Tuesday, September 29, 2009

One of those days..

I went to the exchange with the little girls and lasted only five minutes before turning around and leaving. My first mistake was going there at three, but I really wanted to drop off the mountain of drycleaning that's been sitting in the corner of our bedroom; and I just wanted to look around, maybe grab some Yankee candles.

It was CRAZY there, and I could barely drive through the parking lot. Finally I parked the car, put Annalise in her carrier, slung the diaper bag and gigantic bag of clothes over one shoulder; and led Delaney by the hand with the other, across the parking lot.

First we went to the drycleaners, and I coaxed Delaney along the whole time because she did not want to hold my hand. I couldn't find a cart, but I know now that I walked past all of them in my haste to get inside. I dumped out all of Tim's shirts and pants on the counter at the drycleaner. The lady behind the desk totaled them up and told me it would be $36. I said, "Can I pay when I come to pick them up?" She said no, they only do "prepay." I said, "Well, we don't prepay drycleaning, sorry." I was very irritated. Who hasn't picked something up at a drycleaners that wasn't clean, or worse yet, had a new mark on it that wasn't there before? I will look at the finished product before I pay for it, thank you very much. They've got some nerve trying to make me pay $36 for clothes that aren't yet cleaned or pressed.

That meant I had to put all the clothes back in the bag and carry it back out. And the rest of my trip quickly soured because Delaney took off through the store, trying to lose me! I said, "Delaney, you have to listen to me and stay with me, or we'll leave." She wasn't listening or staying. So I had to grab her little hand and hold tightly as she tried to squirm away. Then she started whining, "Help, help, I need help!" I thought, oh you little stinker, you. I said, "Let's go home, Delaney. If you can't listen to me and do as I say, then we have to go home."

I hustled back out there, bags, babies and all, out the door and across the parking lot as fast as I could possibly go without pulling her little arm out of socket. She cried all the way through the store, out the door, all the way to the car, "'Change!" (exhange) "Change!" "No, Delaney, no more Exchange because you're not listening."

Once inside the car, she cried, "Commissary!" "Playground!" Then, to my astonishment, I heard her cry, "Doctor's!" I knew we'd reached a new low when she'd rather be going to the doctor's than home with me. Oh well. And that's the story of how a two-year-old girl was taken away from the Exchange by her mean mother and back home to her horrible house. And the drycleaning is still not done!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Annalise's 4-month checkup

Today we went to the new pediatrician in Woodbridge for Annalise's four-month checkup. She is 16 pounds, 4 ounces and 25 1/2 inches long. She's 90th percentile for height and 75th for weight. Very healthy. Dr. Rogers didn't stay long. We talked a little while about where she is developmentally, and what she's eating. She's still exclusively breastfed. She has rolled over, she grabs things and tries putting them in her mouth, and she can support her weight on her legs for a few minutes at a time.

At four months, Annalise's personality is really starting to come out. She smiles and coos a lot. She watches everyone around her closely, and now I would even go so far as to call her nosey. She has to be sitting up so she can see what's going on. She can't sit up all by herself, but she thinks she can, and sometimes if she's lying down, or just reclining in the stroller, she'll try to heave herself up. Doesn't work. While nursing, she'll take frequent breaks to look around, especially if Delaney runs by or she hears any noise that catches her attention.

She never did get attached to a pacifier, and I gave up on that a couple weeks ago for good. It's just as well. She sucks on her own lips tongue and fingers whenever she feels like it.

She's such an easy baby, so predictable. She gets annoyed and rubs her eyes when she's tired. She protests a little at naptime, but usually goes to sleep within a few minutes. She's an excellent sleeper at night the majority of the time. When awake, she spends a good deal of time amusing herself in her exersaucer or in her activity gym. Every now and then she yells to make sure I haven't forgotten about her. She eats every two hours.

I could go on and on because she's a dollbaby, so sweet and kissable. Hard to believe she's already four months old.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sleeping Beauty

We put Delaney down for her nap at 1, hoping she'd go to sleep at some point soon after, because we planned to have her up by 3, so we could leave the house by 3:30. She was wearing a bodysuit and a diaper when Tim left her. For almost two hours we listened to her talking, jumping around, and doing everything else but sleep. Tim went upstairs at about 2:45 for a shower, and he could hear her still carrying on. At 2:55, he entered her room, planning on just getting her out of bed and ready for the rest of the day. And this is how he found her.

With only five minutes left of her allotted nap time, our little girl had finally made herself comfortable and was fast asleep. Little booger.
That's why we put her to bed in a bodysuit that snaps -- to prevent her from removing her diaper. But this bodysuit was too stretched out, I guess, and can no longer serve this purpose. Lucky for us, this time she didn't soil the bed.
For anyone wondering, the bruise-like thing on her right shoulder blade and part of her shoulder is a hemangioma.

Friday, September 11, 2009

At last!

Our long-anticipated caterpillars have arrived. Delaney has known they were coming for a couple weeks now. Tim's cousin Sindi sent them. They were the party favors for Autumn and Amber's birthday party that we missed. (Thank you Sindi, Autumn and Amber.) I expected they would come by mail, and every time I stopped at the mailbox, Delaney would ask about the caterpillars. I would say, "Not yet, maybe tomorrow." Meanwhile, I gave her pictures of butterflies to color, and a diagram of the butterfly life cycle. I tried to explain it in terms a two-year-old can understand. I don't know if she can understand, but she sure seems to be thinking about it pretty hard.

The caterpillars will stay in the jar, and grow, eating only the special food in the jar. Then they will form chrysalides near the top of the jar, at which time we'll transfer them to the included butterfly pavilion. Then they will hatch, and we'll look at them for a couple days, then set them free. The directions said we should expect to see butterflies in about three weeks.

They arrived by FedEx, and when I told her, "The caterpillars are here!" she came running, and sat down at the kitchen table. "Mama, scissors!" "Mama, open the box!"

I don't know if they were quite what she expected to see, but they were a bright spot in an otherwise difficult morning.

Delaney tries to open the jar. What's the point of caterpillars that I can't smush in my little fingers? she wonders.


Now here's something I can smush in my fingers!

I promised that the packing stuff and the box will still be around for her to play with after her nap.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Delaney-isms


Delaney has been cracking us up so much lately. Here are a few examples of the things she says and does:

She tells her daddy, when he's sitting on the couch to "Go to sleep. Close your eyes, da-da. Lay down." That's usually just what he wants to do anyway.

She takes care of her little dragon, carrying him around, sitting him in a chair, changing, nursing (hilarious!) and burping him. When he falls, she kisses his boo-boo. Then she says, "Time for nap," and carries him upstairs.

She tells Annalise, "No fussing, baby. No crying. No fussing. Go to sleep, baby." [She definitely got that from me. One time, when Annie was fussing, I said, "Tell her, Delaney, 'No fussing.'"]

Tonight at dinner, we scolded Delaney for pulling her foot up and rubbing her nose with her toes. I said, "This is appalling. Where does she get this? It's like she ate dinner with gorillas the other night." But I had to turn away to hide my amusement.

She can count to 12, but skips 1 every time, even though I keep reminding her, "We start at 1."

I have no idea where she picked this up, but a couple weeks ago she started saying, "Happy day." She sings out, "Happy day.. Da-Da! Happy day.. Mama! Happy day.. baby! Happy day.. Delaney! (Her name comes out as "Dyaney.")

Before going to bed, as I'm holding her and right before I close the blinds and the room-darkening shade, we say goodnight to the trees, houses and sunny blue sky (yes, Delaney goes to bed at 7 still). This has been our ritual for well over a year. Now, in addition to all that, she says, "N-night, Da-da's big white truck. N-night, Mama's Jeep." Tim says he got her to do that once or twice while he was putting her to bed.

Her favorite DVD right now is 'Dora saves the Snow Princess' or something to that effect. It hasn't even been taken out of the DVD player for several weeks. It's like her morning cup of coffee, the very first thing she asks for. "Mama, Dora Princess! Watch Dora Princess!" If I want to enjoy my coffee, I must turn on that movie first. Then she plops down on her Elmo couch and watches adoringly as Dora and Boots go on their adventures. But she hasn't started speaking any Spanish yet.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

1 month in Quantico

Today marks our first month here. 9 more to go. I can't believe it's only been a month, it feels like forever. We're pretty much used to fending for ourselves now, although we sorely miss Friday night pizza and Sunday dinner. Our grocery bill has been going back up, but our eating out bill is going down. Aside from food, we do miss the family very much, but we've been keeping busy.

We like it here a lot, and we're very happy with our decision to live on base. We would highly recommend it to anyone who's coming to Quantico. If you have a family and little kids, you have everything you want and need so close by. It's a nice community. We are hoping to get orders to Camp Pendleton, CA, and we'd love to live on base there too.

Delaney talks to her grandparents and cousins in Massachusetts regularly on Skype. Recently, she talked to her friend Rebecca (also two) too. Neither of them had much to say. At one point, Delaney roared at Rebecca like a lion. Rebecca said, "I'm so scared!" It took a little while for Delaney to understand what was going on the first couple times we sat her down in front of the computer to chat. She had this look on her face, like, 'What the heck is Grandpa doing on the computer screen?' She wouldn't say anything, she'd just stare. But she's getting used to it, and now she interacts much more. If we could get the Schlosser side up on Skype, then we'd really be set.

Tim is very busy at school. Sometimes he comes home for dinner, then goes back to school later that evening. His hard work is paying off. He got a perfect score on his first test. Sorry, had to brag.:) As much as he likes being in this environment, he hates being a student again. He will never go to graduate school. I've always known how much he hates to read. Before Delaney was born, I read The Baby Whisperer, and wanted him to read it too. He wouldn't. Instead, he said that if I summarized it for him, he'd read my summary. So I wrote him a book report on The Baby Whisperer. I don't mind these things. In light of all this, I'm amazed at his level of dedication. When he's studying at night, this house is as quiet as a church. The TV isn't even on (gasp!). If I rode past him on a unicycle with a monkey on my shoulders, he wouldn't take his nose out of his book. I keep wondering, 'What have they done with my husband?'

The girls just keep growing and changing. Delaney's vocabulary is increasing by the day. We can have real conversations now. Her brain just seems to be working overtime. Lately she's been having trouble settling for a nap. This is the first day in a few that she's actually gone to sleep. Usually I'll hear her up there talking, or turning the pages of a book she's taken with her to bed. I try to tell her as I'm changing her before her nap that all the other kids are taking their naps too. (If all else fails, I try for bandwagon appeal.) "Friends sleeping?" she asks. "Friends pooping?" She whines a lot up there too, because she's sure she's missing out on a lot of fun. Our rule is, she stays in there for two hours, whether she sleeps or not. We can call it "quiet time" then, "mommy sanity time" or whatever. She's still in a crib. It seems like almost everyone else puts their kid in a bed by the time they're 2, but not us. The "Sleep Lady" recommends keeping them in a crib until 3. [The "Sleep Lady" is what Kim West, author of Goodnight, Sleep Tight -- my sleep bible -- calls herself.] It's not that I needed the Sleep Lady to tell me that, but it was nice to have an expert second what felt right to us. But if moving her to the bed is what felt right, I wouldn't hesitate to do it.

Delaney and I have a lot of differences these days as she tries to assert her own agenda. Sometimes I get frustrated, sometimes I compromise with her, sometimes I put my foot down and she cries crocodile tears, and every once in awhile we agree. But last night she made a concession to me that was so sweet it almost brought a tear to my eye. I sat her on the sink wrapped in a towel like I do every night after her bath, so she can brush her teeth. She lets her dad brush her teeth, but not me. Last night, just for the heck of it, I asked if I could brush her teeth. She said, "No, mine's." I said, "OK, maybe another night." A moment later she handed me the toothbrush without a word and opened her mouth cooperatively. It was such an unexpected gesture. My heart just swelled up. It fortified me for more struggles to come.

Annalise is a busy little girl too, and growing like a weed. I got her a Bumbo seat and an Exersaucer off Craigslist last week (I love Craigslist!). She loves being able to sit up and stand up like a big girl. It's funny how much better she holds herself up earlier in the day, as opposed to later. By the time it's dinner, she bobs around like she's drunk. That's when I know that soon it will be time to start thinking about bed. She's an absolute joy -- all happiness, contentedness, agreeableness, fat and slobber. I could kiss her all day long.

We had a playdate here this morning, and it was a really nice time.


"Yay, aren't we having fun!" Delaney and Elyse.

Annalise and Haven.

Haven, Delaney and Jimmy.

Delaney and Elyse go night-nights.