Thursday, December 27, 2007

Lindsey's Photos

One of the gifts we gave Lindsey this year was a digital camera. A what? you say, how can you possibly give a 4-year-old a digital camera??

Well, it's made by Fisher Price, it's in a solid plastic casing that is intended to survive multiple drops, and there are only four buttons on it. It's made for ages 3 and older. And, in typical fashion with technology continually blowing my mind, it actually wasn't that expensive. She loves my camera, always wants to take pictures with it and look at them through the viewfinder, so it seemed natural to get her her own.

The one drawback is that the photo quality is pretty weak. We can change the setting on it to make them nicer, but then it only holds 20 photos instead of 60, and for her it's all about hearing the click and knowing she took a photo. I did, however, have to share some of the lovely photos she took on Christmas Day. She had that camera filled to 60 within an hour. I promptly downloaded them for her and I'm pretty sure it's full again and needs to be dumped once more.

So, here's Christmas Day from Lindsey's perspective.

This lovely trio of photographs was taken of a rather large gift toward the back of the tree that Lindsey kept trying to get at to open, but Wayne kept telling her not to because she was going to knock all the ornaments off the tree. We could not even get to this gift until the presents in the FRONT of the tree had been opened. So she kept getting closer and closer and taking a photo of the greatly desired present. In case you're wondering, it was a play bowling set from Aunt Michelle, which was promptly the item of delight until the next gift was opened.

This particular photo brought Lindsey a great deal of mirth, as she laughed and laughed at Marissa's oversized butt, which is clearly in need of a diaper change by the way it hangs halfway to her knees.

Here is the only record we have of the joy the aforementioned iPod brought Wayne, aka Daddy, as you see him smiling as he finally realizes that I did not buy him a sports radio, it's an iPod! Note the strewn presents in the background -- we haven't seen our floor in days.
Last note, while it took Wayne 10 minutes to figure out how to open the battery compartment and put the batteries in the camera, it took Lindsey all of 2 seconds to figure out what the buttons do.
"How do I turn it on? Oh! here it is. How do I take a picture? Oh! Here it is! Mommy, I want to see the pictures...oh never mind, I found it."
Damn I feel stupid.

Worldly Thoughts

I was awoken this morning at 6:30 am by our youngest, crying in her room. I go in and she asks for hot milk, which I give her and she promptly goes back to sleep. Which is a good thing because for the 10 minutes she was up she didn't stop crying; she clearly had awoken too early. (I'd like to do that too when I wake up too early, but I don't think my co-workers would appreciate it.)

But now I was up, and, unlike going back to bed as I usually do, I got up, put a pot of coffee on, and folded some clothes while watching The Today Show, a guilty pleasure of mine. (Those who know me know that our TV is rarely on.)

So while this sounds like doing household chores, I see it as quiet time, me time, time when I don't have to getting after someone to stop bugging the dog, give something back to your sister, don't unfold the folded clothes, frick and frack, and so on.

Suddenly there was a "Special Report" on the Today Show. In some cases this means something ridiculous; I bet if I had been watching TV the day it was announced that Britney Spears' 16-year-old sister was pregnant they'd have broken in with a "special report." I remember they broke into regular programming when the O.J. Simpson verdict was announced.

But this was special news -- Benazir Bhutto, former prime minister of Pakistan, had been assassinated in Pakistan. The air literally went out of me -- she was one who I had been watching closely in the news, hoping that she would find a way to work with Pakistani President Musharraf and bring stability and, more importantly in my mind, some level of humanity to many of the people in Pakistan who live in abject poverty. She had been the poor people's champion, even though her government was previously accused of corruption. (Her reaction had been, "How else can you get anything done in this country?")

I had thought some months ago when she returned to Pakistan after being in exile in London that she was putting herself in harm's way -- she had been killed while standing up through a moonroof in a vehicle, clearly making a target of herself. I wonder if she thought in her mind that while she may do some good while alive, she could also do some good as a martyr for a better Pakistan. But either option was preferable to living a comfortable life in London while her homeland went to hell in a handbasket. God bless her for choosing to act and not sit back and observe from afar.

I was very saddened by the news, and saddened to know that 20 people were killed along with her. I'll be praying for people in that part of the world.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Photos

This Christmas was a wonderful one, especially because Marissa finally understands the concept of presents, though she still doesn't get the hype and the fact that Santa is coming. But she did have lots of fun opening her gifts.

The entire time leading up to Christmas Lindsey never had many ideas of what she wanted from Santa for Christmas. Whenever we'd ask her she'd say "a dress" or "bones for my doggie." So Wayne and I thought about what she and Marissa might enjoy, and for the most part I think we hit the jackpot. They both truly enjoyed their toys, and spent the rest of the day playing with them all.

I have a couple of observations about the photos I took throughout the day on Christmas:
1. Multiple costume changes. They both started in their same-old pajamas, which were quickly replaced when they received the new pajamas from Grandpa Tom and Meme. This was changed once again when the matching purple dresses were unwrapped.
2. Incredible flexibility. Both Marissa and Lindsey spent many hours this day in deep knee squats, checking out toys, opening gifts, playing, and had no compliants whatsoever. I, on the other hand, needed a Tylenol and a heating pad after bending over for so long.
3. Challenging photo op. I have multiple photos of the back of Marissa's head. I have long expanses of orangish-looking wood floors. I have photos of ripped wrapping paper, jumbled boxes and scattered toys throughout my home. In other words, I have successfully captured the chaos that reigns nearly every day, but certainly at Christmas.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Now I can tell this story

I shared this one with a few people before Christmas, but now I can tell everyone else. I'll give away the ending now: Wayne had no idea I had really gotten him an iPod.

I got Wayne an iPod for Christmas. Lindsey was with me when I bought it (can't be helped sometimes) so I told her that it was a secret that Daddy was getting it and not to tell him. She got preoccupied with other things before we got home so she promptly forgot about it and never said a word.

Two weekends ago she was pretending that she was going to go to the mall. She put on her hat and mittens and her purse over her shoulder, and came up to Wayne and said, "Daddy. I am going to the mall to see Santa. What would you like for Christmas?"

Wayne said, "I would like an iPod."

Lindsey replied, "Oh! Mommy already bought one for you!"

Of course, I couldn't rush in to the room and stop this exchange or Wayne would know that truly I HAD bought him an iPod and this wasn't just Lindsey making things up. But later she came in to the kitchen and I motioned her over.

"Lindsey!" I whispered. "Why did you tell Daddy that I bought him an iPod? Remember, it's supposed to be a surprise!"

She said, "But Mommy, he wants to ask Santa for one, and I don't want him to get two!"

Some Good Christmas Moments

All in all, it was a wonderful Christmas. Some good thoughts of today:

  • Lindsey jumping up and down upon coming downstairs and seeing even more presents under the tree! (She was worried Santa wouldn't leave any when he saw all the ones that were already under the tree from relatives.)
  • Both girls jumping up and down upon receiving the largest package of plastic play food I've ever seen.
  • Two girls in matching pajamas they received as a gift as they open the rest of their gifts.
  • Marissa completely enamoured with the stuffed puppy dog, kennel and veterinarian supplies that came with it. (All play stuff, of course).
  • Lindsey methodically putting her toys into a pile so Marissa can't play with them.
  • The picture perfect snowfall that after in the afternoon as we were getting Marissa down for her nap.
  • Sledding with the girls on snow covered sidewalks around 4 pm, both girls giggling and squealing along the way.
  • Coming back in from sledding and sharing some homemade hot chocolate we had gotten as a gift.
  • Wayne singing off-key on his newly loaded iPod, figuring out all the features it has.
  • Loading up all the CDs we have onto our PC so Wayne can put them on his new iPod.
  • Playing grocery with Lindsey with her new cash register.
  • Having a dinner of divine steak with garlic bread, corn, baked potatoes and wine. And...not having the dinner ruined by a timeout or a whine-fest. Aaahhh!

Pictures to follow...

Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Confusion

Tonight we attended Christmas Eve service and then went to our friends' house down the street for a Christmas Eve get together with friends. We finally called it a night a little after 8:00, with Lindsey and Marissa both yawning and getting cranky.

As Wayne was putting Marissa's coat on, he asks her, "Marissa, do you know who's coming to our house tonight?"

Marissa says with no hesitation "Fosty the No-man."

Lindsey chimes in, "And Rudolph!"

Excellent. We've taught our children well.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Okay, so maybe sometimes she IS Italian...

Last night I asked Marissa to wash her hands before dinner. As she got up on the stool she said

"I washa-hands."

Buon Appetito!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

This is me as we try to leave the house in the morning

Marissa's Evolving Language Skills

I remember when Lindsey was about the age Marissa is now she went through a period in her speech in which she sounded like a little Italian girl:

"I-a wanna go-a park."

"Dinna dinna! Pasta pasta!" (Even the subject matter was Italian.)

"Whatsa gonna eats?"

Marissa is going through a stage herself, though slightly differently, of course.

She drops the "s" in front of words that start with an "s." So in my previous post, "mell" is "smells." We also hear "tinky" and "tool" frequently. ("Tool" not actually meaning a "tool" -- think about it.) My favorite? "Nuggle." Awwww...

She also is going through a stage of putting an "e" sound at the end of words. Lindsey used the "a" sounds, giving her the Italian accent, Marissa does the "e."

Her favorite word right now is "Uppy! Uppy!" said with arms outreached, waiting for you to pick her up. When she's cold she shivers and says, "Coldy."

Other favorite phrases right now:

"Daddy watch!"

"I too! I too!"

"Sassa do."

"No Dax no!" followed by "Down dax down!" as he tries to get on her booster chair to eat what she's dropped.

She sometimes wakes up at some ungodly hour in the morning, between 4 and 5. Usually you know she'll go right back down when you walk in her room and she says, "Hot miwk." But you are in trouble if she looks at you with mischief in her eyes, honey in her voice and utters these words:

"I pay?"

Put the coffee on, you're up for good.

My Mother's Words

It happens to everyone at some point; finally you find yourself saying things your mother said when you were growing up.

It all came together for me this morning, when everyone was done with breakfast and left the breakfast table. Every dish was left on the table -- every one. Granted, Marissa's only two, but the example set by her daddy was, "Just leave the table, Mommy will clean it all up."

"Okay!" I called out in my authoritative mom voice, "Everyone come back to the table, pick up your dishes and put them in the kitchen. I am not your maid!"

Good heavens, the "I am not your maid" line, I can't believe I just uttered it. It did get the desired results, though -- everyone got up, picked up their dishes and put them in the kitchen.

Even Marissa.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas Preparations

You can just hear how this goes, right?

"What'd these lights get so tangled?!"

But then it all comes together and we have a lovely tree!

Our Funny Girl

Without a doubt, Marissa makes us laugh all the time with her little antics. (By the way, don't you love her eyes in this photo?? I had to edit out some snot under her nose, though.)

This morning I had to run a few errands and decided to take Marissa with me. Usually Lindsey gets to go because she's older and a bit better behaved, but since it was just me and just one kid, I figured Marissa could go along, she's got to learn eventually not to touch every breakable thing in a store.

She and I went to the post office to mail a package and she had everyone in line smiling, she was just so happy to be in line! She was giggling and making little happy exclamations for no apparent reason. Wow! 'Tis the season, but for her "tis the season" is 12 months out of the year.

Then we went to a consignment shop to see if they would sell a coat for me. As we were leaving the store Marissa says to me, "No go home." So we hit one more store nearby, just for fun.

The name of the store was "Shop in the City," a little eclectic boutique of all kinds of things -- really expensive local designers ($78 for a silk shirt that I would sweat through in 2 minutes??) to stationery products, soaps, lotions, books, handbags and purses and all kinds of things. They had a car air freshener there that smells like "cat butt" and is a cartoon of a cat...from behind. Right next to that $78 silk shirt.

So at any rate, we're going through this store and Marissa is enamored with the Vera Bradley bags. She pulls five of them out and counts them - "one...three...four...five!" Then she says, "I put back" and she meticulously puts all five of them back. She mistakenly brushes up against one or two strangers thinking they are me and doesn't seem to care. That's the same kind of thing that used to send Lindsey scurrying in shyness to me at that same age -- Marissa's attitude seemed to be, "So I touched your coat; deal with it, I'm a kid."

Finally I decide we've checked out this store long enough and we need to go home. Marissa apparently disagrees as she runs from me and hides in a little nook with all of these very expensive clothes. I make my way to her, and then find the reason why she wanted a little corner.

"Poop in pants," she says to me.

I say, "Marissa, did you just poop in your pants??"

She breathes in through her nose very deeply, then says, "Mells good."

So we get her mittens on and off we go, back home to change. Once we get home she announces to Wayne, "I poop in pants -- mells good!"

Not sure where she got this one, apparently her own poop smells good to her. Ugh.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Thought I'd finally post a couple of photos -- 'tis the season (3 weeks to Christmas) which means I'm busy AND tired, so I'm not often staying up late to blog like I usually do.
First photo is of the girls with Lindsey's neighborhood friend, Jamie. Jamie came over one evening to play, and there was a Christmas special on TV. So the three of them got snuggled under a blanket and were transfixed by the television. (I believe it was a Charlie Brown special).
The next photo was taken on December 1st, after we'd gotten several inches of snow. Around 5:00 we headed out since the streets had been plowed through at least once and took them sledding. It was so beautiful and peaceful like new snow can be, with very little traffic as no one wanted to head out in it, so we took them right down the middle of the streets.

Animal Sounds

I love Sandra Boynton books. For those of you unfamiliar with her work, she has a quirky, whimsical sense of humor and her books are a delight for the infant/toddler set.

The other night I was reading a book of hers called "Moo Baa La la la!" to Marissa. Here's how it goes:

A cow says moo.
A sheep says baa.
Three singing pigs say "La La La!"
No no, you say, that isn't right, the pigs say "oink" all day and night!

I read this to Marissa one night as she pondered her sippy cup (no more bottles!) of milk:

Me: "A cow says...?? Marissa, what does a cow say?"

Marissa: Silence.

Me: "A cow says moo (turn page), A sheep says...Marissa what does a sheep say?"

Marissa: Chewing thoughtfully on sippy cup.

Me: "A sheep says baa. Three singing pigs say..."

Marissa: [at the top of her lungs] "LA LA LA!!!!!!"

We had to stop I was laughing so hard.