Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I am so so so behind in my blogging! We have been busy having fun with friends and family and of course lots of new toys from Santa. Then after the gift extravaganza, we have been shopping our brains out! I have never in my life seen Bill shop with so much gusto. He usually acts like he is allergic to the mall, and has about a 2h time limit, but he loves a deal and deals there were this year. So shopping at Costco or an outlet mall is something he can tolerate. We went to the outlet mall on the day after Christmas and he literally bought a years worth of work clothes at fantastic prices. I am getting a little ahead of myself.

Back to Christmas. This year was fantastic, the best ever since Lana totally GOT it! She was so excited the night she asked, "Mama, is Santa coming tonight?" and I said, "YES HE IS!!!" We left Santa a plate of cookies (thank you auntie Rumi for the awesome recipe) and a carrot for the reindeer, along with a note that Lana dictated :"Dear Santa, I am a good girl. Merry Christmas. Thank you." Christmas morning she asked, "Mama, is it Christmas?" "Yes, baby, it is!" We woke up Baba and Grandma Dianne . They rushed downstairs to turn on the lights on the tree and got their cameras ready. Lana came downstairs to her new dollhouse (which is pretty awesome, I might add) and looked SO confused. She was thrilled that the furniture in the dollhouse moved around b/c in toystores they generally have the furniture glued down so it doesn't disappear. We opened gifts for an eternity and finally decided to save some books and coloring books for a rainy day--she was totally overwhelmed with so many new things. Its not that we even bought her too much . But every family member and close friend sent her a few things which added up and then it just got to be out of control. Anyway, she was so excited and loved that Santa left her an orange in her stocking and despite the candy cane consumption, she took a monster nap after all that excitement.

Later Bill's parents came over for dinner. I made a fantastic turkey recipe with pancetta and I don't even like turkey all that much. It was a perfect day. So perfect that it even snowed--big fat Christmas snowflakes. I will leave my thoughts about the snow for another post, once I get my photos unloaded, but suffice it to say that we got a lot of snow--too much really and I am glad its gone. But it was festive, if nothing else.

So that was Christmas in a nutshell. Here is Lana's photo for our Christmas card. I am hoping to catch up with blogging once things get back to normal. I send my best wishes to you all for a Happy New Year and I hope that 2009 is filled with happiness, peace and love, from our house to yours!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Are we there yet?

Now that we have this sleeping thing pretty much down, Lana knows the routine:
3 books,
2 songs,
lights out, ceiling fans and classical music on,
Big hug, kiss and squeeze
"goodnight Lana, see you in the morning"

Sometimes she tries to stall with,
"Mama, I got a question.."
"what is it, baby?"
"ummm, there is my play kitchen, my blocks, my books"
"that's not a question, now go to sleep" and I walk out.

Last night, she says,
"Mama, I got a question..."
"what is it baby?"
"Is Santa coming tonight?"
"nope, not till Wednesday night"
"what day is it now?"
"Saturday, we have 4 more days"
"only 4? That's not too bad" Then she smiles and rolls over, content as can be.

She is just getting cuter by the minute.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Unintended blogging break

Whoa, its been a while since my last post. I think of new things to blog about often, but I just have not had much time lately to sit down and type. I think its the holidays, coupled with the fact that during my downtime I have my mom to sit and chat with over a cup of coffee. Which, by the way, I love.

So this post will be a sort of hodge-podge of goings on here in our household.

Mom has been here a couple of weeks now and all is well. We chat all day long and watch girly tv during Lana's naps. My mom has been keeping my house all neat and clean even though I tell her to stop and sit down, but I am not complaining at all. She has even taught Lana how to pick up her toys which is something I have never been able to accomplish. We have also been Christmas shopping and errand running, well we were doing all of that until the storm hit.

We got a monster snow storm--about 4 inches of snow, which promptly turned into ice. 4 inches is not a lot of course, but it is if there are no snow plows or salt trucks! Holy hell, this town is incapacitated--schools have been closed all week and driving is like ice skating. I read in the paper that it hasn't been this cold in 10-20 years! My poor mom feels like she brought the cold weather from Buffalo. Lana is enjoying playing in the snow, making snow angels and just digging in it with her shovel from her sandbox. We spent a totally festive and fun day at my friend Jamie's house. She made cutout cookies and let the kids decorate them. Lana decorated 2 cookies and then started eating them. After we went sledding in their front yard. We all had so much fun, especially my mom.

Since then, we have pretty much been stuck in the house. Lana doesn't dig being at home for extended periods of time--she gets bored easily, so she has been whiny, which drives me bonkers! We made it to the Children's Museum today which helped burn off some steam.

All in all, we are doing well, despite feeling a little cooped up. It is so nice to have mom here. I hope her job search picks up after the holidays although as we are all too well aware of, this is clearly not the ideal time for job hunting. One funny thing that has been happening to my mom is that everywhere we go, random people have been commenting on how beautiful my mom is! Its happened more than once now and my mom is like, "Wow, people here are SO friendly!"

Update on the sleep issues we have been having: We finally just did CIO with Lana and it was so worth it! I was really resistant b/c when we tried before it was a disaster--she got out of bed and was rattling the gates and screaming like a banshee. This time, she stayed in her bed and screamed like a banshee. The difference was this time she only did that for ONE night. Okay, that one night was 30 minutes of pure hell for me, but it was only ONE night! The next night was 5 min and then it was 2 yells and that's it. To quote the Little Einsteins, "I cannot believe it!" My kid never does anything by the books. When we did CIO when she was an infant, it took like a month at least. Anyway, I write this not to brag b/c believe me, I have nothing to brag about--I have been doing all sorts of wacky things to get this kid to sleep for the past 9 months or so, but just in case anyone who reads this is wondering whether CIO would work on a toddler and they are just so frustrated with all the song and dance associated with getting their kid to "stop talking, put your head on the pillow and close your eyes before I lose my mind and start yelling". But it feels good to have made some progress on that front.

So that's it, my hodge-podge of a post.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The phase I have been dreading

Lana has recently formed the same response to the following statements:
Eat your dinner
Put on your shoes
Let's go potty
Grandma is resting
Baba is working
Brush your teeth
Your friend Alyson is sick
Pick out three books

Her response...WHY?

Not just a little curious "why?" Nope. Its an incessant string of WHY?WHY? WHY? Holy hell, I am losing my mind. After my third creative response to "WHY", you better believe I am saying, "because I said so" Oh jeez, I have really lost it now.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Getting ready for my mom

My mom is moving here in 2 days! When I say "here", I mean it literally, she is moving into our guest bedroom. She is looking for a job and already has an interview, which is pretty impressive given the state of the economy and joblessness. When she finds something stable we will help her find her own apartment, ideally somewhere close to both work and us, or maybe somewhere in between the two. I cannot express how happy I am to have her close, to have Lana grow up with her and for me to enjoy the relationship that I have always had with my mom.

I am cleaning/organizing as much as I can with a 2.5 year old in preparation. My mom is very organized and meticulously clean. I did not inherit these traits, but I don't want her to have a seizure when she walks into my house and sees the clutter, layers of dust and sheer disorganization, so I am trying to at least try.

My mom has never moved out of her hometown, so this is a HUGE move for her. She has only visited Seattle for one week in the middle of winter where it rained incessantly. Having moved myself so freakin many times, I know that when you first get to your new home, its weird. You don't know where you are going, where the grocery stores are, where the best place to get gas is, etc. It just feels uncomfortable for the first 6 months or so. I want to make the transition for mom a little easier and I will try to get her oriented with the layout of the land as best as I can. I also really want to have a festive holiday season this year. I want to take Lana to see Santa. I want to bake cookies, hang lights, decorate the tree, listen to holiday music. My mom has had a bunch of crappy Christmases so I want this one to be different.

Its not going to be all smooth sailing for her or for us as a family, I am sure. Living with another whole generation is a huge adjustment for all. Bill won't be able to walk around in his boxers, he will be eating a whole lot more salad than he would like to and we are going to have to get creative about TTC quietly (the whole concept of that totally weirds me out). But I know this is a great adventure and new start for my mom and this will be a new beginning for our family.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Maybe I am wrong

My previous post about how Lana is such a stubborn, slow to transition kid was a tad bit whiny, I know. I think Lana is trying to prove me wrong--no not about the sleeping thing, she is still Miss Stubborn about that, but she has been making some serious forward movement with the potty with very little pressure from me. Bribes, yes, pressure no. M&Ms for pee and the coveted "licks" Tootsie Pops for poo. I realize many kids at 2.5 are already potty trained and a bunch are not even interested and its all good, either way. Lana has been peeing on the potty for a while now, but very inconsistently, probably b/c if she is wearing a diaper or Pull-Up she will just go in it. If she is nude or in panties, she will ask to go or just go in the potty by herself. The big holdup has been that she will not poo in the potty b/c she says its scared even though she looks at the Tootsie Pops, unwraps them, smells them and says, "These are for poo poo in potty". The other issue is that she will only go on the little Bjorn potty, not the big potty, which pretty much means we are not going in any public bathroom, unless I find a way to fashionably turn a Bjorn potty into a purse. Just this week, as I am complaining away about sleep and sippy cups, she told me she wants to wear panties at night. I agreed, but I pulled out spare sheets and jammies, just in case I had to do a middle of the night change. She did great--stayed dry all night, peed in the little potty in the AM. She has been doing this for about a week with no accidents! Then just today she climbed up on the big potty (we have a cushy ring thingy for her) and she peed--twice! And the first one was when Bill was home so we did a huge happy dance of congratulations. It was very exciting. Okay, that sounds weird, to be so excited about potty training, but like I said it came during a week where I was feeling like every transition was a battle, Lana totally surprised me.

To update you all on the sleep issue (I know, the excitement never ends). We got a CD player in her room and the new routine is 3 books, 2 songs for me to sing. Then lights out, CD of classical music on and I leave the door open while I sit in the hallway where she can see me. No talking, no requests. She has been doing pretty great at getting to sleep by herself, although when the lights first go out, she tries every request in the world, "Mommy, I got a BIG problem", "Mommy, I dropped something" "Mommy sing one more song". I just say nothing. I think its progress in that she is getting to sleep by herself, and there is no crazed screaming. But I am still killing a lot of my time sitting outside her door. In a few days I hope to not be sitting outside the door, but I suspect there will be a good amount of protest. Hey, at least the potty training seems to be going well.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Slow transitions

Lana has always been not too thrilled with change. When we tried to transition her from bottles to sippy cups, it was a battle. She was so stubborn and dehydrated b/c she was going to prove to me that she would drink from a bottle or not at all. She is still so picky about sippy cups--she will only drink from the straw ones, no spouts.

Now we are embattled in sleep training, part II. Part I occurred when she was about 3-4 months old and we did CIO. It worked, but not in a week, like all the books said. It was more like a month or two, or something like that--I didn't blog back then, so I have no data except my foggy memory. When we transitioned Lana from the crib to the "big girl bed", she decided she did not dig sleeping by herself anymore and I made a HUGE mistake to lay down in the bed with her. Now I am screwed. I spend a large amount of time singing songs, reading one more book, holding hands, scratching backs. Its ridiculous. I never should have done it in the first place and now, months later, I am still here laying next to her wishing I could just give her a kiss and get out of there so I can maybe watch some tv or hang with Bill. Plus, I really hate cosleeping--she is a kicker and her bed is not as comfy as mine, plus I miss sleeping with my husband. A month ago, I told her that she is a big girl, big girls sleep by themselves, etc. and I lay on the floor next to her bed instead of in the bed. It went pretty well, so I moved outside of her room and lay in the hallway, where she could still see me. Then she got a cold and I was back in the bed with her giving comfort so we could all sleep. Then we traveled back east, so essentially I was back to square one. Now I am back to laying down in the hallway. I know so many kids who just get the big bed and climb right in, no problemo. They get the sippy cup and fine--no biggie. But not Lana. Bill thinks we should CIO again. We tried tonight and it lasted 2 minutes before she completely lost her mind (and her voice) and I ended up on the floor again in the hallway. My plan is that hopefully at some point she won't care if I am in the hall or not, but knowing her it won't happen--she will always be looking for me and we will have to CIO anyway. Please don't hammer me about CIO being evil and will ruin her, etc. I have heard it all before. Its not my favorite approach, but if the gentler approaches don't work, I have no other choices. This kid is never going to get a sibling if I am sleeping with her all the time, plus its just not good for our marriage. If you made it to the end of this post, thanks, I know its long and rambly, but I am feeling quite frustrated. There is nothing like a slow transitioner to make you feel inadequate. I just so miss the days where I could plop her in the crib and walk out.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

There are no good people left in the world

I am in a bad mood. We had a travel day from hell yesterday. We returned from VA (a great visit with my dad, but that will be another post) and all I can say is that we are alive and healthy, which is a lot to be grateful for. But still it was a freakin miserable day and it had nothing to do with traveling with a toddler. Lana, in fact, was wonderful--she rolled with the punches and her behavior was nothing short of stellar. I swear to you, after many painful flights with her as an infant filled with nonstop screaming and me sweating with embarrassment and apologies, I never thought I would write the previous sentence!

So this is what happened. Our flight from Richmond to Chicago was delayed oh, about 6 hours due to a broken plane. If we waited, we would never make our connection and we would probably still be in Chicago, in a hotel. So we quickly boarded a different plane headed for Dallas, where we could catch a connection back to Seattle. This added about 2h to our already long itinerary, but hey--at least we made it onto a non-broken plane. So we finally get to Seattle and it feels like about 11pm, even though it was only 8pm PST. We gather our bags and I check 3 times the seat pockets in front of us to make sure we have everything. We then stop at Customer Service b/c our suitcase did not make it onto our plane and was likely somewhere in Chicago. Then I freakin realize I left a little backpack on the plane. I NEVER EVER carry anything else other than my big ol diaper bag as a carry on, but my dad and stepmom gave me a handy little backpack that I could use as a purse. Yeah, I left my purse on the plane. The American Airlines people called the plane, which had been towed to storage, but they would send someone to check and retrieve our bag--it would take 10 min max. When we got my bag back, it was ransacked and our brand new camera and our GPS was gone. We were the last ones off the plane--no passenger took it. Someone who works for American Airlines clearly saw an opportunity. Don't get me wrong, I am blaming myself up and down for being such an idiot not only for leaving the bag, but for carrying it in the first place. However, I am super duper pissed that an airline employee stole from us and they have our address (in the GPS) and photos of us. I am also pissed b/c this is the THIRD GPS that was stolen. Our first two were stolen from our car. Ugh!!! I have found countless personal items in my life and I have always always turned them in and I would never ever look inside a lost bag, let alone steal from it. I know people are desperate in todays world, but still it feels like an invasion and I am kicking myself over and over for making such stupid decisions. Bill kept telling me last night the day was cursed from the beginning, but at least we didn't get on that broken plane b/c who knows how bad the day could have ended in that case.

Ok, done venting. Happier posts on the way, but sadly no photos for a while.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Language of Mom

Lana talks nonstop. Sometimes so much that I can barely get a word in edgewise. However, lately when I actually say something, I find myself saying strange things that I never thought I would say. All the old-school things like "Knock it off." Or if we are trying to leave somewhere and Lana is intent on staying, "Goodbye Lana, Mommy's leaving..." and the ever-popular "What do you say (to that nice lady who just gave you a balloon)?" Oh, there are all the newfangled mom phrases like "Where are your listening ears?" "Do you need a time-out?" "I like how you were so nice/shared with that kid/so polite" and "That's a warning" or "you two need to work it out". Its so bizarre all these things I have been saying (and singing, but don't get me started on that topic). I wonder if I went back to work I may try one of these "where are your listening ears?" on a coworker.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The hockey game

The docs in Bill's practice are the team doctors for a professional youth hockey team here in town, so periodically he has to attend the games in case any of the players injure themselves. Bill is a big sports fan, but hockey is definitely not one of his favorites. Last year, he went to several games solo, which is really boring for him. I went with him a few times while the inlaws watched Lana overnight and he took his parents a few times. I don't mind going, as I grew up in a town where hockey is super big. But I am not exactly into sports--watching or playing, so I feel like if we are going to go on the rare night when we are without Lana--its our date night and let me tell ya, I can think of a thousand other ways I would like to be spending my date night. So this year, we thought we could bring Lana and make it more of a family outing. After all, she goes to bed so late, it should totally work out. Plus, she has never done something like this before, I bet it would be thrilling for her. The only thing I was worried about was the noise. I spoke to her all week about how it was going to be very loud, but we would have a great time watching the big boys ice skate and there would be music and yummy things to eat.

When we got there, she was so excited. We found our seats and she loved how the bottom part of the seat moves up and down. She examined that for a good 10 min. Then the lights went out and they had spotlights going all around the crowd--she was mesmerized. Just watching her brought tears to my eyes (lame, I know) because of her sense of wonderment, like this was something really exciting and NEW! Something big kids do! Not two seconds later, it all fell apart when the foghorn went off (you know, like the one that sounds when the home team scores)--OMG, she lost her mind. I mean, it is freakin loud--even Bill covers his ears (delicate boy). I am holding her and she is hugging me so tight, sobbing into my ear, "I WANT TO GO HOME! LET'S GET OUT OF HEEEERRREEE!" She wanted nothing more to do with the hockey game. Boys on ice skates? Who cares? Big bear mascot? Unless he is giving me a hug--don't even try to distract me. I ended up spending the entire game outside of the area--like where the concessions are sitting on the floor with Lana while she danced and pranced on the concrete floor. We briefly went inside again during the intermissions for her very very special surprise snack. When we got home she told me that hockey games are "for bigger girls". Duly noted.


Pumpkin carving was a bit of a bust this year. Last year she was totally into it. This year Bill came home with a bag of candy from work which included a lollipop, which she refers to as a "lick" and she HAD-TO-HAVE-IT and yes, there goes any hope of eating dinner. Anyway, here they are carving the pumpkin. Lana is like, "Pumpkin? What pumpkin? "She refused to get her hands in the inside of the pumpkin guts. Ah yes, this is called genetics and I apparently did give her some of my wonderful traits--like the "ick--i do not like to get my hands dirty" gene. Oh well, here she is again enjoying that "lick"
And here with her Baba. Nice pumpkin faces, eh? I sometimes forget that Bill did not grow up in this country and all of these kid holidays are new to him too.
The strawberry costume. She picked it out after a very traumatic trip to the Halloween store that had many scary skeletons, goblins and ghosts that moved and made noise. She picked the costume and even though it wasn't returnable, I bought it just to get the hell out of the store.
Lana is super duper happy to see what is inside her Elmo head of treats.
She went trick or treating with Bill while I stayed home to hand out candy and apparently she kept saying, "Lana tired. One more house." After the next house she would say it again. " Just one more house." When she got home even after her bath, every time the door bell rang she got so excited and ran to the door to hand out more candy. She looked so cute standing there in her jammies and wet hair holding a ginormous bowl of candy out to all the big kids.

Now the trick is to properly ration the candy intake now that the holiday is over. We didn't get nearly as many kids this year so we have tons left over. I admit I have been walking by the bowl and sneaking little yummy bars of goodness. Don't tell her.

Friday, October 31, 2008

I haven't been eaten by a goblin

Happy Halloween all! I have been seriously MIA on my blog and I have SO many photos to post from a couple of fun fall weekends, but I am behind b/c we have had such a busy week. Nothing earth shattering, just lots of playdates and such. Its amazing how busy you can be when you are a stay at home mom. Funny I say this because BEFORE I was a stay at home mom, I thought--wow, when I stop working I will have a super duper clean and organized life! HA! That is hilarious--I have never been less on top of things ever and keep in mind I only have one kid! But all is well and we have been having some good clean family fun lately, thanks to some wonderful October weather where the weekends have been sunny and warmish.

I hope everyone is having a great Halloween, enjoying dressing up the kiddies and perhaps stealing, I mean sharing the good chocolatey stuff from the little pumpkins.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The girl who cried wolf

Or as Bill would say, "The girl who cried woof!" He really believes that's how the saying goes. One of Lana's recent developments is telling me every single day, "My stomach hurts" or "Belly ache mommy". This sends me into hyper-crazed mode--should I get a bucket? Should we go home? Is she going to puke or crap herself? If I wait literally 5 seconds and ask her "Does your tummy still hurt or does it feel better?" She responds with a smile, "Feel ALL better!" This kid is trying to give me a heart attack! Doesn't she know I am totally fearful of vomit? WTH is she doing to me? Okay, after the 5th day or so of it, I am starting to not get all torqued out about it. But just when I relax is going to be the day I end up with a lap full of puke--like Beth. Please oh please vomiting viruses stay away from our household! I know its just a matter of time, and I have no immune system so when she gets it, 24h later I will have it too. And to all of my IRL friends who read this: if we have a playdate and your kid is up all night barfing the next day--don't tell me. The anxiety of anticipating puke when you are a puke-a-phobe is crippling! Ok, so I know I am not crazy (or maybe I am), Stacey, back me up on this one :)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I've been tagged


My friend Stacey tagged me and I am so super excited she has started a blog! She has a beautiful family and always impresses me with her ability to balance work, family, friends, and even volunteer work (holy crap, where do you find the time girl?).

It is hard for me to come up with 7 random facts that I haven't posted about before, since so much of my blogging are my random thoughts, but here goes:

1. A clean house gives me inner peace and tranquility. Too bad it never happens anymore.
2. I love A&Es Intervention. I am fascinated by addiction from a biological and behavioral standpoint.
3. Shellfish disgusts me.
4. Don't tell anyone, but I sometimes buy a donut when I am grocery shopping. More often than I'd like to admit.
5. Like Stacey, I am a raging puke-a-phobe.
6. I must have my toes painted at all times, even in winter when nobody sees them.
7. I cannot wear contacts anymore. Sad.

I tag Jenn, Mountain Mom, Beth, Kaycee, Jessica, Maria, London.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Pumpkin Patch

This past weekend we went to pick pumpkins at a local farm . Last year when we went it was cold and rainy and Lana just could not care less about the pumpkins. This year was totally different. She was so into picking one out and pointing out the smashed pumpkins, which she said "died". She also really loved the hayride and the kids maze they had at the farm, not to mention the farm animals which she loves dearly. So here we are on the hayride:And in the patch:
Hey, these suckers roll?
Whew! I'm beat!
Lana wanted to push the wheelbarrow herself and got so frustrated when it wouldn't move. She kept saying, "When Lana's a bigger girl..."
Here is the pumpkin she picked out--she insisted on putting it into the wheelbarrow herself. We have a video of this as well, but my annoying voice is all over it, so forget about posting it.
All in all it was a fun and festive day. The weather was perfect and we made it home in time for lunch and a nap. Plus, Bill didn't have to work at ALL. So it was a great day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Lana has been talking in paragraphs lately. Or extreme run-on sentences. What is she saying? She is listing all of the things she sees or owns. She lists all the people in her family (extended family and sometimes friends, their moms and teachers too).

She tells me exactly what is going to take place in the next half hour:
Me: Good morning Lana
Lana: Lana going to go pee pee in potty. Then Lana will play with toys for a few minutes. After few minutes is over, Lana go downstairs to get milk and food for breakfast, mommy make coffee and turn on tv.
Me: Alright, let's go pee.

Another favorite is when Bill is leaving for work:
Bill: Bye Lana, when I come home from work, I will take you to the park.
Lana: Bye Baba, have good day, fix bones, come home soon, I love youuuuu!

Friday, October 10, 2008

There are some days...

when I am just bursting with love for this little girl. Today is one of those days. Lana has been sweet and funny, totally entertaining and easy-going. Plus she is giving lots of hugs. Its not that I love her any less on the days where she spends half of it in time out (for not listening or kicking/hitting), but I certainly appreciate her more when she is just being her fun self. I just love her so much.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

What's buggin you?

Lana has a Backyardigans DVD that has an episode called "What's Buggin You?" It has a very catchy song that I find myself singing to myself even at 2am. Bill cannot STAND the Backyardigans, which is weird b/c he does not annoy easily (good thing, b/c I can be extra annoying at times--I even annoy myself sometimes). Anyway, I thought I would share what's been buggin me, since I am always walking around singing, "what's buggin you, what's buggin you, when you've got a pesty pest..." Those Backyardigans are so cute!

So here is what's buggin me: We have these coffee places in like every parking lot around here--they are little shack-type things that you can drive or walk right up to the window and get a latte, or whatever. A few months ago, some of these coffee huts have started making their baristas wear bikinis or even just pasties! All right, I am not a prude or anything or maybe I am, but is it really necessary to teach our daughters that you have to strip down to a bikini to freakin pour a cup of coffee? Not just that, but isn't it dangerous--all that hot frothed milk--those espresso machines get pretty hot--I hope they give these girls some good workmans comp insurance in case they sustain second degree burns on their bellies. The whole thing just turns me off. I just roll my eyes at the names of some of these places too--Juggs, XOXO Espresso and Chicka Latte. Oh brother. I am sure its just business and these boobie coffee places make more than the ones where people wear clothes, but I'll just make my own coffee at home with my clothes on and if Lana ever wants to get a summer job pouring coffee in a bikini, I will be saying things like "over my dead body!" Maybe I am just getting old and cranky.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Our vacation pics

Okay, so 10 min after we checked into the hotel, Lana put on her swim diaper, swim suit and glasses and was ready for action. She looks so serious, but really she was pissed cuz we weren't moving fast enough for her.
We spent most of the time in the pool. She liked the beach well enough, but she didn't like having sandy hands and feet, so the pool was her favorite place to be.
Ignore my outdated sunglasses. I think I got them in the late 90s, but they are prescription and I didn't get around to getting new ones. I live in Seattle people--it rains here mostly.
Lana is demonstrating her "funny face".
Our daily breakfast of tropical fruit. Lana is addicted to fruit. People are amazed at how much she can put away. Its obscene really. But I suppose it could be worse. We use fruit as a bribe--she could care less about cookies, candy, etc. But a raspberry--look out!
Lana is enjoying her first trolley ride. She was super excited about it.
It was a great vacation. Very relaxing and uneventful. I wish the relaxed part lasted longer after we came home, but its been a busy week playing catch up and dealing with our fridge situation and me not feeling well (again...what else is new). But we had an awesome time. Lana is at an age where she travels well, adapts to change well and as long as she is near water she is happy. We were often remarking how she is growing up so fast and is not a little baby anymore. We just enjoyed the heck out of her and spending time with the three of us, free from distraction. Although eating out every meal every day was getting a little old and expensive. So its good to be home and we look forward to many more wonderful vacations with Lana in the future.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Hey, I'm back!

Back from vacation. Bummer. We had a wonderful time. Here is how everyday went:
Wake up, eat, swim, eat, nap, swim, eat, sleep. It was great. We ate well--lots of fruit and sushi. It was luxurious and relaxing. I will post some pics and some book reviews when I get a chance, but for now, I must do laundry and clean my disaster of a house. I feel so behind with the daily stuff, so I will be back later. Oh, and I have lots of blogs to catch up on!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Time for a little R&R

I looked back at my past few posts and well I noticed that somebody is a little cranky! Good thing its time to go on vacation--off we go to Oahu!! Yay! We have been planning this trip for a long time to celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary. This is a family vacation, not a romantic trip and we plan on lounging and relaxing as much as possible. Usually Bill is very active on trips--"no sleeping in, we have to see everything", but this time we are just going to chill. Bill needs it--bad. Apparently I do too. See ya!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Not what we needed right now

Our fridge died. Dead. Warm everything--good thing its garbage day. Sunzabitches. Its never a good time to have an appliance crap out and you have to replace it, but still. Crapola. The thing is, its not so simple. We have an under the counter refrigerator--it looks like 2 drawers. Our freezer is separate--again under the counter, 2 drawer style. I think its supposed to be fancy, but truly its a pain. We have a backup fridge in the basement b/c you cannot put too many things in a couple of drawers. So we would keep milk and fruit upstairs in the drawer fridge and all the other stuff downstairs which means I do not need to join a gym b/c I am up and down the darn stairs 100 times a day. We need to get a new fridge for upstairs ASAP, but there is no space for a full sized upright fridge in our somewhat fancy, yet totally annoying kitchen!! When we bought the house I had a moment of total panic and buyers remorse thinking we just bought a way expensive house with a kitchen with no fridge (except those stupid drawers). Anyway, we will eventually remodel to fit a normal fridge, but not anytime soon, so now we have to spend a boatload of money on a new drawer fridge that I despise in the first place. For now though its going to be many trips back and forth to the basement--I hope I don't pull anything during my workouts. Grrr.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I am so disappointed

I had PPD after Lana--well technically it was PPA (post-partum anxiety) and it totally sucked and I got treated--a little late, but better late than never. I really went off the deep end after Lana quit breastfeeding so I didn't start meds until Lana was already one year old. Anyway, treatment helped tremendously and it was time to stop the meds so that we can work on baby #2. I weaned off the meds very slowly and avoided the discontinuation syndrome that many describe, but unfortunately I can feel anxiety creeping back into my life. Dammit. So I guess I feel disappointed and crabby b/c I was hoping that I would be back to my normal tightly wound self, rather than my normal nutty self. I just hope the insomnia doesn't last because that seriously makes me crazy. I suppose this is just how I am put together and I should accept it, but I kind of liked the chill Julie while she lasted. No worries, if it gets too bad again, back to the doc I go. I am just a little bummed I guess.

Mom and Me Meme

Thanks Beth for tagging me! I enjoyed your responses and its always a fun thing to do especially if you are in a blogging rut like I have been lately.

First, post a picture of you and your kid(s):

1. How many children do you have?
Just one for now--Lana

2. What are their ages?
Lana is 2 years, almost 4 months.

3. What time do you start your day?
Between 7-8am. Just typing that makes me smile b/c last winter Lana would start her day at 5am--ready for action. The moon was still out and there was not enough coffee in my pot to keep me awake. So even 7am totally awesome.

4. What do you eat for breakfast?
One cup of coffee with non-dairy, sweetened creamer. Then, it varies--a bowl of cereal or peanut butter toast or Trader Joes frozen french toast. I hate breakfast foods, but I have to eat something or my delicious coffee will burn a hole in my stomach.

5. Do your kids watch TV?
Hell yeah! On demand Little Einsteins, Backyardigans, Ni Hao Kai-Lan, Sesame Street are current faves. She only watches in the morning while we are having breakfast/getting ready and at the end of the day when I am cooking dinner, which is totally essential. I hate to "use" tv, but sometimes its necessary.

6. What are their favorite activities?
Play-Doh, blocks, drawing on her chalkboard, playing in the play kitchen--she cooks and prepares picnics for me, going to the playground--swings are the fave, singing and dancing, gardening with her dad. I know I listed a lot of favorites, but Lana has a very short attention span, so anything that hold her interest for more than 3 minutes is considered a favorite.

7. Do you get a break during the day for some you time?
Just naptime. When it goes away or we have another kid, there goes my 1-2 hours of "me" time. Sometimes I nap with Lana, sometimes I clean (ugh), sometimes I blog or surf the internet.

8. How do you end your day?
Well Lana goes to bed very late--9:30 or even 10pm. Believe me, I have tried to get her down earlier, but you cannot force a kid to sleep when they are not tired--at least not my stubborn kid. Anyway, by the time I get her down to sleep and shower (we are night bathers), I have about a half hour to chat with Bill and watch some crappy tv. I do wish Bill and I had more alone time together.

9. What is your best parenting advice or tip?
My mantra is "everything is a phase" which helps me through the rough patches. My other tidbit of advice is to never ever stick your finger into your child's mouth to feel for that new tooth--you will be injured.

I tag
Outnumbered Gal
Jill (are you out there?)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Kicking Balls

I am laying next to Lana and she kicks me in the head.
I say, "Lana, do not kick me in the head."
I get another kick.
"Lana, do NOT kick me in the head."
One more kick just to see if I will get mad.
"Lana, do NOT kick me in the head or I will not lay next to you."
She responds, "Lana only kicks in the balls."

I think she meant Lana is only allowed to kick/throw balls, but still I laughed my head off. Either that or Bill is preparing her for the teen years.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What's Inside?

I made the mistake of giving Lana a Tootsie Pop as a reward once. She was shocked and amazed to find chocolate in the center of the "lick" as she calls all lollipops. Ever since she drives me bonkers asking me "What's inside?" of everything and I mean everything.

She points to a banana--"ma, what's inside?"
Me: "inside what?"
Lana: "banana"
Me: just more banana

Name an object, she has asked me what's inside. I think she is just waiting for the day when I respond--chocolate!!!! Imagine a world where you thought chocolate might be hiding inside everyday items?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My girl

Lana is growing up so fast. It seems like just yesterday I was the frazzled new mom with the infant who cried incessantly and LOUD. I would look at the clock and count down how many hours till Bill would walk in the door and I could hand over the screamer so I could make dinner. I got very little feedback from her that she even liked me a little. Oh, how I wish I had a blog then, it would have been so great to capture the moment and therapeutic for me too. Well, times have certainly changed! Lana has become sort of like my little friend. Much like Desi described her little buddy. Lana has become so physically affectionate with big hugs and many kisses and cuddles, but verbally sweet too--"Mama, I love youuuu!" She holds my hand without too much protest most of the time, well, sometimes. So I am finally getting that feedback I desperately wished for many months ago.

We hang out. We watch tv--her tv, not mine and only in the morning before I have made my coffee. We listen to music--children's music of course. She thinks I have crappy taste in music, understandably. We dance and act silly. People who know me IRL know that I despise dancing. I didn't even have dancing at my wedding and I was never into going to clubs for shaking my butt, despite having many friends who tried to drag me onto the dance floor. There is nothing like a 2 year old to make you let go of your inhibitions and just get crazy silly--even in public. I dance, I run, I make silly faces, I sing. I will do anything for that laugh--that wonderful belly laugh that is so contagious--I dare you not to smile if you heard it. We shop--grocery of course and Target mostly where we hang out in the shoe section trying on shoes she will never wear for more than 5 minutes. We also love the pet store (cheaper and closer than the zoo), the bookstore, Toys R Us of course. My only wish is that she would not wander (I mean run) away from me so often--but we are working on that. In fact, if I have any actual purchasing to do, I will not bring Lana b/c she is too difficult to look after unless she is in a shopping cart. Once Bill and I lost her in TRU for a good 5 min and it was seriously one of the scariest things ever. We scolded her and she cried and then we felt bad and hugged her.

One of the biggest changes I have noticed recently is when we go out to eat she sits on a chair next to me and just eats. I don't have to restrain her in a highchair, entertain her with crayons, or tell her over and over to sit and eat and no you are not getting up. As long as she is hungry, she just sits and eats like such a big girl. I love it, it actually makes me feel proud and it is so much more relaxing than before. I ask her if she wants to go out for a ladies lunch and she says, "Lana want to go outin eat!" Then in the car, "Fank you Mommy for takin Lana to refurant". Aww!

Sometimes I feel bad for Bill b/c Lana and I spend so much time together just hangin that I feel like we have a special bond that he just doesn't have with her. Sounds bad, huh? But its true. I often translate what she is saying when he doesn't understand. I explain inside jokes or something new and funny. I tell him about all the silly things we do and things she said and I feel bad for him. I mean, someone has to bring home the bacon and I am happy he brings home enough that I don't have to if I don't want to, but I can tell he feels sad inside that she prefers me and wants me for comfort and basically all of the routine stuff. It reminds me of having a close girlfriend that you have to explain to an outsider all of your inside stuff. I don't want Bill to be an outsider though!! That's horrible! I have made a huge effort to disappear when he is home or I make them take a walk together, just the 2 of them so that he can get the one-on-one time I get all day long. I notice she misses him more on Mondays after they spend so much time together over the weekend.

I just love my sweet girl and I love that we can do all sorts of fun stuff together. I will always always remember these times. Its so fun to have a mini girlfriend to hang with and I almost never look at the clock to countdown how many hours till Bill comes home so I can get a break and take a breather. Whew, I don't miss that at all!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Ya know what sucks?

When your acupuncturist forgets about you and you have like 20 needles in your head, chest, tummy, legs, arms and can't move. Yeah, that's right--he forgot to come back after the 30 min timer went off and I lay there motionless for more than 1h having to pee like a racehorse. I yelled, I banged my arm on the wall behind me...still nothing. I ended up taking all the needles out myself and running to the bathroom before I peed my pants. Today's session was not therapeutic.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Once in a while

Once in a while I actually miss my job. Not often, quite honestly. 98% of the time, I feel like I did my thing as a scientist, was fairly good at it, but now is a different phase of my life and I am beyond content about it. Becoming a mom has changed me to the core and this is what I want to be doing in my heart and soul--besides, I did the whole working long hours thing and let me tell you, its overrated--even if kids are not in the equation and especially if your husband works long hours too. But once in a while, I feel a tad wistful about my career. I read this article on Yahoo and ooh I wish I still had access to scientific journals to read the nitty gritty of the studies. I think its pretty awesome, but I am a nerd that way. Then I caught the last 45 min of Randy Pauch's Last Lecture on PBS, which is not only inspiring in general, but also reminded me of the idealism and sense of discovering new frontiers in academia, along with having great mentors for inspiration. It totally totally sucks that this world lost this wonderful mind and man. Then I got an email from one of the grad students in my postdoc lab and he graduated, which reminded me of the relief and sense of accomplishment I felt when I graduated.

Ah, but then after these wistful feelings, I woke up and smelled the reality. While science is an exciting field, in theory, the reality of it is a bit different and disappointing. Like in my last job, my boss was a total wack job who always could surprise me with how freakin insensitive and just plain bizzare she could be. You people in the real world would just faint at some of the stuff that happens in the ivory tower--can you say lawsuit?
My day would go something like this:
  • Wander into lab--turn on computer, check email.
  • Get results from yesterday's experiment--curse b/c it didn't work AGAIN.
  • Start next one--as one of my fellow grad students once described it, our job is all about sticking shit in tubes, pressing a button and waiting and waiting.
  • Check email for the 100th time--oh wait, its only 10am.
  • Have bizzare conversation with boss--in the ladies room through the stall, while peeing--pray she zips up her pants before she comes out.
  • Go to a meeting or seminar--zone out and plan grocery list in head. Observe strange famous scientist scratch his back and sniff his fingers after--I SWEAR its a true story.
  • Check experiment--shit didn't work again.
  • Start next one--more shit in tubes, start timer.
  • Check email and babycenter AGAIN.
Okay, you get the idea--not exactly what I pictured when I signed up. I would much rather be spending the day dancing/running/playing with Lana.

Anyway, I suppose in a weird way my career always gave me a lot of self confidence as a woman and now that I don't have it anymore, sometimes I feel a little lost. Besides, this whole mom thing does not give me confidence--I question everything I do, well less now than when Lana was a baby, but still--carrying a tantruming 2 year old out of a public place definitely does not make you feel like you totally have it together.But I suppose its all part of the process of parenting and with time and experience you get more confident, just like anything else. I just hope I am doing it right.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

This weekend

We had such a great day today! Bill had to work until about 10am and then we went blueberry picking. We go fruit picking every chance we get, since Bill loves fruit and Lana is truly obsessed. This was the third blueberry farm we tried and it was by far the best. Even late in the season, there were lots of big, sweet berries. Lana's method of picking is tree to mouth--forget the bucket. Then when she gets lazy she just sits down next to the bucket and eats them like she is eating a bucket of popcorn. The first few times we went I thought to myself that she ate WAY too many and she was sure to get a tummy ache. But all was well and her only side effect was blue poop the next day, so now I just let her eat all she wants--there are worse things. After we picked 7 lbs of blueberries, we headed to the Mukilteo Lighthouse Festival while Lana caught a nap in the car. The festival is nothing terrific, but is perfect for a sunny afternoon with a 2 year old. We ate fish tacos and got ice cream. Lana went in the Jumpy Thing (or whatever that is called) and made crafts. Then we went to the park with a brand new playground which is right next to the beach. We played, threw rocks in the ocean, pet everyone's doggies and just had a great relaxing day. It was the perfect day.

Yesterday was pretty fun too--we went to a birthday party at the YMCA--swimming and playing in the adventure zone! Plus cupcakes, balloons and lots of take home goodies--what is not to love about that!??! I am always so impressed with the creativity of the moms and all the work that goes into throwing a kids b-day party. It was a great party and Lana had so much fun she was asleep before I even backed out of the parking lot!

So all in all it was a nice weekend. Next weekend Bill is on call again, so those weekends are never relaxing, even if its quiet. Then just one more week until our BIG vacation to Oahu!!! I cannot wait! Poor Bill needs a vacation bad--he is a little burned out. In the past I would not be excited about traveling with Lana, but now that she is such a big girl I really feel like we can go anywhere with her. It won't be perfect, but I am hoping the painful days of the screaming child are behind us--ah, I probably just jinxed myself. I hope not!

Did I hear that correctly?

So we are watching this thing on TV about cancer via the local channel and they are talking about the first patient who received Gardasil (the cervical cancer vaccine--which is an amazing scientific innovation in my opinion) here in town. Its NOT covered by insurance and you have to pay $300. WHAT???????? Wait a minute--Viagra is covered by insurance yet a vaccine to PREVENT CANCER IN WOMEN isn't? How messed up is that? That just makes me mad.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

That pretzel is how much?

I love a deal. I am a bargain hunter, although not the crazy kind that gets a whole basket worth $100 for $1.39 after coupons and discounts. Those people deserve a degree or medal or something--I am not that good. I never buy anything full retail. Its got to be on sale and at least feel like a value. For example, a $200 purse marked down to $100 is a deal to some people, but not to me b/c I am not a bag person and I would never EVER spend $100 on a purse that will likely have cheerios, goldfish and some sticky-used-to-be-a-fruitsnack-substance pooled in the bottom of it. For items for myself I am kind of cheap--I generally don't spend more than $15 on a top or $30 for pants and never more than $30 for shoes, unless they are boots or something really special. Of course, I am a stay at home mom, so I don't need fancy clothes and even when I worked, I was in a lab with yucky chemicals, lab animals and God knows what else, so I never dressed up there either. Probably the last time I had nice-ish clothes was when I was in grad school and I cared what other people (i.e. boys) thought of my appearance. Sad, but true. My wardrobe is kind of boring, but functional and once in a while I try to branch out and do something somewhat stylish as long as I don't have to iron it and its within my spending constraints. Oh and clothes for Bill--he is happy with what he has--seriously--he still has (and wears) clothing from 1995. Thank goodness for Christmas and his birthday and all of our friends and relatives that give him little updates to his wardrobe.

That said, when it comes to Lana's clothes/shoes, I need a 12 step program. Its crazy how many cute things are out there for girls. Its crazy how little self control I have. Don't get me wrong, I do buy the $3.99 tops at Target with the cute matching leggings at the same price. I buy things for her at the consignment store. I do bargain hunt. But, the problem is that there is an outlet mall 10 min from my house with your standard Gap, Gymbo, Carters, Osh Kosh and Children's Place. Deals everywhere, so tempting.... I try to never go unless I have to buy a gift for someone or if I have a crazy good coupon. But still, I probably spend too much money there. Today I went to a real (non-outlet) mall for the Baby Sale at Gymboree. Oh geez. I tried to avoid Gymboree in general until about a year ago b/c I felt like its just too expensive for what it is. But, I have come to love how all the clothes coordinate and I can mix and match, plus they offer more variety than just pink b/c seriously people how much pink can a girl own? Oh, I know there are way fancier stores and wayyyyyy more expensive clothes for kids out there, but for me, I need to draw the line and those Target clothes are very cute and functional. Well, today at the Baby Sale, those bastards got me. I spent $130 (OMG!!!) on fall clothes for Lana. But I had a 20% off coupon and I got Gymbucks so that I can go back next month and spend another whole pile of money on clothes for a kid who likes to be naked. But winter is coming and it will be too cold to be naked, at least outside. I better stop rationalizing my guilt now.

Oh and does anyone else find it APPALLING that those pretzel places charge $3.05 for one pretzel? Holy mackerel--that better be one friggen fantastic pretzel!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Thanks to Jenn--Staying in touch with the Funny Noses who tagged me. I have been enjoying reading others' responses to this list. Here are mine:

A. Attached or single? Happily attached
B. Best friend? My BFF from grad school Rumi--the sister I never had.
C. Cake or Pie? Chocolate cake--soft and spongy--yum!
D. Day of Choice? Saturday
E. Essential item? GPS--I get lost very easily
F. Favorite color? Brown
G. Gummy bears or worms? Bears
H. Hometown? Buffalo, NY
Indulgence? gelato
J. January or July? July for sure.
K. Kids? Just one for now.
L. Life isn't complete without? Miss Lana and my wonderful husband
M. Marriage date? September 26, 2003
N. Number of brothers and sisters? Nope. Bill is also an only.
O. Oranges or apples? Oranges
P. Phobias? Puke, cockroaches and other creepy crawlies, thunderstorms
Q. Quotes? Is it weird that I don't have any favorite quotes? I seriously wracked my brain on this one. I guess I am not that deep.
R. Reasons to smile? My life has been very blessed--I am lucky lucky lucky.
S. Season of Choice? Autumn
T. Tag some peeps: Beth--Working it out and Megan--In pursuit of balance
U. Unknown fact about me? I heart McDonalds.
V. Vegetable? Potatoes--I know, not really a veggie, but I am obsessed.
W. Worst habit? I can be annoying--just ask Bill.
X. X-ray or Ultrasound? Ultrasound
Y. Your favorite food? sushi, indian food--esp veggie dishes, a good burrito, raspberries, pomegranates
Z. Zodiac sign? Scorpio

Monday, September 1, 2008

Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs

Ugh, my headaches have reached the point where I am seeking alternative therapies. Wouldn't it be nice if I could stop complaining about them on my blog (and in real life too)? Last Friday I went for my first treatment--some dude that comes recommended via my in-laws. Luckily, his practice was busy b/c otherwise I would have been a little weirded out. It does not feel like a doctor's office at all. We spoke about my health history and current issues in the lobby, with other patients sitting right there. Anyway, I went into the exam room--there was no physical exam--I just laid down on the table, rolled up my jeans to my knees and got a ton of needles stuck in my feet, legs, arms, face and scalp. It did not hurt AT ALL--whew! But they make you lay there for 30 min, which seems like a long time. Thankfully Bill was there to occupy, I mean annoy me. He says, "what if there is a fire or earthquake--could you run with those needles in you?" Very funny. "That doesn't look too difficult, I could probably do it myself to you at home" Umm, no thanks.

Ah, but the best part was yet to come--the herbs. I got a blend of 15 herbs that I need to cook and steep like tea for 30 min then drink 3 times a day. Sounds okay--especially if it actually tasted like tea. I took my first treatment tonight. Imagine the water in a vase of flowers that is about 2 weeks old. You know that smell? Add a couple of scoops of potting soil and stir. Drink a whole mug of it. That's what it tastes like. OMG, that was BRUTAL! Bill told me to stand over the sink in case I puke (NOT the thing to say to me) and then Bill gave me 2 M&Ms to help with the aftertaste. Not helpful unless I ate the whole bag. Okay, I just need to try it for a week.

I know it sounds like I am complaining, but I am not. I am hoping to get some relief from these debilitating headaches and tummy aches I get way too often. I am committed to try anything at this point. As Bill pointed out, these herbs and acupuncture have been around for millions of years in Chinese culture and there are a lot of Chinese people walking around that have used these techniques and swear by them. The scientist in me feels skeptical, but hey--a bagillion Chinese people can't be wrong. Wish me luck, I am going to get punctured again tomorrow.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

For Grandma Dianne

I managed to (finally) get these off of the camera. Lana had a blast helping Grandma Dianne water her flowers.

It makes me so happy to see Lana so comfortable with my Mama, even though they see each other so rarely. That's all about to change when Grandma Dianne moves here this winter--YAY! I look forward to so many more days of hanging out, holidays and birthdays spent together, girls' days out and lazy Sundays together. It will be wonderful for Lana, but also for me. I haven't lived near my dear mommy since I was 18 and I miss her terribly. My mom has always been my biggest supporter in my life (my dad too, for the record) and is so loving and has just been the best mama I could ever want, so I can't wait to spend more time together and for her to have such a positive influence on Lana's life, as she has had on mine. We have a wonderful new beginning to look forward to and I can't hardly wait :) Love ya Mama!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Keep your pants on

Some nights (okay, almost every night) Lana calls for me around 4am and I comfort her and crawl in her bed until she wakes up at 7am. Judge all you want, I know--bad habit, will try to break it, blah, blah, blah. This post isn't about sleep issues (although clearly we have them). Its about the peculiarities of toddlerhood. So last night she called for me, I went in, got her re-tucked and crawled in next to her for a cuddle--yeah, that's right I will do anything for a cuddle. I am "easy" like that. She proceeded to FLIP OUT! She is sobbing and crying and is totally inconsolable. I am asking her what's wrong, does something hurt? Check head for fever--nope. Do headcount of stuffed animals: Elmo, Cookie Monster, Dina, giraffe, little bia (bunny), big bia, teddy bear, pumpkin head--all present and accounted for. Pink blanket--got it. What is wrong? Then she sobs, "Mommy's comfy pants gone!!!" I usually sleep in comfy pants (as we call em) and a T (sexy, i know) and I got hot b/c my darling husband insists on sleeping with a down comforter in August, so I took off my pants somewhere during the night. OMG, she is having a fit b/c I am not wearing pants??!! You have got to be kidding me. What does she care what I am wearing, especially at 4am? I asked her, "Do you want mommy to get her comfies back on?" "Yes" she responds while wiping snot and tears from her face. I retrieved my pants, she got under the covers and snuggled close to me while whispering, "Mommy's comfy pants..." and she drifted off to sleep. Note to self: pants are not optional.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Its a tail--really it is!

So Lana and I are playing play-doh (exciting, I know) and I made a cut-out man. Lana said, "needs a tail" and this is what she added, all by herself: (I know the photo is craptastic--our camera is busted, but you get the idea.)
Her father is going to be so proud!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dear Headache

You suck. Please go away and stop coming to visit me so often. You are putting a dent in all of my fun and you make me short-tempered.

With much frustration,
Crabby McCrabberston

Shoe Aversion

There are things that toddlers do just to drive you batty. Lana's signature move is kicking off her shoes. You are probably thinking, what's the big deal? So she likes to be barefoot--loosen up already Julie! For some reason, this really gets on my nerves. At this very moment there are about 6 pairs of shoes on the floor of the backseat of the minivan (along with a million cheerios). When I buckle her in the shoes are off by the time I walk around and open my door. When we take walks in her stroller, she kicks off her shoes and hopefully I am paying attention, so that I can retrieve them. Same thing in the shopping cart. And while she is in the process of kicking them off, she looks at me with that devilish--I am doing this to you so that steam comes out of your ears--grin. Long ago, I made the mistake of buying her expensive Stride Rite sneakers--well I lost one in the mall when she kicked one off and I wasn't paying attention. Now she gets all her shoes from Target or Walmart. The absolute worst is when we walk into a store and she is actually walking and she sits down on the floor and takes off her shoes and flings them in separate directions. I often turn around for a second and she is barefoot and I am wondering WTH happened to her shoes. Do her shoes truly offend? Maybe its b/c I by her cheapy shoes and they aren't comfy? Is she doing this just to see me lose my noodle in public chasing after a barefoot toddler while muttering, "What did you do with your shoes, you crazy kid?" (most likely). When is she going to learn that girls totally dig shoes? I think she actually likes to try on shoes, just not wear them for any length of time b/c one time in the Gap, I caught her trying to remove the flip flops off the mannequin. The funny thing is that there is one coveted pair of shoes that she will willfully wear for at least 15min--the pink sparkly dancing girl shoes that she calls her "tap shoes":
The teen years are going to be fun, right?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Poor Baba

I feel so bad for my poor husband--Lana calls him "Baba", the Chinese word for Daddy. Lana is going through a very clingy Mommy-only phase. I think it has a lot to do with the separation anxiety she has been experiencing lately and the fact that I am with her 24/7, except for the one day a week she spends with my inlaws, which Lana dreads--you know, the whole Mommy leaving thing. Even if I just mention my inlaws, she gets all anxious, "Mommy coming too?" Apparently last week, after her nap she sat by the front window looking at all the cars passing by saying, "not Mommy's car..." over and over for like 2 hours.

Anyway, I digress, back to Baba. Poor Baba is feeling so left out. Lana wants nothing to do with him if I am in the room or nearby. If I am holding her and my arms get tired, she will NOT go to him--she would rather go wet noodle and pitch a fit. It makes him feel so bad. She will sit and cuddle with me, but if comes near us, she will say, "Baba, go to office, check email." Rude, huh? He was traveling last weekend and he was working long hours last week, so I suppose its just b/c he hasn't been around as much. He always asks me why Lana hates him so much. I do feel bad that Lana and I seem to be growing closer and more affectionate, while she is totally rejecting Bill. I keep reminding him that it is a phase and soon she will be Daddy's Girl and I will be missing her. I have been trying to give Bill some extra attention from me though, poor guy. I must confess though, I feel a little spread thin with Lana physically attached to me all day and then wanting and needing to give Bill attention at night. We are thinking about adding to the family in the relatively near future, but this needy phase makes me not want to rush into it.

Believe me, I am not complaining about my close bond with Lana and all the cuddles I have been getting. Just yesterday Lana said to me, "Mommy look pretty" and "Mommy cuddle Lana" (yes, she is still talking in the third person, like Elmo). Aww! How could you not love that? I especially appreciate it b/c she has never been a cuddler. I just hope that Bill too can partake in some of those delicious snuggles from Lana soon. He totally deserves it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Our crazy garden

I know I have posted before about what a nice garden we have. The previous owner of our house put a lot of love and thought into it. There is always something in bloom and it has been so nice this spring and summer (the first in our house) to see what is coming next. We had a cold spring, so the irises were late, but WOW, we were rewarded with some beautiful blooms.

Then our roses started. I am posting pics of some of the more unusually colored ones, although we also have hot pink, yellow, and pale pink varieties.

I literally do not know what I am doing when it comes to gardening. Its a bit overwhelming at times because things grow SO fast due to our rainy climate and the weeding is never ever complete. So once in a while I go out there with Lana, we pick a few weeds, she throws dirt onto the sidewalk and then we come inside with this:
And this (disregard all crap in background, if possible):
This has been one of the true joys of first time home ownership. We also have lilies, hydrangeas and a whole boatload of rhododendrons. We did manage to pluck out plants we couldn't identify in order to make room for a raspberry, 2 blueberry and a strawberry plant. We also planted a cherry tree and an apple tree. Our berry plants did produce this year, but not abundantly. Lana ate every berry she could get her hands on, of course!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sing a Song

Lana has just started singing along to her favorite songs and it is SO cute. Some of her favorites (in no particular order) are:

ABCs--I love it when she gets to LMNOP--she says "ello ello P"

Wheels on the Bus--I get requests for yellow bus or red bus or purple bus.

Sesame Street theme song--"Mommy, sing Sunny Day" Her favorite part is the "A-Okay!"

Lime in the Coconut--the Kermit version

Where Are My Friends--Chinese song that translates to: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7--where are my friends? They are here, they are here, my friends are here!!

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star--AKA "Quinkle, Quinkle"

Do De Rubber Duck--Ernie does reggae really well.

Sing a Song--"Mommy, sing La La La La part"

Hello, Goodbye--Target commercial version

Yes, we are big Sesame Street watchers here. Lana has always loved songs and music in general, and she would always request that I sing to her. But lately, she has been singing along and I can't help but smile and giggle to myself at her cuteness.

M&Ms--the great motivator

She did it! Lana peed in the potty! We have had the potty forever and while she seemed very interested in the whole process, she just would not sit down on the darn thing. I decided she is just not ready and I dropped the whole issue, although I bought a bag of M&Ms for when the time is right. On Friday, Lana was walking around nekkid, as she does often, and she says, "uh-oh, a little pee pee coming out!" I said, "You better go sit down on the potty--its your BIG chance to get M&Ms!!!" So she went to the potty, sat down and peed a few drops. Excited, she jumped up screaming "M&Ms!!!!" I gave her the M&Ms and she went right back to the potty, squeezed out a few more drops and wanted more M&Ms. She ended up getting three rounds of M&Ms before the tank was empty. Yep, she's workin the system already. I thought it might be a fluke, but yesterday she went pee in the potty 5 times and today twice!! WOW! I am so proud of her.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Separation Anxiety--better late than never

I have heard all my mom friends talk about separation anxiety and how much it sucks. Your child clinging for dear life onto you as if you are about to get on a one-way flight to Istanbul. I remember you all talking about this when the kiddos were around 9 months to 1 year of age. We never experienced it at all. Not a hint of it. Lana would always act like she could care less if I was around or not. Drop her off at my in-laws? "Bye Mommy!" and off she runs. Okay, this was a good thing b/c it made me feel like she was happy to be there and an independent spirit. But part of me wouldn't have minded if she liked missed me just a tiny bit.

Well, I got my wish. Since we have returned from our trip back east, Lana has been very attached to me. I like how she has progressively become more affectionate--hugs and kisses, but only on her terms. Whatever, I will take it. There is nothing like a hug with the pat, pat on the back. Love it! What I didn't bargain for, or fully appreciate, was the anxiety part of separation anxiety. Even if I drop her off at my in-laws, which I have been doing once a week for nearly a year now, she gets totally wigged out. It starts with a frown, then she hides her head, trying to fight back the tears and be brave, but ultimately she loses it and is bawling big ol tears all while clinging to my neck. Today my father in-law had to peel her off of me so I could get out the door. Apparently 5 min later she was fine. Ah, this may be old news for all of my 5 readers who experienced this a year ago or more, especially with those in preschool/daycare, but for me it is a whole new heartbreak and even though I know she is fine, I feel bad for her that she has fear. The whole time she is bawling, between sobs she says, "Mommy (sniff) always (sniff) comes back (sniff sniff). Why don't you just throw my heart on the floor and smash it into a thousand pieces. I will repeat my mantra of motherhood--ITS JUST A PHASE...


I wasn't sure if I should post about this, but what the heck, its the internet and there is certainly more controversy elsewhere. I have been noticing that Lana seems to have a concept of her race at least to some degree. On one hand I am surprised by this, given her age, but on the other hand she does look in the mirror. So perhaps she is not so intuitive on complex concepts, but rather she is just seeing what is similar in herself and others from a very superficial level. She told me that she looks like June from the Little Einsteins, which is the Asian one. She also repeatedly gravitates toward other children that are either Asian or look Asian. Like when we were in Buffalo, there was a whole beach of children and she made a beeline for the family with the Asian dad and white mom--she played with the kids and ate their pretzels. Like I said, I doubt that she is feeling ethnic unity in others like herself--its probably just "hey they look like me". But its interesting anyway.

Then yesterday we were at the beach here (what is it with the beach to get me thinkin?) and this woman says to me:
Weird woman--is that your daughter?
Weird woman--what is she mixed with?
Weird woman--what are you?
Me--i am your basic white person.

WTH did she mean,"What are you?" Umm, homo sapien, purple people eater, alien? I am not exotic looking and my skin could not be paler. I mean, I am kind of getting used to answering questions about Lana b/c well she looks different and I suppose its natural to be curious. I do believe that while it is natural to be curious--KEEP YOUR CURIOSITY TO YOURSELF PEOPLE! Its freakin rude! I don't care about your ethnic background, quit asking me about Lana's or mine (that's a new one!) The weird thing is that where we live is very ethnically diverse--that was something I really liked about it when we visited. When I was growing up, I lived in a very white town--my high school had very very few minorities represented. Yet, I have grown up to not even see people's skin color. I don't see people as Chinese, Indian, African-American. They are just people and I would never ask anyone--"What are you? What are you mixed with? Did you get her from China?" The last question I like to respond with, "No, I got her from my uterus". My point is that I wish people would mind their own business and just say something like, "cute kid!"

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Innocence of Childhood

There are some moments that I hope will always remain with me because not only do they make me smile, but they remind me of when I was a child. I love it when Lana makes a new discovery and she looks so serious and has true wonder in her eyes.

A few weeks ago, she put her ear to my stomach--she was just resting her head--and she popped up and said to me very seriously, "Mama, there are animals in your tummy!" I said, "Really? Did you hear something in Mama's tummy?" "YES!" She said. I asked, "What kind of animals are living in my belly?" She went back for a second listen. "Ribbit, Ribbit" she replied. "Oh, I see, there are froggies in Mama's tummy?" "Yes, Mama."

Just a few minutes ago, we were sitting on my bed and there was sun coming in the room--you could see some dust in the air (probably lethal amounts of dust since it has been forever since I have dusted our bedroom). She said, "Mama, there are little bubbles". I said, "No, that is dust in the air." "Little dandelions" is what she decided--like when you blow on the dandelions that have gone to seed. She looked so proud of herself, like she just solved a puzzle. I love that innocence. I love her perspective. I love that she can sympathize with the Little Einsteins when Annie loses her balloons--"Poor Annie. Little Einstein lost her balloons. They go to Seattle needle and will POP!" I love that she really believes that frogs live in my stomach.

I remember when I was little, I had lots of fears. I hope that she can avoid the monsters in the closet and can hold on to the frogs in my stomach, Santa, the tooth fairy, the coolness of her shadow, rainbows and all that good stuff.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Too bad our camera is busted

I just walked upstairs and found Lana on her little potty and Bill on the big potty and they are reading a book together. Okay, that photo may not be for public consumption, but it would be good blackmail fodder for the teenage years. Yesterday Lana was having some nudista time (as we call it) but she insisted on wearing her new sparkly pink shoes (ala grandma dianne)--so there she was all nekkid, wearing the dancing shoes, cooking in her play kitchen. Another priceless moment. Unfortunately, our digital camera is broken which is no surprise given my bad luck with electronics--I swear I get every lemon ever made! Or it could be user error.

I have been a bad blogger lately. I have so much to say, but so little alone time on the computer. The minute log on, I hear, "Mommy, mommy mommy, mommmeeeeeeeee". I told her I am changing my name to Stella and now she calls me "Stella Julie". Fabulous. Anyway, stay tuned, I will get out all my "deep" thoughts sooner or later.

Monday, July 28, 2008

She's a tape recorder

Lana has been saying the funniest things lately. Then I realized that I say all of these funny things, without even knowing it and she has picked it up. Its kinda weird hearing your strange phrases you say inadvertently repeated to you by a 2 year old. For example, everytime we leave the house she said, "Let's get outta here!" She says it when we are in stores too. I must say that a lot. Lana is really into her raspberry and blueberry bushes we planted so every day she says, "Let's see what's happenin with Lana's raspberry." What's happenin? Oh boy. Do I actually speak like this? I have been told before many times that I have some weird sayings/phrases. People say, "where the heck are you from?" "Buffalo, NY" I reply. Do we speak bizzaro there? I hear all my friends IRL replying a resounding "YES!" What is kind of sad is that she knows the words for headache, tummy not feel good and medicine, which has pretty much summed up my past year. Anyway Miss Lana is crackin me up and whatever her/my strange phrases are, at least she hasn't said the F word yet which would be straight from her father's vernacular.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

We are back and in one piece!

Lana impressed me on this trip to see Grandma Dianne! I was so worried that she would be difficult on the plane or wouldn't adjust well to the time change or would be afraid of all the new people she would be meeting, but none of my fears were realized. She did great on the plane--thanks to my friend Jamie loaning me her portable DVD player. That thing is magical and you better believe we will be buying one before our next trip. No tantrums, no crying, no climbing all over mommy. Heck, I even bought a novel for the return trip b/c I had so much free time on my hands!

We had a blast with Grandma Dianne--lots of girl time (no offense to the boys) swimming, shopping, raspberry pickin and visiting relatives. It has been so long since I have visited Buffalo that most of my relatives still remember me as a teenager. I think it was a little odd for them to see me with a kid of my own. And I did hear the ever familiar--"you are a stay at home mom? What about that PhD?" Oh geez. But we had fun and it was relaxing. It was also nice for someone else to cook for me--food definitely tastes better when someone else makes it.

Grandma Dianne is planning on relocating to our neck of the woods this coming winter, which could not make me happier. I so look forward to Lana having a close relationship with her. She is a great mommy to me and a wonderful grandma to Lana, it will be so so nice to hang out more than twice a year!

Lana was so good during this whole trip. It really showed me that she is maturing--gone is that screaming baby--why oh why is she crying??? and now she is a sweet little girl (most days). I feel so confident now that I could travel with her just about anywhere, even without Bill. The best part of course was coming home. Poor Bill missed us so much--there was very little evidence of human life in our house. No trash, no dishes. I think all he did was work and go to his parents' house for meals. Its great to be all back together again.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I'm still here!

Where have I been, you may ask? Just busy, but still here. After my grandparents' visit, my dad and stepmom came for a few days and tomorrow Lana and I are going to my hometown to see my mommy!! This will only be my second time flying solo with Lana without a husband to share the fun (and give me a break). But this is a long flight--with a layover in Chicago and I am dreading it. Once we are at my mom's we will have a blast, but oh boy--that flight is going to test my patience. You see, Lana is not good at sitting still--at all! She lacks patience and she is LOUD! Should be fun, right? The good thing is that she is cute, so often people will forgive her 2 year old behavior and sometimes other travelers will remember what it was like when they had a 2 year old. But I am prepared for the looks, the hairy eyeball from all the twenty-somethings who have yet to experience parenthood and I will wish the worst kind of karma on them so that they eventually have little demons of their own one day. I was that twenty-something not too long ago. So wish me happy travels and I hope to have lots of fun pics to post when I get back.

Monday, June 30, 2008


Why does my husband like to watch shows called "The Verminator" about a multi-species infestation of cockroaches? Is he trying to drive me to the looney bin? There is my random thought of the day. Ugh, now I am all itchy.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Its starting already...

Bill comes home for lunch almost every day. Today he and Lana had an interesting conversation.

Lana: Baba, go upstairs. Take off shirt and tie. Put on comfies.

Bill: I can't sweetie, I need to go back to work. Do you know why Baba needs to work?

Lana: Make money.

Bill: What do we need money for?

Lana: Buy stuff!

Bill: For who?

Lana: LANA RU!!!!!!!!!!

Uh oh, we better start saving our nickels.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Visit with great-grandparents

I have been a bad blogger lately. This past week my grandparents, who live in Florida, came to visit us. It was so nice to see them and have the company. It was so special to see them interact with Lana. I wish we could do it more often. I am close with my grandparents because when I was growing up they lived 10 min away and I saw them all the time. I am using my experiences and memories of spending time with them toward Lana developing the same type of relationship with my inlaws who also live close by (and in the future with my mom, who is planning on moving here in a few months). I am feeling a little down right now--a bit of a funk perhaps. I always feel this way when I say goodbye to loved ones, but this time I wonder if its the last time I see my grandfather. His health is tenuous and I don't have any plans to see them again in the near future. At this age, you just never know. It was just great to see him smiling and happy. Plus, they have awesome stories--both from long ago and from their senior community that is straight out of Seinfeld.

I was surprised at how much they enjoyed the pacific northwest--I thought they would hate it. We had decent weather--around 70 most days, but man--they were bundled up like it was snowing! Here I am in a t-shirt and jeans, in the car with the windows closed and no air conditioning on and I am sweating buckets. I look over at my grandfather and he is wearing a long-sleeved dress shirt and Bill's fleece zipped all the way up to the neck! Holy crap--if I was wearing that, I would have fainted from heat stroke! I suppose if you are used to 97 and humid, 70 feels like a frigid tundra.

Oh, how Lana loved "grampa and gramma"! It took her all of 10 min to get over any shyness. She loved to show them her toys and color with them. She loved to bring gramma her "walkin stick cane" every chance she got. And of course she kept wanting grampa and gramma to "take a look at Lana" for every little thing. I know that they enjoyed her and she sure did enjoy them too.

Here are some pics from our adventures: