Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Birthday Party sidebar

We didn't make a huge deal of Marissa's birthday, we just invited two families over for ice cream cake Friday evening.

For once, we were ready long before the guests should arrive. (This means we had an extra 10 minutes before the party was supposed to start.) Therefore I took the liberty of putting on the "Cars" CD, which begins with a fabulous track by Sheryl Crowe, "Long Gone."

Much to my chagrin, our neighbors were early and caught me and my two daughters jumping and dancing like nobody was looking...with everyone looking.

So my new motto like there's no tomorrow!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

How Marissa spent her birthday

Playing with new toys (a lawnmower, in this case)Petting goats at the Minnesota Zoo.

Goofing off at the zoo, too!

Eating her cake! I had an angel put on it because she so is not.

Marissa's Birthday

Our youngest offspring turned two yesterday. It seems hard to believe to us, even though she's been saying "two" and gesturing with two fingers when you ask her how old she is for some time now.

I realized that I never really settled in to telling people that she was "one." It sounds odd, but when kids are between 1 and 2, whether they are closer to 1 or 2 makes a huge difference in their learning, their communication, their size, etc. So when people would ask how old she was, I would usually reply in months, much to many non-parents' chagrin.

"She's 14 months." [Non-parent's mental calculator: 1 yr and 2 mos old]

"She's 18 months." [Non-parent's mental calculator: 1 and a half years old]

"She's 22 months." [Non-parent's mental calculator: she'll be two in two months]

Finally...she's two! And I missed my opportunity to tell people she was "one." Not that they'd believe me.

Because she doesn't look two, she looks three. She is about the same height as a few 3-year-olds we know. She towers over most of her classmates and she's a bit of an oaf. She can knock her classmates down with her normal play, much less when she gets mad at them for taking a toy.

She's got more and more words and sentences all the time. She says each of our names, and we've been working on getting her to say her own for a while. Finally, today, she was talking about something that belonged to her and she said, "Sasissa's book."

Sasissa, now there's a name we hadn't thought of! But obviously so much easier for her to say!

She asks for all kinds of things now, she has a distinctive idea of what her bedtime routine should consist of. I should get her out of the bath, dry her off, get her changed, read her a book, and then she wants to wander off to find Daddy. "Daddy! Book!" she'll yell for him. Then after a book from Daddy she wants to say good-night to Lindsey. This evening that meant a trip back into the bathroom where Lindsey was finishing up a bath.

"Nigh nigh, Dinzee!" Marissa said, and blew her a kiss.

Then back to her room, where she wanted to be put in her bed with her books. We could hear her read them for a while, then she was out.
We found this absolutely incredible, considering that she had a four-hour nap today, lasting from just before 1 pm to 4:45 pm. And she went to bed, all on her own, at a little after 8:00, her normal bedtime.

It's tiring being two!

An Addendum to a Previous Rant

Click on the title of this post for a link to an interesting news article about the rise in infant and children deaths by means of hyperthermia -- mostly by being left in vehicles by their doting parents.

Statisticians have found a direct correlation between the law that passed in 1995 requiring that children ride in the backseat, for their own safety, mind you, and the incidents of children being left in cars.

Out of sight, out of mind, apparently. And they are right, some days I think, "There but for the grace of God go I."

This is a Strange Country

Remember the good ol’ days, when a football player could murder his ex-wife and a complete stranger, but still get off scot-free? Nowadays, some quarterback kills a couple dogs, and they won’t even let him show up for work.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Here's what I don't get...

I came across a news story today about an 11-mo old boy who died after his dad "forgot" to drop him off at daycare and he spent the day in a hot car. Here's what I don't get:

1. A newborn...maybe. You're a new parent, the whole dropping off thing is new to you, they don't make any noise and are facing the other way so you can't see them. Maybe. Possibly. But this is an 11-month old who probably babbles. And drops toys. And giggles. And maybe you're listening to some crappy Wiggles CD or singing along to "The Wheels on the Bus" as you're going to work because you're a parent and you have a child. And you've been doing this every day long?

2. The boy was found at 3:30 pm when the daycare called the mom at work to ask if the boy wasn't coming in that day. Hey, how about realizing at 9 am that he hadn't been dropped off and calling then?

Our center has a policy that if your normal hours have you dropping your child off by 9 in the morning and you haven't done so yet, that you call the school to let them know the children aren't coming. If they aren't there, they are supposed to call YOU, the parent, to ensure that they were not supposed to be in that day.

3. Apparently around 36 children every year die by being left in vehicles by their parents. It almost always makes the news, especially in this kind of summer heat, and every time it sickens me inside. So if this is the 10th child killed this year, that means that 26 more times this year some parent somewhere will forget that they once heard about other children dying in this manner and will either intentionally or unintentionally leave their children in their cars.

I'm going to go give my girls hugs now. I don't care that they're sleeping.

Mirror mirror on the wall...

Over the weekend Lindsey received a vanity table that came from great-Grandma Dolaskie's house (it's either originally hers or Aunt Lu's, we're not quite sure). But it wasn't being used, the offer was made if Lindsey would like it in her room, so my parents brought it up when they came to visit over the weekend.

The two girls promptly sat down at it and started messing around. It's been at our house almost a week now, they both still sit at it and brush their hair, play with brushes, etc.

Some day I plan to clean the glass...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Genuine Smile

I have a hard time getting good photos of Marissa. She is often concentrating very hard, her eyebrows furrowed and her lips pursed. Or, she is scowling at the fact that I am trying to get a picture of her.

But this one is a genuine smile. She was putting her pacifier in the water in the little fountain at Grandma's house, I happened to catch her as she smiled at me about the whole affair.

She can be pretty cute, I think we'll keep her.

Pee pee on the potty!

Last night as I took Marissa out of the bath and set her on the rug, she said, "Uh-oh!!" Now usually this means look for the stream, she's peeing.

However, this time, she started reaching for the little toilet insert that we put on the toilet seat so she and Lindsey can sit comfortably on the toilet without fear of falling in. So I quickly grabbed her little potty seat, put it on the toilet and set her on it.

Sure enough, she went pee pee on the potty! We were so proud of her, we clapped and clapped and she grinned proudly. Perhaps this is a start of good things...but based on our experience w/Lindsey, I won't get my hopes up.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

North for da Fourth

Now that I'm back in the swing of things, I can write about Marissa and my trip to the U.P. to visit our fam.

First, it was wonderful to have time together just Marissa and I. She is so often drowned out by her older and more verbal sister, it was wonderful to get to know her better. And, as I expected, I discovered that she says many more words than we realized. She asks for milk by saying something that sounds like "Mach" (as in Mach 1), and shakes her head or nods emphatically to various questions. She was pretty much an angel the entire trip, thanks to getting more attention than she's ever had since infancy.

We arrived in Marquette only to find it isn't really Marquette, it's a small town called Gwynn about half an hour south of Marquette. My cousin Yvette came and picked us up and we found a little place to grab a bite to eat. Then out to Grandma's house on Dana Lake!

We arrived around 9 pm, just as the sun was going down. It's amazing how much the small adjustment north in latitude changes the light in the evening. Between the time change and the light, Marissa rarely made it to bed by 10 pm. My sister Kristi arrived about half an hour after I did, and we tried to settle down for the night.

The next day was the Fourth of July, and we met my dad, stepmom, Aunt Carol and Uncle Chap out at their home and then went in town for the parade. The parade was lots of fun -- Marissa was shushing the noisy fire engines and police sirens by putting her finger up to her lips and going "Ssshhhh!" Overall she did quite well and lasted throughout the parade.

I, on the other hand, was having a hell of a time keeping it together, battling a cold which was working its way towards a sinus infection. We ended up having to stop in town before heading back out to get some cold medicine, nasal spray, etc. It's a good thing I brought my large "mom" purse because it was constantly stuffed with large wads of Kleenex. Ugh!

We headed back to Carol's for a nap -- I took one, Marissa didn't. Whatever; she was occupied by relatives. Then we had an amazing traditional dinner -- hamburgers and brats on the grill, homemade potato salad, baked beans and cole slaw. The word "homemade" belonged in front of each of those things -- wow, was it good!

The next day Kristi and I spent the morning at Dana with Grandma - we enjoyed dipping our toes in the water, watching a loon cross the lake, and taking a pontoon boat ride around. It sure is a beautiful place, one filled with lots of memories. It holds a lifetime of memories for me, I can't imagine what it's like when it holds a lifetime of memories for my grandma! The weather was perfect.

We then went in for the afternoon and headed out to Miner's Beach with Dad and Terry. You would think by the use of the word "beach" that Kristi and I would know how to pack. But no, it was Lake Superior, we didn't think there would be a beach nice enough for us to want to dip in, and besides, the water's cold, right?? Yeah. We were well prepared, both of us in t-shirt and capris, no swimsuits, no towels, we're real geniuses. Thankfully Marissa wasn't interested in being in the cold water, since I didn't bring HER swimsuit, but she did enjoy digging around in the sand. Oh yeah, we left the bucket and shovel back at Grandma's too. Yep, genius once again.

Regardless, we had a wonderful time soaking up the sun, letting them dry out my sinuses, and then had a picnic up above the beach at a little picnic area. At least one of us was prepared -- Dad and Terry were all ready to go with food, beverages and condiments.

The next day was my last, and we took Grandma out for lunch at the DogPatch, a local favorite of ours in Munising. Then Kristi drove me out to Marquette and I got to see Yvette's beautiful house -- a 1895 original, being carefully restored by Yvette. It is a wonderful house, I love seeing these old places get transformed. Then Marissa and I got on a plane and were back in the Cities ahead of schedule.

We sure had a wonderful time, despite my miserable cold/sinus infection. It was wonderful seeing all of our extended family.

It took me some time to download all of my photos -- most of you should have gotten an invitation to a KodakGallery photo album by now to see them. My photos turned out so wonderful that Wayne is now planning a vacation for the four of us to make it back up next summer, hopefully for a longer period of time. Wouldn't that be awesome!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

More Photos from the U.P.

Sunset over Lake Superior, Miner's Beach.
Dad enjoying the view of the lake, during our picnic on the 5th.

Wow, doesn't Grandma look good??

Marissa playing on the beach at Dana.

Kristi and Marissa checking out the minnows.
Marissa's toes in the sand. Looks so much like a photo of Lindsey's toes in Gull Lake, at the age of 2!

Monday, July 09, 2007

One photo from our vacation

I took around 90 photos over the course of my trip. But since I've only got a couple of minutes because I need to go to bed before getting up for my 7 am flight tomorrow, I could only upload one.

I could not resist this one. How sweet!

What a Fourth it was!

For once we took separate vacations to celebrate the fourth. Well, Marissa and I took a vacation; Lindsey and Wayne stayed at home.

Marissa and I headed north to Upper Michigan to spend time with my dad's side of the family and my maternal grandmother. Lindsey and Wayne stayed back home to enjoy the Edina parade, the pool and the local fireworks.

Our PC at home crashed so I can't upload photos as of yet, but I can just say that a good time was had by all. It was difficult to come back, and even more difficult to step into the office this morning.

I will write more and upload photos as soon as I can, but I just wanted to drop a note so that people know what we've been up to. Oh what fun we had!