Tuesday, April 19, 2016

millie-isms: part I

Maybe these aren't technically "-isms," per se, since many of them don't involve language or words...but I thought I'd start keeping track of all the most hilarious/adorable things Millie does and says so that I can read back through them for the rest of my life. Because not everything can be fully captured in a photo, as I've learned.

1. She loves to help. Lately her favorite things to help with are picking (and immediately eating) the strawberries in the garden, and unloading the dishwasher. She's surprisingly good at actually being semi-helpful with the dishwasher- she will carry all of the (plastic) cups and plates to me so that I can put them up in cabinets. The silverware she likes to do all by herself. She carries it piece by piece to the drawer and throws them in the drawer (it's over her head, so she can't see in it to sort them...but it still saves me a little trouble!). She's been doing this for a few weeks, but tonight as she was helping, I noticed she'd added a little twist to things: she licked each piece of silverware before placing it in the drawer.

Always going the extra mile, that one!!

2. In the past few days she has become obsessed with belly buttons. She wants to look at hers every few minutes, and she also likes to look at mine and Matt's. If we're sitting down, she'll simply come over and pull up our shirts while yelling "BEBB-BUH," but if we're standing...she'll just do whatever it takes to locate our belly buttons. That means if you happen to be a mommy and you're wearing a dress, she'll just pull the whole thing up and climb under. If you're wearing shorts, she'll just stick her hands up them and wave around (even with her arms reached all the way up, she's still too short to reach or see our belly buttons). It's rather alarming if you're not expecting it, and if you're in public and it happens to be the dress-getting-pulled-up version...well, everyone gets a shocking surprise. Ha. Today I dressed her in an (adorable) one-piece shorts romper thing.

Adorable romper, party of one!
Obviously I am the MEANEST MOM EVER because I did not take into account how this outfit would render her belly button inaccessible. There were tears, people. There was wailing and gnashing of teeth. BEBB-BUH!

3. She is starting to make two-word sentences. "My" is her preferred word to pair up...she's quick to point out "my dee-dee" (blanket) (?? no idea why) and "my bay-bee" and "my doos" (shoes). But over the weekend she started calling for "my dadda" and "my mama," and then my heart exploded and the whole world was wonderful. 

Millie with HER mama and HER dadda. You can't have them!
4. Her class at school went through a cannibalism biting pandemic recently. It seems to have finally passed, but it was a sad few weeks, and Millie was the recipient of several bites. Anyway, their teachers and directors were working really hard with all of the kids, and we knew this not only from the communication and letters they sent to parents, but because Millie frequently repeated the party line at home. She would just be sitting at the table, minding her own business, babbling away, and all of a sudden in a very loud and firm voice, we would hear "NO BITE!! NO bite. NO BITE!!!" She would tell her dolls, her kitchen, Lola, a puzzle- anything that looked like it might get a hankerin' for human skin. NO BITE! It was pretty cute. 

And then we got her bike seat, and so all of a sudden we started talking about bikes a lot. I guess that was confusing, because we would say "Millie, do you want to ride your bike?" and get answered with furrowed brows and a firm "NO BITE!!" 

It should be no great surprise that my daughter is a big fan of following rules and making sure everyone else does, too. Ha. Apples and trees and all that.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

football, swimming, bikes, and trust issues

Last week was pretty rough- Millie had a round of croup that just would NOT get better, and she (and therefore all of us...) was pretty miserable all week. Thankfully, she started feeling a lot better right around 5:00 p.m. on Friday, because she knows that being healthy for the weekend is of utmost importance! Much appreciated, Mills.

On Saturday, we decided to go to G-Day, UGA's annual spring football scrimmage game. Matt and I went to G-Day a few years ago, and strangely enough, that remains the ONLY college football game (if you can even consider it that) that we've been to together (although we both graduated from UGA and went to all of the games while we were students...we didn't know each other then)!! I keep thinking one of these days we will happen upon tickets so that we can attend a real game together in the fall, but...not yet, I guess. Ha!

Clearly this was Millie's first college football experience- although she has two UGA basketball games under her belt from this season, so I wouldn't say she's a total sports newbie. You never would have guessed, though- homegirl obviously bleeds red and black just like her parents, and spending a long afternoon in the blazing sun was just fine by her!

Oh, you say there will be music and pom-poms? COUNT ME IN!

And while you're at it- count me sassy.

We had a ton of fun- much like her mama, Millie particularly seemed to enjoy the festive food that goes along with attending sporting events. Fistfuls of popcorn and a giant pretzel? Right up her alley. 

But not everything was up her alley, actually. I think that one day, if Millie ends up having trust issues and reflects back, looking for a cause...I think that this G-Day game may pop into her mind. Sure was funny at the time, though.

So there she was, slamming back ballpark snacks with Mommy and Daddy, when she notices that Mommy and Daddy are sharing a huge cup with a straw. She'd been drinking water out of her own lame sippy cup, but obviously Grown-up Straw Cups are far superior, so she reaches to grab ours. Up to this point in her innocent life, the only thing she's ever tasted from one of our cups is water. We're pretty boring people- we just drink water at home (well, and coffee. And beer. But she doesn't get sips of those, ha). But at a ballgame- well, different story. Millie didn't know that story, though. So she gets the cup and proudly sucks up a big ol' strawful of SPRITE. Her eyes got HUGE as soon as that sugary carbonation hit her mouth, and as she swallowed she burst out crying, making the saddest just-sucked-a-lemon face you've ever seen. It was SO sad (and hilarious!!!!). Baby's First Carbonated Beverage: not a success. She stuck to her own sippy cup after that, while giving mean glares to our sporty straw cup. (Also, after the game we went out to eat. The milk we ordered for her came in an opaque cup with a straw. She wouldn't TOUCH it, HAHAHAHA. Not even when we opened the lid, showed her the milk...nothing. Major trust issues.)

I had the most interesting (hahahaha) thought while we were at the game: the last time I was at a REAL college game (November 2004, the last game of my senior year!), smart phones hadn't even been invented. There was no such thing as a hashtag (well, there was, it was just called a pound sign, and it had no social media connotations). My friends and I took TONS of pictures during the football games, but we had to *gasp* wait until we got home to upload them to our computers (with a cord!!! hahaha!!!) and then put them on Facebook (since our college HAD Facebook...we were so lucky!). My, how things have changed.

We followed up our super-awesome Saturday with a Sunday Funday outside. The weather was perfect this weekend- 'twould be a shame to waste it! We pulled out her pool and reintroduced her to the joy of "swimming." Since she's basically the same size as the pool now, that equates to just sitting...but she still seemed to think it was fun. She spent most of the afternoon just climbing in and out of the pool, alternating her swims with playing soccer with daddy and making mud in the yard.

While she swam, I just sat there with googly eyes over how freaking cute she is in her bathing suit. Ugh. To be young and fabulous.

Who you lookin' at, Mom?

Well SOMEONE needs to weed this yard- guess it may as well be me!

We also took advantage of the lovely day to take Millie's new bike seat out for its inaugural spin! I got the seat for Matt for his birthday so that we would have something else fun and semi-healthy to do as a family. We used to love riding bikes (remember those days? Ahhhh), but we haven't done it in probably two years at least. But since Millie loves being outside so much, we figured she might go for it- and she did!!

...well, she went for most of it, anyway. She wasn't a huge fan of her helmet. But she loved the riding part (and the part where we rode by cows and goats). So as long as we were riding, she was happy...but when we stopped for selfies, she remembered how awful the helmet was, and then she wasn't happy. Too bad for her, I'm a helmets-non-negotiable kinda lady. But all in all, it was a success...and I'm thankful that I'm not the one hauling an extra 28 pounds behind me, haha.  (Side note: it was shockingly challenging to find a baby helmet that wasn't COMPLETELY OBNOXIOUS. I'm still holding firm on no ridiculous 'character' nonsense adorning my child (or my house), and since she doesn't have the first clue about Mickey or Elsa or Doc McStuffins or anyone else...I wasn't in the least bit interested in having them all over her helmet. But apparently those guys have cornered the market on baby helmets! It was either that or pink/purple/hearts/peace signs...like...peace signs? How about no. Anyway. Just didn't anticipate finding a solid-colored helmet would be as challenging as it was, but Amazon came to my rescue with this only moderately-obnoxious highlighter yellow monstrosity. Picky mommy- but NOT BABY- approved!)

I rode behind Matt and Millie today and it occurred to me that the last time we were bike riding, I spent the whole time daydreaming (slash stressing) about having a child. There's not much else to do when you ride besides think...and that's what I would think about. Back when we were riding pretty often, it was when we were still waiting for an adoption match...and that's what I'd think about. I always rode with my phone, just in case we were to get The Call while we were on the road. And that's what I remembered as I was riding today...staring at my daughter's highlighter yellow helmet right ahead of me. I'd pull up beside them and Millie would reach out for me, and when we passed the cows, she hollered "HEY MOOOOO!!! HEY MOOOOOO!!!!" The last time I rode, I worried that I may never be a mother. And today...this.

What a crazy, wonderful life.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

crying-laughing emoji face for days

Nobody warned me that twenty months was going to be such a hilarious age, but I'm here to tell you...it is. I mean, if I were to try to represent Millie's life in emoji, then I would say that the first 19 months were mostly the heart-eyes emoji. And right about now, the crying-laughing emoji is starting to catch up fast. (I bet that in 40 years, the previous two sentences will make NO SENSE.) (Or maybe they will make PERFECT SENSE because by that time, all written language will be completely gone and the whole world will only communicate via emoji.) (Praise hands!)

Let me convince you that Millie is the funniest baby ever.

Exhibit A:

On Sunday morning, we took her into worship with us at church instead of leaving her in the nursery. She likes the music, and I like spending more time with her, so sometimes it works out (until she gets too antsy, and then it's off to the nursery). So Millie's doing great, clapping and "singing" and dancing, and then the band wraps up a song and there's a brief moment of near-silence in the room as they prepare for the next song. During that time, Millie happened to notice a gentleman a few rows in front of us. He was sitting down, and his head was bowed in prayer or quiet contemplation. Or that's what an adult might think he was doing, anyway. Not our Millsie, though. "NIGHT-NIGHT!!!! NIGHT-NIGHT!!!!" she screamed, pointing to the guy. "NIGHT-NIGHT!!"

That wasn't embarrassing at all.


Unrelated picture, but I think she likes the azaleas as much as I do!

Exhibit B (warning- involves poop talk): 

While we are far from doing anything I'd consider "potty training," I will say that Millie enjoys sitting on the potty and seems to actually prefer pooping on the potty to pooping in her diaper. She'll say "poop poop!!" and hold her bottom while running to the bathroom, and about half the time, she'll follow that up with...ya know, poop poop. In the potty. It's pretty great! (But for the record, she has never once peed in the potty. Apparently that's not nearly as much fun or something.) So even though she seems to just enjoy pooping in the potty for the heck of it, at one point in time I gave her a piece of candy after a successful poop. You know, as a congratulations or something. Well naturally, now she associates the potty with candy (or "nandy," in Millie-speak), so she's even MORE enthused about the whole thing. But I only give her "nandy" if she actually poops. If she just sits there and doesn't do anything, she gets excited praise and songs and high fives and she can put a piece of toilet paper in the potty (SO FUN), but she doesn't get candy. 

Sorry, that was a long build-up.

So the other night, Millie starts frantically grabbing her bottom and yelling "poop poop!!" and running to the bathroom, so I rush her in there and get her settled. Her face is the picture of concentration as she focuses on the task at hand, and she's even clenching her fists as she works on it. After about 10 seconds, a significant noise erupts from her, and her eyes light up as she says "POOP POOP!!! NANDY!!! NANDY, MAMA?!!" and I cheer and holler and congratulate her and assure her that we will get a piece of candy when she's done. I encourage her to sit there for a little longer to make sure she's all done, and sure enough, after another few seconds, another sound emerges. She is once again super excited and repeats "poop poop!! Nandy!!", and I again agree. So now she tells me 400 times that she's alldonealldonealldone, so I pull her off the seat. And we look down in the potty, and...it's empty. No poop poop. And her face just FALLS, and she looks so confused and devastated. "Poop poop?? Poop poop?" and I'm barely able to keep myself from falling over laughing over how sad she is and how loud her gas was that she fooled the both of us into thinking it was something more significant. "No poop poop, Millie, it was just tooties. It's okay. You did really good, and you thought it was poop poop. That happens sometimes!" She looks so sad, but she still looks up at me and says "nandy, Mama? Nandy?"

That sweet, adorable baby. She's nothing if not committed to earning a bite of candy! (Of course I gave it to her. Except for it turned out we had NO CANDY in the house, so it ended up being a bite of ice cream, which she deemed an acceptable substitute.)

Unrelated picture, but she also really likes corn on the cob.
Exhibit C:

No explanation is really needed for this one. I just watched her come out of my bathroom the other morning and this is what she was doing.

Apparently she's been taking notes when she watches me get ready!! Also, her eyelashes are already obscenely long and perfect. She will never need a contraption like this!

Lest you think her too much a "girly" girl, though...

Exhibit D:

While Matt and I were cleaning out the garage, Millie abandoned her sidewalk chalk and bubbles and took it upon herself to do something a little more...significant. I guess toys and bubbles are for babies or something.

Yes, she IS the best helper (and comedian) in the world, and no, she is NOT available for hire. Sorry. All mine!

Monday, April 4, 2016

currently...kisses, cleaners, and cake ed.

(Insert obligatory tired excuses for not having blogged in 2.5 weeks...)

So anyway, YEAH. As it turns out, I'm much better at keeping things current on Instagram and Facebook these days, so if you're miserable for lack of Erika (or Millie, more likely) updates, try finding me there. Ha.

Currently, I'm...

Listening...still mostly to the Gilmore Guys podcast. I just can't stop, even though the current episodes are often 3 hours long and I spend 20% of the time rolling my eyes. I mean, the alternative is listening to NPR and thinking about politics and wanting to drive off cliffs (luckily Georgia has a distinct lack of available cliffs)...so Gilmore Guys it is.

Eating...Smitten Kitchen's Carrot Graham Layer Cake. Now hear me out. I don't bake. I mean, I can, I suppose, because I'm literate and I own a KitchenAid stand mixer. But I don't particularly enjoy it. So I just don't do it. But for whatever reason, I got it in my head a few months ago that I was going to bake Matt something really amazing for his birthday. Every time we've come across an amazing-sounding recipe for the last month, we say "THAT'S what I'll bake for his birthday!!"...and so finally the time came, and this is what I went with. I'll have to say...spending 12 hours (ish...or so it felt) in the kitchen getting every single pot and spoon I own filthy is not really my idea of a great time. (Or should I say a "grate" time? Because what kind of DESSERT recipe starts out with grating THREE CUPS OF CARROTS??) But it was really, really good. Like really good. So I guess it was worth it. But also, bakeries are a great thing and well worth the money. ;)

I know, I should be a professional food photographer. It's a gift.

Then again, maybe I should just be a baker.

Turns out, Millie's extremely pro-cake. Who woulda thought?
Drinking... LOL the only thing noteworthy I can think of is that I bought the Aldi knock-off of Blue Moon the other day. I don't know why. But it's pretty good! And way cheaper than the real thing, so...there's your money-saving tip of the day. Aldi beer. What is this world coming to?

Wearing... In general, nothing special. But since I never got around to blogging about Easter, I'll show off our Easter outfits! Please note that this was my third-choice dress for Millie. Option #1, purchased five months ago, ended up being way too big. Option #2, purchased recently at a consignment sale, fit perfectly but was inexplicably MISSING ALL OF THE BUTTONS ON THE BACK...and since I didn't happen to have 10 tiny buttons nor am I a professional tailor...that option was actually useless. So this is last minute, eleventh hour Hail Mary Option #3...most notably, it is the exact same size and brand as Option #1. Go figure.

Millie wasn't really in a picture-taking mood.

My dress

Feeling... Extremely excited. Two reasons. 1) I am mere hours away from winning my office's March Madness competition. I chose the Final 2 teams correctly, and whether or not my pick (UNC) wins tonight, I will win the office in points. I am WAY MORE EXCITED THAN IS REMOTELY REASONABLE about this. 2) Someone that IS NOT ME OR MATT is going to clean my house on Wednesday!! That's right. My lifelong dream of paying someone else to do the dirty work (literally) while we're gone during the day is coming true and it starts in a mere 36ish hours with a much-needed deep clean. I literally could not sleep last night because I was so excited.

Wanting... I'm winning March Madness (and a cool $100 haha) and a professional cleaner is coming to clean my house. What else on earth could I possibly want? Okay, fine. I want to eat these adorable, precious, painty-toes, stripey-tanned little feet.

It's only barely April. She's been wearing sandals for like...a month. What will her tan lines be like in JULY?!
Needing... to feel motivated to exercise. Ugh. I'm impressively productive from 6:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m., but the minute that Nuggie hits the crib for the night, I am DONE. My backside and its BFF the couch hang out until 10:00, and then I hit the bed. I'm SO unmotivated to get up and run or do a workout video, but I really need to. Wah. At least I get at least 10,000 steps every day (okay, maybe 90% of the days). Does that count? (My jeans say no.)

Thinking... as always, about how incredibly lucky I am to be this girl's mama.

It's a shame we don't like each other. (heart eyes emoji)
Enjoying... Toddlerhood. Apparently it's even better than babyhood! I had my doubts, but now I'm a believer.

I love trying to drink out of cups! Barefoot, so Mommy can be distracted by my feet tan lines.
I run everywhere! Especially into the street! But I'm learning to play the "Freeze! Go!" game. But I only play when I'm the one calling the shots!
I'm fearless on a playground and I have no interest in anyone catching me at the bottom of the slide. I would rather add my 2,820th bruise to the collection on my legs!
Watching... not much. Either HGTV shows (on Netflix) or Gilmore Girls.

Reading... Life After Life by Kate Adkinson. It's really good and reeeeealllly long. Before this, I read Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (super cool name) and it is freaking amazing. Like, stop whatever you're doing and read it right now. And if you have a book club, this goes quadruple for you. We discussed it last weekend and it was fantastic. Even the girls that hadn't actually read the book (haha, we have liberal requirements for book club attendance...but we don't budge on bringing snacks. Mama didn't raise no fool.) were able to get into it. This is probably the most thought-provoking, terrifying (without actually being terrifying) book I've read in a long time. Since The Red Tent, I guess (although that wasn't terrifying). Anyway. Check it out.

Millie (and Mommy) would like to recommend her current favorite book, Eight Animals Bake a Cake. It's a super fun bilingual book with the BEST rhymes and pictures and a pretty fantastic Spanish tutorial to boot. Evidence: Millie can now point to vaca, gato, cerezas, pastel, la puerta, and a bunch of other stuff just because she loves listening to this book so much! Also, I think my Spanish pronunciation has gotten infinitely better in a short period of time. So like...mad props. We've had this one on loan from the library for probably...uhhh...six weeks...so we could have bought it with the amount we're going to pay in fines eventually, but I think it'll be worth it. (Also, this could have influenced my desire to bake a cake. Maybe.)

So that's life lately. I would promise to blog more often, but then I'd probably be a liar, so I won't. I can promise, though, to keep on enjoying life, taking tons of pictures and sharing them when I can, and smothering Millie with as many kisses as she can handle. And I think that's a lot more important. Til next time, friends!

PS. All of the book links are Amazon affiliate links!