Thursday, August 18, 2011

Her First Pet

Valerie watched intently as her cousin threw 30 or 40 ping pong balls at the little bowls, trying to win a fish. She watched wide-eyed as the man handed her cousin a plastic bag with a little, glittering goldfish swimming around at the bottom.

And then, before I could usher her away, the man looked at her, smiled, and said, "I don't know where you came from, but you can have one, too."

She walked towards me, beaming, carrying her prize. Then she dropped the bag.

The fish survived the fall (and the next one, when her heartbroken pleas convinced me to give her another chance at carrying it).

"It's a girl fish, Mama! Her name is Fishy!"

And in the midst of her rejoicing, all I could think was, great, now I need to buy a fish bowl, fish food, a little net, and in ten days or so, I'm probably going to have to have an uncomfortable conversation about mortality.

Thanks a lot, Carnival Guy, for the "free" fish.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

HADA - Days 9 through 11

I'm still not doing great on HADA, but I'm not giving up yet. Today has been the best day so far this week, which is rather hard to believe, because I'm in a bit of a grouchy mood today. We canceled play date plans in order to focus on potty training, and potty training has been going extremely well today, but stay-at-home days tend to be stir crazy, "drive each other up the wall" days. I just hope the potty results are long-term, which will make the sacrifice worth it.

I've also done a few things that weren't time consuming, but fit into the "meaning to do for a while" category. I resurrected my kefir grains, and we have had delicious fresh kefir smoothies for breakfast the last two mornings. It doesn't take much time to culture kefir, but you do have to pay attention to it at least once a day, and it tends to become just one more thing to forget about.

Aug. 9: Nothing really. Potty training, laundry.
Aug. 10: Beach day with friends who will be moving across the country next month.
Aug. 11: Caught up on Dorothy's birthday letters, caught up (almost) on dishes.

We're going out of town next week, so I'm not sure what I'll do with HADA then. I have some diapers I have been hoping to repair, and a book I need to read for LLL (and a testimonial to write for LLL as well), so maybe I will focus on those things while I'm gone. Maybe I'll even crochet something cute for the newest second cousin who will be arriving any day now!

Dorothy has a stuffy nose, so she hasn't been sleeping well at night, and as a result, I haven't been sleeping well at night. I'm feeling pretty drained, but I'm still hoping for at least one more good, productive day before we leave for the fair on Saturday. Wish me luck!

Nine Months Old!


Dear Dorothy,

You are nine months old, now!

This month was kind of a blur. It feels like I was just writing your eight month letter a few minutes ago. This one is going to be mostly point form, baby book style. Maybe someday I will write quality monthly letters again.

June 22: Tooth number two made its appearance.

June 24-26: First camping trip.


June 28: Signed "milk".

July 3-6: Mystery fever with no other symptoms.

July 4: First fireworks.

July 13-21: YARR Camping Trip!


I love you very much. I can hardly believe you're nine months old already. And yet it seems like you've always been part of our family. You are such a blessing and a joy.



Eight Months Old!


Dear Dorothy,

You are eight months old, now!

Someday, you'll look back and read these letters, and I'll wish I hadn't apologized for writing them all late, because otherwise you'd never know. So, yeah, today is TOTALLY June 20th.

This month was an eventful one for you in the milestone department. On May 29, you did your first real hands-and-knees crawl across the room to get to a stuffed monkey.

On June 3, your first tooth started to break through. Several times throughout the day, you would spontaneously burst into tears, which broke my heart, because you are normally the world's happiest baby. I couldn't really get a picture of it, though, because your new favorite thing to do is to stick your tongue out to feel your new tooth.


One June 5, you pulled yourself up to a sitting position, and, at some point around the time you started crawling, you also started pulling up on things. So, basically, you are fully mobile, now, and you get into EVERYTHING. You also fall down and bump your head a lot, but you're pretty resilient.

2011-06-08 17.54.06

This month, we took a road trip to Buffalo for my cousin's wedding. (More about the road trip here: June Road Trip Photo Post.)


We also visited with my friend Nicole, who has 6 kids (one of whom is only 2 days younger than you).


Right after we got back from our road trip, the Kings came to visit us, and we went to the zoo together.


And that was our crazy whirlwind month. Here we are, JUNE 20th, and you're a month bigger, a month more mobile, a month more food-eating-fiend, and a month more adorable. I love you, my little Dody Doe!



Tuesday, August 09, 2011

HADA - The First Eight Days

I guess I thought that telling the internet I was going to do Hour-a-Day August would make it somehow actually happen. I guess I thought wrong.

We spent the whole day out of the house on July 31 - church in the morning, followed by a wedding and reception (with me behind the camera). My mom came to visit on August 1 and I was too worn out to even tidy up before she got here. I did manage to clear a path to pull out the hide-a-bed, and that was about it.

My mom helped out a ton while she was here, and by the end of the week, the post-camping fall-out was mostly put in order. I moved the last of the camping gear to the basement, trudged my way through laundry (which still isn't caught up, and mostly still needs to be put away), and (mostly thanks to my mom) the nasty backlog of dishes was caught up. But, in spite of this progress, I don't feel like very many of those things count for HADA, because they are all daily maintenance tasks that I should have done anyhow.

Tuesday we took my mom to the beach, and Thursday we took my mom and my cousin and her son to the zoo. I'm totally counting those things for HADA, because we don't get to the beach often enough, and because I've been talking about going to the zoo with my cousin for months. But it's still kinda cheating, because it wasn't overtly productive.


Wednesday, I sent my mom and the kids to the backyard for a while and thoroughly mopped the kitchen. Then we loaded up my hallway full of "donate" boxes and took them to Goodwill. So, Wednesday was a total HADA win, because I managed to put in my hour, AND I managed to finish one of my unfinished HADA (April) projects.

Friday was Valerie's birthday, and we had a little party at the park with some friends. Birthdays happen only once a year, so I think an extra day off is more than fair.

One day, I don't remember which, I dumped out the craft supply box and organized it. I forgot to look at the time, but it was probably about half an hour.

Saturday we had a family party for Valerie's birthday, and (per her request) I made her a volcano cake. It turned out okay, but I hope she asks for a volcano cake again next year, because I have many ideas for how to make it better.

Sunday after church, we went out for dinner with my mom and my in-laws, and said goodbye to my mom.

Monday, I threw in the towel and did nothing all day. Except that my "nothing" included not putting a diaper on Valerie, so it actually ended up being an unplanned potty training day. (And a very successful first day of potty training, I might add.) Since potty training is something I have been putting off for a long time, I think that counts for HADA, too.

Okay, so maybe my record for the first 8 days wasn't quite as bad as I originally thought. Here's the tally:

Aug. 1: Day off
Aug. 2: Went to the beach - 7 hours
Aug. 3: Mopped and donated stuff - about 2 hours
Aug. 4: Went to the zoo - 6 hours, organized craft supplies - about 1/2 hour
Aug. 5: Bonus day off for Valerie's birthday
Aug. 6: Made a cake that looked like a volcano - about an hour
Aug. 7: Day off
Aug. 8: Started potty training - all day

So far I haven't managed to get much done today, although we did make it to the La Leche League meeting almost on time today. I'll post later if I manage to squeeze in a proper HADA hour.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Surreal Mama Moment

Every morning, when Valerie wakes up, she opens her door and calls for me from the doorway. Click of door handle, creak of door, "Mama!" I listen for this as my morning ritual.

This morning, after putting Dorothy down for an early morning nap, I heard the familiar, "Mama!" call, but not the preceding door noises. I wondered why she had called to me before opening the door. And how did I hear her so clearly through the closed door?

Just as I was about to open her closed door to see what was wrong, I heard Dorothy crawling around in my bed. Awake from her nap after only ten minutes. She can say "Mama" so clearly now, that I mistook it for her sister!

Nine months old and already messing with Mama's head. I'm doomed when they learn to conspire!