Friday, September 26, 2008

Two-year-old update

E-baby had her two-year appointment today, and she's consistent with the last 18 months of data: 25th% percentile for height and for weight, 100% score on her cognitive, social, problem-solving and communication skills, and 90% score on fine and gross motor. In other words, she's still my clever little elf. And she can still wear her 18-month clothes. It looks like she'll probably end up a wee bit taller than her mommy: the growth trajectory predicts 5'3". At her age, my own growth chart predicted 5'1.5" (I'm 5'1"), so it was pretty darn accurate.

The CRAZY LOON behavior has tapered off since Tuesday, although something has definitely changed. She is just more, I dunno, connected to the world now. She talked about more stuff, she sings longer songs with more versus, she says more to strangers, and she's clearly much more stimulated than before. I think this move to two-year-olds was, if anything, overdue. I'm loving it, although I have to watch her a lot more carefully since she's likely to test her limits at any moment.

Other stuff-- the house is really coming along. Go check out SNG's blog to see pictures. His Cell Phone Pics link on the left has more pictures of the construction.

It's been blissfully overcast, cool, and windy this week. Am I nuts? No, I love that kind of weather. But I think a warm front is coming soon. That's perfect because e-baby's birthday party is this weekend and I'd love to use the pool.

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Happy Two-Day!

Happy Birthday, e-baby!

She started her 2-year old class full-time yesterday and had a great day, but one day was all it took for my sweet, gentle little girl to become a rowdy, bawdy, feet-on-the-table raucous two-year-old. It's like someone replaced her with a clone who doesn't care if you approve of what she's doing now, and in fact if you DON'T approve, so much the better. In two hours after school she:
* jumped on my head in a classic mid-south wrestling move
* flipped upside-down from a chair many times while holding my hands
* tried repeatedly to put her hand through the window screen while looking me straight in the eye as if to say, "What are you going to do about it, lady?"
* put her (full) glass of water into a ziplok bag with a whistle and a crayon since, you know, they were all in the same room
* mashed a banana into the carpet
* poured milk all over one of her dolls for fun
* walked onto (and stood on) the book I was reading on the floor an did a little tap-dance
* dropped hair accessories into my water glass so she could go "fishing" for them
* chewed on wet hair accessories while humming Old MacDonald

Mind you, she's long since learned how NOT to mash banana into a carpet and not to pour anything on her dolls, is not a kid who puts things into her mouth in general, and this is just experimenting with misbehavior. I know that right now, letting things slide without correction would be a terrible mistake, so I spent the whole evening saying "No ma'am, that is NOT ok. Please put down..." "Only food goes into your mouth" and "No, you need to help clean up the mess before you can..."

I suppose that it's all part of becoming her own dog. The gentle girl is still in there somewhere, and once she plays out this new obnoxious identity, she'll settle into something in-between. In spite of being chided for this or that, she's very interested in impressing me with her new tricks. I think she wants to know which of her newly-acquired behaviors from the older kids at school are OK to do at home.

My favorite new 2-year-old trick-- she finally understands that looking UP instead of DOWN keeps water/soap from dripping into her eyes when we wash her hair. Seriously, this is huge. The girl was BORN terrified of water on her face and has NEVER peacefully complied with a hair-wash until the last 2 weeks, when all my explanations of "look UP at the CEILING and you won't get water in your face" finally reached neural terra firma. I don't know whether it's better reasoning skills or just having the swimming pool that did it, but I don't really care. It's just great to know that she will not, in fact, spend her adult life with greasy hair because she's too afraid to wash it herself.
So Happy Birthday to my most wonderful, delightful, intelligent, witty, talented and mischievous girl. I can't wait to see what this year will bring. I love you more than you can ever imagine.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Renovation Update

Well, it's only a few weeks into this renovation and already I can see the whole thing coming together. Everything has been framed, which is the most expensive part of the job. We still have glass, sheetrock, tiling, paving, carpeting, windows, doors, roofing, electrical, plumbing, and painting (inside and out) to go. It's crazy to think that some people do these kinds of projects themselves. Of course, those people are licensed contractors and they spend a year on the job.

This week I picked out the tile for the upstairs bathrooms, SNG and I picked out stone for the front porch, and we bought new lights/fans for inside the house. We planned the locations of our lightswitches, cable outlets, electrical outlets and phone jacks. We also talked over the new back deck and discovered that a patio would cost less, last longer, and look better. So we're having a patio installed in the back in place of a new deck. SNG will have to rebuild his firepit to match the classiness of it all.

We finalized the outside paint colors but still need to settle on the inside paint. We'll probably use the same color that was already there, since as neutral beiges go, it's our favorite shade.

Oh, and we made all our final decisions on reupholstering the living room furniture. We'll have a beige seude-ish fabric, and we're also having a PURPLE! slipcover made from a corduroy-ish upholstery so that when we get sick of nbeutral colors, we can have PURPLE! living room furniture. And you know, sometimes you need a shot of PURPLE! in your life.

Right now the house is completely uninhabitable. It's definitely not safe for little people to run around. I'm not really sure it's safe for grown-ups without steel-toe boots and a hard hat. I'm glad we moved out. I can't wait to move back in.

The main thread through all of this, though, is that the renovation is turning out to be even more exciting and wonderful than we expected. It's also more expensive, which goes with the "oh, let's also do this!" territory. So we'll be eating ramen and wearing sackcloth shirts, but we'll have an awesome house.

Here is the rear of the house. The new playroom is upstairs, and on the left you can see the living room doubling in size:

All around the rear of the house will be a new patio. On the lower right of the rear wall you can see a sample of the paint color we chose (beige, house, dark blue shutters)

A new front porch will keep rain out of the front door, put the stoop level with the door, and have a nice stone finish:

Inside the living room addition:

The vaulted ceiling above the breakfast area (a.k.a. Kitchen Stadium) will now a be a LARGE closet upstairs. The catwalk has been being doubled in width since this picture was taken so you can get to it without walking the plank:

We don't have pictures of the new bathroom, but it will turn the big room over the garage into a sweet guest suite. Thanks to SNG for the cell phone pictures.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


It's been a good week, apart from catching a cold along with e-baby, she staying home one day last week and me losing my voice on Thursday. Otherwise things are humming along nicely.

* This weekend, PIC's parents, brother and sister are all in town for a visit so we joined them for a toddler playdate and a dinner outing last night. At first, e-baby was a little shy about seeing all these loud, boisterous, smiling faces at c-baby's house, but she warmed up when people started singing to her. Nothing lubricates her personality like some good dancing. At dinner, c-baby hid behind SNG's chair to play peek-a-boo with her Mimi, e-baby entertained the troops with her french fries and orange slices, and afterwards everyone had some frozen treats. Well, all except c-baby who was busy making up for any time last week that she might have forgotten to run around full-speed and squeal with delight. It was all so wonderful and cute that I couldn't stop planting kisses all over both of them. I think everyone else had the same feeling. I can't wait until they all come to town again. The first thing e-baby said as we pulled out of PIC's driveway was "I had good time!!" You said it, kid.

* I spoke to Bob the Builder Friday and he said that the job will be finished by mid-November. Wooooowoo! That's faster than he or we had initially expected, and it couldn't be better news to me. So it looks like we'll have Thanksgiving in our "new house." SNG stopped by the house and they've finished framing the new living room space. He said that from inside, the new space looks like they've uncovered the other half of our living room that was always missing.

* I set up our new web camera yesterday and got all synced up with my parents so that e-baby can have videoconferences with them. After a couple hours of "I can see you- can you see me yet? No? Well let's try changing this thingie," e-baby talked to both of them.

* We've gone swimming both mornings this weekend. It's a great way to wear out the kid so she'll go straight to sleep, but it works a little too well. She doesn't want lunch, she doesn't want to clean up the chlorine, she wants to go to sleep. Now. So she's sleeping. Boy is she ever gonna be hun-gry.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Thirty Five

According to my doctor, I am mature starting today. I think it's funny that according to the same criteria, men are not mature until age 70.

Mature means that I got to have a special appointment with a genetic counselor and had extra ultrasound pictures of sprout, which was fun. BTW, everything looked superfantastic with Sprout's genetic indicators, so he/she seems to be of good sturdy (albeit only half-mature) stock. In a week from today we'll have a better idea of whether it's
Sprout or Sprout, although whatever the case, he/she better hope to look good in pink butterflies because I am s-i-c-k of shopping for (read: spending more money on) baby clothes.

Tonight, I'll let e-baby help me blow out a candle and eat some cake before her favorite babysitter takes her while SNG and I go to a fancy French restaurant that does not offer crayons or a special menu with word search games on it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


We moved into our temporary place over the weekend. E-baby thinks it's wonderland. There's a pool, and her room has lots of beautiful decorations that she got to install (with a lot of help from the babysitter), and we are using her tiny table and chairs for most meals instead of the full-size dining table. Poor SNG has his knees in his chin, but she and I are quite comfy.

Oh, and we had doughnuts for breakfast on moving day. You say bribery, I say marketing.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Won't Say Why I Am Telling You This

But "on-boarding" is not a synonym with "orientation." In fact, it is not even a noun. Or a word. *sigh*