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!