam coming out of my ears.

I tried standing a few feet away and coaching her how to tuck herself in but that was apparently unsatisfactory because when I walked out, she lost her shit all over again. And went for another 30 minutes or so? I don't even know what happened after that. I remember taking deep breaths in our bedroom. And chanting things like, "Go to sleep go to sleep go to sleep go to sleep" on my exhales. I remember that Jeff eventually got out of bed and worked in his office for a while. I think maybe I finally went in there and tucked her in, putting an abrupt end to the whole mess? I honestly don't remember for sure. Maybe I fell asleep before she did? Regardless, it was a bajillion times worse than just going in there for 2 minutes and pulling the blankets up to her chin before dropping off to sleep myself.

You guys! Why does a 2 year old beat me at everything?!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Life List

I just got very inspired reading this post at Rage Against the Minivan. A Life List! Genius! Except, I find the length of my quickly typed up list a little daunting. And I'm not taking a seminar, or attending the conference in which I learn how to make all this shit happen for me. But still! I look at this list, and with every item on it, I'm like YES - let's DO THAT!


Jill's Life List:
Learn to play guitar
Learn to speak French
Live abroad for 6-12months
Take Edie to an outdoor concert that isn't just geared to kids - someone we all like! Feist?
Raise my daughter to be comfortable in her own skin and not worry overly about thigh dimples and such
Work for Oprah
Travel through Greece and eat lots of feta
Own a boat (important: not a lake boat - an ocean faring vessel please)
Finish our (effing) house
Have a closet made to house the 21st century wardrobe
Own a California King sized bed
Live in New York City for a brief period of time
Adopt someone who's aged out of the foster care system (this one makes me a bit nervous, but it is something I've always thought I wanted to do later in life)
Go to South Africa
Write a novel
Hire a house cleaner who does things like clean the soap scum out of my shower
Regain some of my ability to dance ballet
Volunteer regularly at a soup kitchen type place where I feed hungry people
Participate in a flash dance mob
Travel to Europe with Edie and Jeff
When my parents get old and need me, be there for them in a way that leaves me with little or no regrets in my old age
Have a play room separate from my living room (seems shallow after previous item)
Own and operate a successful event venue in Seattle
Act in a play (as an adult - high school and college don't count)


So now you've seen my list, but I'd love love love it if you wrote your own and posted it on your own blog or in the comments here. Or even just list the top 5 things that come to mind. If you post something on your own blog, link it in the comments please?


Saturday, September 24, 2011

September Orcas Trip

We had glorious weather for a weekend on Orcas earlier this month. These glasses my parents bought Edie crack me up. They walk the line of 80's hipster and total dork.Hat!
This photo is a long story, but funny even without it, no?
Note: empty egg cartons make great storage units for tiny toys and beach finds.
Speedy boat ride with Dad.
First Orcas beach fire:
Roasting sticks and classy adult beverages in beach-safe glasses.


Roasting marshmallows.
Smore.

Playdate

Earlier this month Edie met her internet-friend Marina in person for the first time. Marina and Edie are just a few weeks apart in age and her mom Lindsey and I went to school together growing up. Lindsey blogs about her day to day much like I do and over the past 3 year we've become nerdy, mom-blogger friends. Edie and Marina ate snacks, played in the dirt and then Edie put on her pig nose and mermaid skirt. Lindsey and I got to talking and at one point both looked over to find Edie sitting in her tiny baby stroller. Marina promptly walked over to it like they had a prearranged walking date, backed the stroller up to make her way through all the dress-up debris and then proceeded to push Edie around the living and dining room in a VERY business-like manner. But the funniest was when Marina pulled the stroller over, very specifically found Edie's purple purse and handed it to her to carry while sitting in the stroller. Even better was Edie's reaction, which was like, "Oh yes, I *must* have my purse, what was I thinking leaving it there?!" Marina helped her thread the purse on her arm and when they both seemed satisfied, Marina returned to pushing Edie around the house. Kids are funny.



I wish I'd taken more and better pictures, but two toddlers on a first date have way more important things to do than pose for photos.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Note to self (or to anyone buying Christmas presents very early in the season):

I need pie weights! Why in the world don't I own pie weights? I mean, seriously. This janky bag of thrice baked quinoa is embarrassing.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Birthday Party Photos

Edie had a pretty fantastic birthday party last month. Apologies all around for not posting photos sooner - we took the pictures off our camera last night for the first time in a month and there were over 400! Edie started the day out with a tricycle ride in the backyard (hand me down from a neighbor) while I decorated a bit. And before you think I went out and bought 50 paper lanterns for a 2 year old birthday party - please note that I already owned all of the decorations used for this party - including the reusable plastic table clothes. I'm amassing quite the party collection these days...

I had to wait until Edie's nap to put together her present from me and Jeff - we've been collecting dress-up clothes all summer at random thrift and second hand shops. We used Jeff's Great Grandpa's old trunk that has been gathering dust in our basement for years and filled it with cheap tutus (that I trimmed, washed and bejeweled with sparkles, marabou and ladybug beads), pirate garb, pig noses, high heels, viking hats, fairy wings and even a tiny postal carrier's bag to house her growing postcard collection. It was SO fun to amass all these items. And even more fun when friends and family added to the collection - Heidi actually SEWED a full Snow White costume for Edie and she got the cutest ever mermaid costume from Grandma Fifi (that she likes to wear with the pig nose for some reason). Needless to say there is no need to purchase a Halloween costume this year.

Edie received so many wonderful, useful an thoughtful gifts this year - a Strider bike from Great Grandma Bee (GGB), a princess castle with homemade Ariel blanket (reversible - with Tinkerbell on the back!) that Edie likes to slither around on while she pretends to be a mermaid, a *homemade* dolly with stylish hairdo and coat/scarf combo, a membership to the Children's Museum, a miniature tent for the backyard, homemade (and store bought) CDs to break up the Raffi monotony, children's gardening tools, Baby accessories, and the books! The books are SO great. Enough cannot be said for new books. In particular a shout out needs to go out for Wheedle on the Needle because it spared me like 4 minutes of crying on the otherwise sob-filled drive home from Olympia last week when I asked her to look very carefully as we drove through downtown to see if she could spot the Wheedle.

I made chocolate cake using this recipe (officially the easiest chocolate cake recipe ever - you literally dump everything in at once and mix - no sifting, no alternating wet and dry - just dump and stir!) with pink cream cheese frosting, sprinkles and strawberries. I'm a big fan of the sheet cake these days. I used to be a cupcake girl (I mean, tiny cakes? Come on!), but I'm loving the ease of the sheet cake - I also find that the cake is SO moist and stays that way for days after the party. We ate leftover cake for what could have been 5 days, but was only 3 in the end. We ordered (and ate) almost 10 pizzas and family provided side dishes and helped set up and clean up.

Thank you so much to all who came and braved the mayhem.























Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Yo ho

I can hardly wait until she's old enough to go on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride with me:

video

Friday, September 16, 2011

Robyn

I went to see Colin Hay perform last night with my friend Kristin. I only know a few of his songs but they were enough to tempt me into asking for free tickets from a friend and former co-worker (the show was at The Triple Door where I used to run events).

It made me realize how much I miss seeing live music. Not that I was ever a concert-hound, but I certainly went out more frequently pre-Edie. When I mentioned this to Jeff at home later that night, he reminded me that we'd just bought tickets to see The National in November. And then he added that on a whim, he'd bought tickets to see Robyn as well. Perhaps I'm out of touch (very likely), but I hadn't heard of Robyn. Jeff explained that she is a new super pop hero in Sweden. This made me roll my eyes and suggest he invite one of his hipster friends to see the show. BUT. Then he played me this video. And I can't stop watching it. Turn it up and have your own dance party:

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

2 Year Stats

For posterity (and because my memory has turned to complete crap):

Edie had her 2 year check up last week and all went smoothly. She weighs 25.5 pounds (30-40th percentile) and measures 34 inches tall (50-55th percentile).

The doctor plugged all our family info into a fancy calculator and determined that Edie's adult height is most likely to be 5 foot 6. Being 3 inches shorter than your kid doesn't preclude the chances of her being afraid of you, doesn't it? I hope not.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Monster

Hi.

So, our house has been attacked (and continues to be attacked) by the No Monster. The No Monster used to be named Edie, but she has been replaced recently.

I want Edie back.

And yes, I'm familiar with the phrase "terrible twos", and yes, that's probably all this is. But JAYSUS. It's no fun living with a time bomb that goes off at random moments for what feels like no reason. On Tuesday night it was the fact that Jeff needed to take Edie's shoes off for bed. Result? 30 minutes of screaming the word "NO" over and over. And over. She ended up getting put to bed in her clothes without tooth brushing. The next morning I considered just taking her back to daycare, clearly wearing the same clothes she'd worn the day before (only MUCH dirtier), but then wondered if Jen would appreciate that particular brand of humor. The day before, it was because the pig nose from her dress up trunk kept slipping off her face. When I asked if she wanted help, she answered, "No." Then it seemed like just saying the word "no" triggered a Pavlovian meltdown and quickly slipped into what has become the pattern these days - repeatedly screaming slash wailing slash yelling the word "no" until my ear drums bleed. After a while it sounds more like "naaaahh" but I know what she means. And she means NO.

'No what?' you might ask yourself. "No, please leave my sandals on so I can sleep in them?" "No, I want to put my pig nose on myself?" Well, we may never know how the sentence ends because she never EVER gets past the word NO. My child, who can whip out sentences like, "He's jumping rope in the grass and his Mom is watching." can't get past the word "no".

It's starting to be that I spend my whole day preventatively flinching for the word "no" to be flung at me.

I finally suckered into buying one of Super Nanny's books because I NEEDS GUIDANCE. Anyways, I haven't gotten very far, but I will say that it's helping me to take a broader look at our schedule, family dynamics and just generally get a bigger picture of what could be going on. End result for today? I'm thinking maybe Edie just requires more sleep right now. And more strictly scheduled meal times. I've been tracking her days - good and bad moments - and finding that almost all of these epic meltdowns are occurring on empty stomachs or right before bed (one or two also happened over the long weekend pre-nap, but both times we'd tried to push her nap to later and suffered the resulting "no" attack). SO. For a week, we are going to try instituting an earlier dinner for Edie (and I will be sad to see family dinner time go, but Jeff just can't get home in time for a 5:30 dinner) and an earlier bedtime - from 8pm to 7:30pm. I couldn't get my act together in time for a 5:30 dinner tonight, but I did manage to put her down to bed at 7:30 and I was shocked by how easily it all went. Of course the middle of the night could be a different story and I suppose it's possible she'll wake up at 5am for the day, but I'm hopeful that this could curb some of the worst attacks we've been suffering this last week.