Saturday, January 7, 2017

new year, same excuses

So...a happy New Year is in order, it seems?? Ha! So much for all those long, newsy, insightful blogs I'd planned for the end of 2016. What a shame. Don't worry, I don't plan to quit blogging...I'm just too busy/lazy to do it with any sort of regularity, apparently. 

Moving on! To summarize the end of 2016...let's see, there was a heartbreaking election. There were (are) terrible atrocities taking place all over the world and throughout our country. That's kind of all I remember. Maybe that's why I don't feel like writing anymore. I feel silly writing about my adorable child and generally happy life when there is so much real hurt and pain and injustice. It feels trite and trivial. I prefer to lose myself in fiction, to be honest, so that's what I spend most of my nights doing. I guess that led to one noteworthy thing: I read 31 books in 2016! Yay me. My goal was 40, so I did fall a little short, but I feel pretty good about 31. My goal for 2017 will remain 40, and so far I'm working on #3, so I'm off to a good start. (Side note for the book lovers or other people who would like to escape reality for a few hours: it seems that my reading "kick" for 2016 was books that took place in occupied European countries during WWI/WWII. I can't get enough of them!! A few of my favorites/top recommendations are All the Light We Cannot See, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, Life After Life, and The Girl You Left Behind. Anyone else read TGYLB? I just finished it last week and it blew my mind and I'm dying to talk to someone about it. SO GOOD!!!!! Anyone have other recommendations in this genre?)

Annnnnyway. So I spend all my spare time reading. The end.

So I failed to blog about the super fun end-of-year holidays, which Millie found MOST exciting this year. I swear, she is SO MUCH FUN right now. She understands things, she remembers things (for better or for she remembers when I vaguely mention she can have a cookie later if she _______...and homegirl will CALL ME OUT on that!! Ha.), she anticipates's awesome!! So Christmas was particularly fun.

We finally fulfilled my lifelong dream of matching family jammies!! And as it turns out, these were actually really comfy, too, so we all wear them basically all the time. Oh, and Millie will sometimes call us "mama bear" and "papa bear" now, so that's pretty much the funniest thing ever. JAMMY WIN!

We didn't make it to see Santa this year. Well, Millie sorta did...from a distance, with my mother-in-law, and she was fine checking him out from afar, but when it was her turn to sit in his lap, she (semi-predictably) freaked out and was hysterical. Thankfully, my MIL didn't make her sit in his lap and just let her leave, but for days, all Millie could talk about was "NO LIKE HO-HO-HO!!! I NO SIT ON HO-HO-HO! I CRY!! HO-HO-HO BITE ME!!" and it just didn't seem worth it to me to try to inflict that trauma on her again when she so clearly was NOT INTERESTED (slash terrified). So no cute or crying Santa pics. Maybe next year, unless he (apparently) bites her again, ha.

She was MUCH more interested in any holiday traditions that involved food. This girl. We've certainly never had to worry about her going hungry! Food is her JAM!

We've also never had to worry about her lacking in personality or opinions. Her sweet daycare teacher describes her like this: "Oh, Millie always helps us know what we are doing. She tells the other children what they should do and not do. She knows where everything is and whose stuff everything is! She is a great leader!"....well, that's such a positive way of framing it. ;) Thank you, teachers! But seriously. She knows what's going on, and she will LET YOU KNOW if you step out of line. Ha!

Her big present from Mama & Papa Bear this year (not giving credit to mean old Ho Ho Ho!) was a dollhouse. She's a big fan, and I have high hopes that someday soon she will start playing with it in a way that makes sense to me. Instead of, you know, mixing in like eighteen genres of toys and various items from around the in the dollhouse kitchen we have a dollhouse refrigerator, a dollhouse grandpa doll, a green Lego, a jar of yellow paint, an empty toilet paper roll, six used stickers, a Daniel Tiger figurine, an eyelash curler stolen from mama's makeup cabinet, and a dirty sock. And I'm harshly reprimanded if I try to move any of those things, because THEY ARE VERY IMPORTANT AND SHE IS PLAYING WITH THEM ALL. Excuse me for feeling slightly overwhelmed at the notion of tying all of those things in to a play storyline that makes any sense...

She is so silly and creative and (I hesitate to proclaim this for fear of jinxing us, but...) POTTY TRAINED as of very recently! I was kinda half-assing the potty training ever since about September, doing undies occasionally and pull-ups most of the time, but since we had some extended time off over the holidays, we finally really committed to the undies- even in public!!! and in the car!!!- and she's done great!! We still do pull-ups at night and naptime, but she actually wakes up dry most of the time (or wakes up and goes potty in the middle of the night) (with our help, because HECK YES she is still in her crib)! I'm so proud of her and we'll be going to collect her reward (getting her ears pierced) very soon.

Also, please note that apparently using the idea of being a "big girl" for all sorts of ideas and explanations has caused some confusion in her brain. And it's hilarious.

Exhibit A: We told her earrings are for "big girls" and that when she was going tee-tee on the potty all of the time and didn't wear baby pull-ups anymore, she would be a big girl and could get earrings (or "ear holes," as she calls it, since she understands that you have to first get special holes in your ears that you can put the earrings in!).

So understandably, every day or so, as soon as she finishes up using the bathroom, she reaches up and touches her ears, saying "I big girl! I tee-tee on potty! Where my ear holes?"

Exhibit B: As she was sitting on the potty one afternoon, I was sitting on the stool and leaning over towards her. Apparently my shirt was hanging down and exposing my cleavage a bit, so she reached out and pointed to one boob and had a slightly alarmed and curious look on her face as she asked "what dat?" ", that's Mama's boobie!" She touched the other boob. "What dat?" "That's Mommy's other boobie." She touched her own chest. "Where my boobie?" " get boobies when you're a big girl." She looks up with panic in her eyes. "BUT I TEE-TEE ON THE POTTY!! I a big girl! Where my boobie??!" (Sorry, couldn't even hold it together after that one. She has inquired about/requested boobies several times since then, so I'm trying to come up with a better explanation for when she can get hers.)

Exhibit C: Sometimes you just don't want to be a big girl. Because as she's learned, Big Girls do not get pacis all the time (only at bed time! and in the car. and during breathing treatments.), and they sometimes have to do very terrible things like stop playing to go use the restroom, etc. So the other night, she very calmly sat me down and explained "I not big girl. I tiny! I need paci. I tiny!! I want dipe-dipe. Where my paci? I tiny. I NOT BIG GIRL! I no have ear holes."

Look at that tiny not-big-girl.
I mean, as fun as she was as a baby, this whole language thing is priceless. I just don't know how I ever lived without hearing her ridiculous commentary on life all the time. I've been going through some of her baby things lately (to pass down to a niece that will arrive any day now!) and it's so bittersweet, but I don't know if I'd go back to her being a baby, even if I could. She is just SO full of life and love and sweetness...I can't get enough of my not-quite big girl.

We were supposed to have a Significant Winter Weather Event last night, but I don't know, something happened and we didn't. Our whole town shut down at like noon on Friday, just in case!!!!!, and we got all prepared and I was SO optimistic I even went out and spent ungodly amounts of money on two cheap plastic sleds that were clearly marked up 3000% just for the rare event...and then we watched videos on YouTube of kids sledding...and then Millie was SO excited all night and we promised that when she woke up, we would play in the snow....and then we woke up and there was like a fraction of a millimeter of heavy frost on the grass. WOMP WOMP WOMP, biggest disappointment ever. But Millie was not to be deterred. We promised she could sled, so dammit, she was gonna sled. And she had a blast. And we went and had French toast brunch with some new friends, and the kids gathered microscopic handfuls of snow off the playground equipment in the backyard and marveled at it melting in their hands, and that's how our snow day went down today. It was pretty fabulous, minus the part where we totally got gypped on actually GETTING SNOW.

So that brings us pretty up-to-date. I'm going to save the sleds, because a) I'm an optimist at heart, and maybe- just maybe!!- we will have reason to use them sometime soon...and b) the sketchy store I bought them at doesn't do returns. ??????? and potentially c) I could always just save them and mark them up another million percent next time there's a chance of snow and turn a sweet lil profit off another desperate mama, huh? So, options. They're good to have.

So Happy New Year! I promise to try to do a better job sharing things here- but if I don't, feel free to follow me on Instagram or Facebook or- let's be honest- Goodreads, haha. If you've made it this far, I will reward you (??? haha) by asking a completely off-topic question to close: does anyone still actually balance their checkbook/somehow reconcile monthly expenses against a budget on a regular basis? I'll go first: I do. I save every receipt and have an Excel workbook that everything goes into (I update it usually twice a month; each time we get paid). But I've discovered that apparently not a lot of folks my age/stage do that anymore. I guess folks just keep a general eye on their bank balance and keep on rollin'?? So I'm just curious. Anyone else out there still carefully saving and recording every single stupid receipt like I am? It's so annoying and time-consuming and I hate it, but I can't think of another way to make sure that I stick within our budget(s)?? I have Mint, and it's really similar (but easier)...but I can't bring myself to not still do the stupid Excel thing. So please weigh in and either enlighten me to a better way or let me know I'm not alone in boring tediusville over here! 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

the littlest fly-fly

Although this is technically Millie's third Halloween, this is the first time she really "got" it...and therefore, this has been the BEST ONE! (For those of you mourning that all of your baby's "first" holidays are done, rest assured that probably the second and third and fourth ones are going to be even better, even though there aren't t-shirts and bibs designed to specifically commemorate the occasion.) 

On Sunday night we did some costume roller skating with our church. Millie had two costumes this year, since the weather in Georgia is incredibly uncooperative/unpredictable. She has a warm furry monkey costume and a summer-weather ladybug costume. Since it's still in the 80s...she wore the monkey costume once, nearly sweated to death and was completely miserable, and has chosen the ladybug (or "fly-fly"...butterfly...) costume for all other events. Ha. Can't blame her, plus...WAY CUTE. So she was bribed to wear selected the fly-fly for Sunday night's event, and I decided to complete the outfit with her first time wearing makeup. Because real butterflys wear makeup, right?? Sorry, I just couldn't help myself.

I'm going to try to not turn into a pageant mom, but this didn't help. She was SO CUTE as I put on her lipstick!!!!

We had a blast at the party, although Mills wasn't so sure about the actual skating part. I was, though. I relived my childhood, only I'm like a hundred years older now and my whole body hurts. Ugh. Growing old is the worst.

So we spent Monday morning and early evening trying to prep Millie and explain what we were going to be doing when we went trick-or-treating. She was understandably mystified and was ONLY interested in the bowl of candy I prepared and set near the front door. "MY TWEAT!!! MY TAN-DY!!!!" she screamed as she fell out in hysterics over the injustice of seeing that bowl of candy up high out of her reach. I kept explaining that that was the candy for other children, and that we were going to put on her costume and go knock on our friends' doors and they would give US candy. She did. not. get. it.

Once I finally got her in her costume, she ran again to the bowl of candy and started begging for it.

"No, Millie, remember? We are going to go knock on our friends' doors and say "trick or treat!" and then they will give you candy! And you say thank you!"

She stares at me for two seconds and runs to the nearest door in our house, the laundry room door. She makes a fist and bangs the door a few times, then turns right back around and looks me in the eye.

"I knock. GIMME DAT!!"-- as she points to the bowl of candy.

So I think she got it. HAHAHA.

We finally set out to trick or treat, and she finally figured out what her life's purpose was. It took no time at all for her to figure out that we would find a house with a light on, then walk to the door, then knock, then she would sweetly say "trick or treat!" (or maybe, if she was already staring down the candy bowl, she'd just squeak out "TWEAT!"), then she would look the candy-giver in the eye and thank them. It was adorable. She was precious. And when we walked back to the wagon, she was SO excited each time. She would sit back down, ask for her "punkin" and talk to herself as we walked to the next house. "Happy! Tweat! Knock knock, tweat! Thank you! Happy!"

She also quickly caught on to the fact that we would only go to houses with lights. So she helpfully pointed out every light she saw. "Mama. MAMA!! Light!! Light! Tweat!"

"No, Mills...that's a street light. There's no house. We have to find a HOUSE with a light."

"Otay Mama. MAMA!! LIGHT!!"

"Millie, that's a car's headlights. Find a house..."

So, there's room for improvement on the specifics, but I'd say she gets an A for overall trick-or-treating skills.

Getting home and getting her into the bath and bed was not nearly as delightful as the rest of the night, but hopefully I'll forget that part soon and only remember the good times, ha!

And now I'll have a little sob-fest as I look at how much she's grown over her three Halloweens!!

But I can't sob for long, because it is NOVEMBER 1, which means I can safely start listening to Christmas music in my office all day!! So no time for, now I can start thinking about how much fun Millie is going to be at Christmas, because I bet she will "get" that a lot more this year too, and oh, what fun awaits!!

Monday, October 17, 2016

apples and cabins and cows, oh my!

We had a wonderful weekend adventure with some of our favorite friends this fun that it inspired me to blog, which is really saying something these days! You may recall that a few years ago Matt and I went to Mexico with our friends Adam and Jessie. It was glorious and relaxing and rejuvenating and people waited on us hand and foot and all we had to do was decide what angle to lay in the sun and what combination of blended alcohol and fruit to imbibe. Glorious. Well, this weekend was really similar because it was still me and Matt and Jessie and Adam...but also our five children (between the ages of 1-6), and instead of a luxury resort in Mexico, we went to a...ummm...rustic might be too generous...cabin in north Georgia. A cabin with two bedrooms and one bathroom. And there were no attentive staff waiting on us hand and was more like endless children crawling underfoot and demanding things. But otherwise is was basically exactly the same.

HAHAHA no it wasn't. But it was its own kind of wonderful, I promise.

Our primary goal was to go apple picking. Matt and I have never been, so obviously Millie hasn't either, and it was high time to cross that off our bucket list!! Millie, as expected, was REALLY EXCITED about the whole thing. 

Actually, she was really confused about why we were pooping on her eating-apples-off-the-ground party, but she caught on eventually. We had a lot of fun picking (and eating) apples, although I must admit that it was a much stinkier project than I'd imagined. Who woulda thought that thousands of apples rotting in the Georgia heat (the apples on the ground) (yes, it's still in the 80s here, even in the foothills of the mountains...gah...) could create such a delightful smell? Phew! Anyway, it was great even with that.

The apple orchard had the whole fall farm festival thing going on, so there were all kinds of other fun things to entertain the kids (and adults, let's be honest) for the rest of the day. We ate loads of fried garbage and drank tasty apple cider slushies...I hear people who live in places that get actual fall weather drink something called "hot cider," but cider slushies are way more my jam when I'm sweating buckets waiting in line for the ponies!

Millie had loads of fun doing anything that involved touching animals. That baby cow in the top right picture was her SOUL MATE. I swear they were communicating in a secret language or something and plotting to run off together. It was precious. My little cow whisperer. But then again, her expression while cuddling the kitten was basically perfection. True love.

On our way back home on Sunday, we stopped in an adorable small town (Ball Ground, GA, anyone?) and ate some incredibly tasty German food and played in a lovely (and very Stars Hollow-esque) gazebo- or "my house," as Millie quickly named-and-claimed it. 

Trying to wrangle the kids to stay still for pictures was nearly impossible, but the chaos nicely captured the essence of the weekend, haha. It wasn't exactly relaxing, but it was an awful lot of fun...which I also think sums up parenthood pretty nicely! Now we have a few weeks to recover and detox from apple-themed, sugar-filled fried everything...because we head back to the mountains with our family for another weekend soon! Yaaaaay for fall and fun, and we'll pray many prayers that the weather will cool the heck off so that we aren't forced to continue our summer wardrobes well into November. UGH. (We may LOOK semi-fallish in these pictures, but trust me, we were all sweating to death because the mamas were overly optimistic about "mountain weather" when packing...)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

millie-isms: part IV

Let's pretend I didn't just go an entire month without blogging, okay? Thanks!

My girl is funnier, sassier, and more opinionated than ever these days! She is learning words and concepts so quickly, I can barely keep up. We already have to spell things (like "oh, Matt, I brought home some C-A-K-E that we can eat after M-I-L-L-I-E goes to B-E-D!"), lest we have to share our junk food with her. Here are some of my favorite recent Millie-isms.

1. I've been going to physical therapy for awhile now to help my neck and shoulder (diagnosis: carrying-a-heavy-toddler-itis). (P.S. Unrelated to Millie, but just so you know- I go twice a week for a little over an hour each time and for that whole hour I lay there and have my neck and shoulder rubbed and massaged. It's not the worst medical condition to have, haha! Can't say I'm really praying for a quick healing...hahahaha.) This week, things got real-er, though, and my PT sent me home with a stetchy band and some exercises to start practicing at home. Boooo. Anyway, so I've been doing the exercises in the bathroom while Millie takes her bath at night. I have to do 30 reps of 4 different exercises, and understandably, they get a little painful on my wonky shoulder. So it's possible that while I'm counting out my repetitions, I occasionally say "owwwwww" and make a grimacing face. And it didn't take Miss Observant long to figure that out, because about five minutes into my first "exercise" night, she started mimicking me from the bath. "two...five...nine...OWWWWW!!!!!" (devious giggles) "two...fiiiive...niiiiine...OWWWWW!!!!" (exaggerated pain on her face, lots of laughing)

It's the funniest thing ever. Nothing gets by her! Watching me do my exercises is now her most favorite thing to do, and if I don't say "owwww" often enough for her liking, she will remind me. "Mama, OWWWWW!!!"

2. Like most (all?) two-year-olds, she has strong opinions about things. Most of the time she will do as we ask, but sometimes she'll dig her heels in about our truly ridiculous demands, such as putting on clothes so that we can go outside. The other night, while trying to wrestle her into her shoes, I said "Millie! Who is the boss here??" and wasn't really expecting a response, because I'm sure she doesn't know what "boss" means. But don't don't worry, she still responded. "Me! ME BOSS!" and then Matt and I failed at parenting because we laughed hysterically and totally rewarded her incorrect response but who cares, it was hilarious. "No, Millie. MOMMY is the boss and DADDY is the boss." "NO. Mill-mill boss!! ME BOSS!!"

It's probably true, but don't tell her.

So last night, while she was just happy and playing and not being stubborn about anything at the moment, I asked again. "Millie, who is the boss?" "Mama boss!" "Oh! Yes, Mama is the boss. Thanks!"

Five minutes later, she sees the TV remote and decides she wants it (the TV isn't on). I put it up out of her reach, and she looks me dead in the eye and says. "NO. Mill-mill boss dat. Me boss TB [TV]!!!" 

So anyway, glad we've established who is the boss of what around the house.

3. Matt was super sick for a week and a half (flu and pneumonia). It was really hard on Millie because she loves her daddy and always wants to be around him, but she couldn't when he was sick. Also, there was some serious injustice going on in our house due to Daddy's sickness.

Millie and I were eating at the table one night and Matt came through with a bottle of Gatorade. 

Millie: "What dat?" 
Me: "That's Daddy's juice."
Millie: "Want juice!! My juice!"
Me: "No, Mills, you only get juice when you are sick. You can drink your milk or water, okay?"
Millie: [slumps over dramatically, fake coughs, and moans.] "*cough cough* I sicccckkk, Mama. Need juice. I sick. *cough cough*"

(She didn't get juice. I am still the boss of juice.)