Saturday, September 29, 2007

schoop de terrible-cold-that-follows de croup

Rachel and I have had a loooooong week, mostly stuck in the house, mostly by ourselves. Apparently following the natural progression of this particular virus, Rachel's croup cleared up fairly quickly, with the worst cold in history to follow. She sounds like she has concrete in her little sinuses, and she obviously feels run-down. She took a really long nap this afternoon, though, and that seemed to help her feel better. We even took a trip out shopping this afternoon (Rachel's eyes got really big, and she ran to the door when I asked her if she wanted to go shopping). We went into one of those huge pet superstores, and, being Saturday, there were lots of doggies roaming around. We also saw some cute kitties waiting to be adopted, and the birds made Rachel giggle. What a great [free] field trip!

cute moment

I was spot cleaning our hardwoods the other day, and Rachel wanted to touch the bottle of cleaner (which claims to be all-natural soy-based, but who can tell). I warned her sternly that it was a "no touch." She went away for a few seconds and then came back, grinning mischievously. She proceeded to turn around, bend over with her heiny in the air, and backed up, causing her bottom to touch the bottle of cleaner. Trying not to laugh, I informed her that that still counted as touching, and the cleaner is a "no touch." She then went over to her kitchen and got a spoon, came back, and touched the cleaner with the spoon, grinning and looking at me for a reaction. I scolded her, and then I put the cleaner up where she couldn't reach it. Duh.

non-toy toy of the day

Yesterday, Rachel sat in this bag all afternoon, until it was hardly recognizable. And even after it had ripped in several places, she continued to sit in it, and she demanded that I give it a try as well. I'll have to admit--sitting in a bag is pretty cozy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

schoop de croup

Rachel woke up around 1:30 or 2am with croup. Scary?...YES. She woke up coughing like she was really choking on something, and then she was wheezing like she couldn't catch her breath. My first thought was, "Oh no, my child has asthma!!!" She sounded like she was gasping for breath. I rocked her and she collapsed sweetly on me, but when I tried to put her back in her crib, I was scared to leave her because she sounded like she couldn't breathe. My brainstorming had yielded two possibilities: asthma or pneumonia. So I rocked her a little more, and then I took her down to Jarrad, and we called the advice nurse. I let the nurse hear Rachel over the phone, and, cooperatively, Rachel coughed for her. The nurse said definitively, "Yep, she's got the croup." I guess I am grateful it's that, since it's a rarely-serious virus-caused illness that passes in 5-6 days. No asthma, praise God!

Rachel and I went to my mom's extended family reunion Sunday afternoon, and we spent the night at MiMi and Poppy's house Sunday night. As soon as we walked into their house, Rachel clearly recognized where we were, and started looking for Poppy (who hadn't attended the reunion). She slept great Sunday night, and we were able to visit a couple of old friends on Monday. Here's a picture of Rachel Mae with GreatGrandma Mae.

cute moment

Monday afternoon, Poppy and Rachel were playing outside, and Rachel was chasing their cat (named Bear). He's a fluffy black cat who lives outside and is really sweet, but he is not used to the likes of Rachel. She tries to catch up with him and give him loving pats, but he usually shrinks away with intsictual self-preservation. At one point, Bear was lying in some ivy up on the hill, and Rachel got about a foot from him and was pointing at him, grinning from ear to ear. She looked down at Poppy and me, pleased with herself for finding the cat. She kept her eyes on us, pointing to Bear and squealing with delight. In the meantime, Bear slithered away without Rachel noticing, leaving Rachel pointing and squealing at the bed of ivy. She then bent over to give Bear a friendly whack, only to find he was gone. She quickly looked around for him, but he had disappeared into a thorn patch, out of her reach.

non-toy toy of the day

At the reunion, Rachel found the kids' table, complete with kids' chairs. She spent a lot of the afternoon rearranging the chairs the way she thought was most appropriate.

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Rachel's new kitchen has become the biggest and best distraction yet for Rachel. My worst frustration with her has been when I'm trying to get things done in the kitchen. She always wants "up" to see what I'm doing. Now I just say, "Rachel, where's your kitchen?" She stays out of my feet and busy busy busy. To add to her fun, we decided to put together her shopping cart (a gift from Aunt Mamber). Rachel just piles stuff from her kitchen into the cart and zooms around. It is a wonderful thing.

NaNa and PaPa (Jarrad's grandparents) came for a visit early Friday morning. Rachel bossed them like she would anyone, and NaNa even complied with Rachel's insistence that she sit on the floor with her. They freed me to get a few chores done, and that made my day. As soon as they left, Rachel took her nap, and, although it was a bit earlier than usual, she was in a great mood for most of the afternoon.

cute moment

Rachel has learned to "hide" things by holding them behind her back. She grins mischievously and thinks she's so clever, and, of course, I always pretend not to see what she's holding.

non-toy toy of the day

The three of us joined some friends for bowling Friday night. Of course, Rachel was most interested in milling around, greeting people and sticking her nose in things. There was a face painting table where she got a heart painted on her hand (she was mesmerized). Just when she seemed to be getting a little antsy, I found an empty box that was just her size. She sat down in it, and I pulled her around. Leah hung out in there for a few minutes, too, but the two kiddos were definitely getting sleepy. But the box was definitely a big hit.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

double the sleep

Rachel had her 15-month physical yesterday, weighing in at 21lb 13oz (35%), measuring 30" long (45%--she'll be 3 ft tall before we know it!), with a head circumference at 90%. The doctor assured me her head size was due to all her brains (I didn't even ask). The doc also commented that, of all the 15-month-olds she'd seen, Rachel did really well with her shots; she only cried about 20 seconds before I was able to distract her by pointing out all the trash the doctor had left behind on the examining table. Rachel promptly pointed to the trash can in the room. The doctor said she could tell Rachel is a helper. I think helper is code for bossy.

Rachel visited some friends at lunch today. Leah is 2.5 months younger than Rachel, and Kyler (pictured) is 6 months old. It was fun to watch the babies interact, and Rachel definitely pulled rank on the other girls by snatching toys away. I hope she doesn't turn into a bully.

I think partially due to her shots, and partly due to her level of activity and lack of sleep yesterday, Rachel took two awesome naps today for the first time in at least a month. Rachel has been a one-nap baby for quite some time now, and I've reconciled myself to that. She has a ~40-minute quiet time in her crib mid-morning, usually, and then one nap in the afternoon (of course, her one nap is rarely longer than 1.5 hours). This morning, she fell asleep almost as soon as I put her in her crib for quiet time, and she slept 2 hours! So mid-afternoon, after we got home from our playdate, I put her in her crib for quiet time, and she fell asleep again--this time for almost 1.5 hours!! I couldn't believe it. I forgot how much I can get done with that kind of time on my hands. So by the time she got up from the 2nd nap, my kitchen and floors were spotless, a load of laundry was clean, and I was in a great mood.

My wonderful cousin DeeDee is always bringing fun new toys for Rachel to play with (her kids are older, so we get their hand-me-downs). We hit the jackpot this week when she brought over their old play kitchen! We put it in the dining room by the windows, and Rachel has been playing there almost non-stop. I even caught her pretending to wash her hands in the tiny sink!

cute moment

Rachel has noticed the birds chirping outside, and she likes to imitate them. She listens intently, and then she grins and says, "teh, teh, teh."

My favorite outside noise, though, is when airplanes fly over. Our house is right under the path of some of the planes taking off and landing at the nearby airport, and Rachel still has not grown accustomed to the noise. When we are downstairs, it's a little louder, (I guess because of all the windows), and when a plane comes by (5 or 6 times a day, maybe?), Rachel almost always stops what she's doing, looks at me with a really serious look and wide eyes, and then sprints over and clings on until the plane is gone. She knows what it is now, but she still likes to be near me. And I don't mind if that doesn't change just yet.

non-toy toy of the day

Yesterday, while I was getting myself ready for the day, I stepped out of my bathroom to look for Rachel, who had grown unusually quiet. There she sat on our bedroom floor, with an open tub of Vaseline, greasy all over. I guess she figured out how to remove the lid. Oops!

Monday, September 17, 2007

no excuses

We haven't really been that busy, and we have had some visits from friends, and we've gone a few places, too, so don't ask why I haven't blogged. I guess you could say I've been experiencing blogger's block. But the weather has turned cooler and my spirits are up, so I'm attempting a post.

I always feel guilty when I don't get to spend much quality time with Rachel, even if she's spending quality time with her daddy or other family. I don't know why that is, except that I think God puts a special kind of worry in the heart of a mommy. I am thoroughly convinced that no one will take care of her as well as I do--even though she really doesn't require much these days...just keep her belly full and a pair of shoes nearby, and that child stays pretty happy. Saturday night, Jarrad stayed home with Rachel while I went out with some girlfriends from church. We had dinner and painted pottery, and it was a lot of fun. Jarrad didn't have any responsibilities at church this week, so he brought Rachel Sunday morning and took her back home while I stayed and helped teach a kids' Sunday school. Rachel went down for her nap about an hour after I got home, and I left for a soccer game before she was up again. I didn't see her the rest of the night because we had Community Group and PopPop and Aunt Mamber babysat. I was happy to see her little smiling face this morning, and I'm pretty sure she was happy to see me too.

Jarrad installed Rachel's new car seat this afternoon, and it is HUGE. She looked like such a big girl, and such a little girl at the same time! This car seat lasts through 80 lbs, so we won't have to buy another one for a long time. To give her a chance to try it out, PopPop and Uma took us all out to dinner, which was a real treat, especially at the end of the meal when Rachel wanted to run around talking to everyone. Uma chased her while we relaxed!

cute moment

Jarrad and PopPop decided to bring Rachel to my soccer game for a few minutes Sunday afternoon. They reported that Rachel walked around in the grass, picking up every tiny piece of trash, and demanding that PopPop carry her to drop it into the trash can. She's such a good citizen. At halftime of our game, our team was sitting around drinking our water and Gatorade. Rachel found a cooler, and the owner let Rachel take all the items out one by one. She then replaced the items in the cooler and commanded the girl to put her gatorade in there, too. She proceeded around our group, collecting unclaimed bottles and deposting them into the cooler. Everyone appropriately exclaimed over her cuteness, and I was a proud mommy.

non-toy toy of the day

Trash, water bottles, and coolers, oh my. Rachel additionally loved playing with a napkin at dinner tonight. She also played with her food.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

the shortest long day

Today flew by, although we had a lot of activity. We had a lot of visitors all day, and tonight I had invited several of my former coworkers to dinner. GiGi came for a visit this morning, which allowed me to run a couple of errands. My friend Theresa and her daughter, Alex, came over just as Rachel was waking up from her nap this afternoon. Rachel was still crusty-faced and wearing just a diaper, and, since I was trying to get things ready for my dinner, I didn't stop to dress her or clean her up. Our friend Glenn came over to borrow Jarrad's truck, and, after he left, my friend Caroline came over with her son, Chase. Theresa, Alex, Caroline, Chase, Rachel and I were visiting when our friend Barbara came by with her daughter, Anna. Glenn came back to drop off the truck, and then people started leaving. First Glenn, then Barbara and Anna, Theresa and Alex, and lastly, Caroline and Chase. As I was walking Caroline to the door, I said, "Well, Rachel, let's go wash your face and put on your party dress." I got her cleaned up and dressed just in time before my only two dinner guests arrived. Two!! Rachel had run around all afternoon, as we had seven guests in and out of our house, with a dirty face, wearing just her plain diaper, and the big party I had fretted over, the one I cleaned her up and dressed her for, turned out to be a much smaller event than the afternoon had been! Isn't it funny how these things work out? The worst thing is that I didn't take any pictures.

cute moment

Although Rachel and I were together most of the day, I didn't feel like I had spent much time with her when bedtime rolled around. So, I let her stay up a few extra minutes after everyone left, and we had mommy-baby time. We went up to her room, and she played contentedly, sitting in my lap, running around while I tried to steal kisses and hugs, and bossing me about how and where to sit. The most fun was when she sat on my lap and then, when she stood right back up again, I'd say, "Hey! Come back here!" and pull her back on my lap again. She cackled so loud every time. I was sad to put her to bed, but she was exhausted after our exciting day.

non-toy toy of the day

Jarrad took Rachel to potty during dinner tonight, and when she came back, she was holding a hairbrush and a bottle of body splash. One of our guests said, "Rachel, where are your real toys?" But Rachel didn't seem to hear her...

Sunday, September 9, 2007

the longest short week

Rachel nor I have felt 100% this week, which made the time drag by. We went to the lake with Aunt Julie and Mr. Landin Thursday and Friday, though, and that was a great distraction. Rachel rode on the boat, which she hated--mostly because I wouldn't let go of her the whole time. She went swimming--well, not really...she just floated on me on a floating chair, but it was fun. She played with shells and rocks, she fed ducks and fish, and she even watched Aunt Julie catch a huge catfish with a Fisher Price toy fishing rod! Jarrad almost broke his body trying to ski and wake board, but he and I had a great time joyriding on the Seadoo while Julie and Landin chased Rachel around.

cute moment

Aunt Julie's poodle, Jack, was vacationing with us, and, since he is just Rachel's size, she fell in love with him. He was really into Rachel's favorite pastime--being chased. She ran from one side of the house to the other, and he chased her and licked her hands and tummy. She giggled and then would run to me or Julie, saying, "up," for a break from Jack. She quickly got back down to start all over. The funniest part for us was seeing her boss Jack. Rachel's grunt-style communication has really become quite sophisticated. Friday afternoon, Rachel went over to the sliding glass door that leads out to the screened porch. She pointed to the door and then to Jarrad, "Kuh. Kuh." Jarrad opened the door. She pointed to Jack and then to the porch, "Kuh. Kuh." Jack exited, followed with Rachel commanding the door to be shut. I guess Jack understands her language as well as we do.

non-toy toy of the day

Rachel had a blast with full access to her Crocs while we were at the lake. Interestingly, she almost always took her shoes off, only to reverse them and replace them on the wrong feet. She walked around at least half the time with her shoes on backwards. Rachel also carried around two near-empty 12oz soda bottles most of the afternoon on Friday.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

30 second post

Last night, we couldn't find 2 of Rachel's 3 crib pacis. We were looking all over her room and under and behind her crib. She got down on her belly to look under her crib, and then straightened all four limbs inquisitively, causing her to teeter on her oversized belly, and said "hmmmmkuh?" (which means "where'd it go?") We did find the pacis, finally. She had stuffed them into Kagaroo's pouch. Oh brother.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

in love with my baby

I know all you mommies out there feel the same way...don't you just love your baby?? I had two babies in my house on Friday: Rachel and 18-month-old Lyssette. Lyssette is one of those sweet babies who wants to be held and loved on, and it takes a while for her to feel safe. When her mommy dropped her off, she was literally shaking, like she was so scared and nervous! Poor baby. Rachel was such a good girl and did not protest the fact that I held Lyssette most of the morning. She even let Lyssette play with her favorite Monkey. After a couple of hours, Lyssette began to make herself at home, and even took a 2-hour nap in Rachel's crib! Rachel napped in the Pack n Play in another room, and slept her usual 1.5 hours. When Lyssette left later in the afternoon, Rachel was exhausted, and she seemed so happy to have her mommy to herself. She was so snuggly and sweet, and I took full advantage of my sweetie.

Later in the afternoon, Rachel wanted to get back in the Pack n Play with her blankie and her pacis, so I put her in there. She entertained herself for almost 30 minutes, even lying down on her belly and just resting, kicking her feet up and down, for 10 minutes straight. I was amazed, and in love.

Rachel and I went to my hometown on Saturday, and we got to visit with MiMi, Poppy, Aunt KiKi, Uncle Trav, Cousin Tyler, and Tia Milli. We had so much fun. It always so fun to watch the two kids interact, especially now that the developmental gap is narrowing (Tyler is 7 months older than Rachel).

cute moment

When Lyssette was here on Friday, and she found Monkey and was carrying him around, talking to him and poking his face, Rachel got really jealous. I was watching closely, though, and the first time Rachel reached to steal Monkey, I intercepted her and explained that we let our friends play with any toy they want. After that, Rachel followed Lyssette and Monkey around, and, whenever she felt herself reaching for Monkey, she'd pull her hand away and say, "NO NO."

On Saturday, Rachel was sitting on the floor in Mimi and Poppy's house, and she seemed to think she had something on the bottom of her foot. She really wanted to see for herself, so she was pulling her foot up and trying as hard as she could to look at the bottom. She kept falling over until she finally gave up.

non-toy toy of the day

On Saturday, Rachel found MiMi's two bread baskets. They are both round and shallow. First, Rachel put them side-by-side and put one foot in each basket, like they were her shoes. Then, she sat in one, and, after that, tried several times to sit in them both together (half her bottom in one basket and half in the other). What in the world??