Wednesday, October 31, 2007

reformation day

Okay, so Rachel dressed up for Halloween...

We went to the mall, where some of the stores do Trick-or-Treating early in the evening. It was perfect timing to be able to get Rachel in the bed at a reasonable hour, it was free, and it was indoors. Rachel had so much fun, but she didn't make it very far around the mall. She spent almost the entire evening in front of the candy store. There was a gorilla there, giving handfuls of gum to passersby. Rachel approached tentatively at first. He tried several ways to get her to dig into his bucket of gum, but she was unsure. Finally, he set the gum down and pretended to walk away, and Rachel made a break for it, picking up the entire bucket to swipe. He laughed and said she could keep the whole bucket of gum! So she carried it a few feet away, where she settled herself on the floor to examine her loot. A girl from the store brought over a little paper bag, which Rachel immediately began to fill with gum. She focused on this task for about 25 minutes, and then began to help fill other Trick-or-Treaters' bags with gum. Aunt Mamber met us there, and she and I just sat and watched Rachel interact with everyone. I was amazed that she didn't try to take off any part of her costume, nor did she claim to be hungry or need to potty. Incidentally, she wore training pants on our little excursion, and she stayed dry like a champ--our first 100% accident-free day!

She was pretty wiped out by the time we got home, and she went to sleep pretty easily after some snuggle time (she has been really snuggly lately).

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

tuesday post

First of all, I would like to report an abrupt ending to Rachel's paci usage. That's right--we packaged them up and "mailed" them to the hospital for little babies yesterday. I was anticipating a loooooong night last night, but Rachel did great! I have been dreading the end of paci era, and I am relieved that it hasn't been a big deal so far. I hadn't planned to take them away so early, but Rachel face and lips have been so chapped lately, and she always had a weird white film on the inside of her lips whenever she woke up, so I decided the time had come.

We have also officially switched to training pants by day. Rachel is finally big enough for the smallest sized cheap training pants, and I am relieved to be rid of diapering a busy toddler. She averaged two accidents for the first few days, but she's only had one (usually during dinner) or none for the past 3 or 4 days. There are still times when she wears diapers: when she sleeps, and when we're on long car rides, for church and for a babysitter. She doesn't seem to mind switching back and forth for now.

Saying "byebye" to the paci and "byebye" to diapers really makes me feel like my little girl is growing up. To prove she is getting closer to two every day, the last week or so has been full of meltdown after temper tantrum after extreme mood swing. It's a roller coaster living with a toddler! Here's a video of Rachel begging for a cracker, as she does innumerable times a day. She usually uses a sign she made up for cracker, but she already knew that I knew what she wanted, so she didn't bother here...

Rachel is really talking a lot lately, too, although her words are few and often unintelligible. She kind of just talks about whatever she can name, putting the words together into nonsensical sentences. My favorite is that she likes to say "maamaaaa" so sweetly now, and she absolutely yells "DADDY, DAAAADDY," when Jarrad's in another room. Also, whenever I say, "where's the _____?" (fill in the blank with whatever I can't find at the moment), Rachel immediately calls for whatever it is--"jaaaacket, jaaaaacket,"--and then hugs and kisses the item as soon as we find it.

cute moment

Today, we got in the car to go to the grocery store. Rachel started yelling "glasses, glasses, glasses" (in her language, of course), as she pointed to my suglasses that were clipped to the visor. I put them on, and she said, "yay!!" and clapped her hands.

Rachel had a meltdown one day because I wouldn't let her climb onto the coffee table, where she intended to sit on a little plush couch that goes with one of her dolls. I did let her sit on the toy couch on this chair, though, and that made her happy enough.

And, finally--last but not least--we visited MiMi and Poppy over the weekend, with Uncle Travis, Aunt KiKi, and Cousin Tyler. Tyler has suddenly become very interested in Rachel, so getting the two to pose for a picture wasn't difficult. Awwwwwww.

non-toy toy of the day

Rachel has enjoyed learning to use crayons and stickers. Her artwork would be so fun, if she didn't usually ball it up and declare it "TA" (i.e. trash) as soon as she was finished. I guess she's one of those artists.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

anecdote or two

Rachel and I have been recovering from our busy busy weekend. Suffice it to say that we've been visiting and shopping and babysitting and cooking and eating and aiding for four days straight, so it's been nice to just be home and take it easy some. Due to the busyness, my housework has also been neglected, so I've been playing catch-up on my chores, too.

cute moment

Is Rachel too young to be a smart aleck? Yesterday, I was cleaning up all her little pretend food, and I asked her several times to help me put the food in the container. Little Miss Smartie Pants danced and pranced around, giggling and procrastinating. I handed her a plastic piece of fruit and told her to put it in the bowl. She laughed and put the fruit in her mouth. She looked at me and shook her head, the fruit dangling between her teeth, and then she bent down and released it into the container. I felt compelled to say, "Don't be smart, Rachel," and then realized that she probably had no idea what I meant by that...or did she?...

Rachel and I were sharing a pear the other day, and, as I usually do, I ate off the peel and then held it in front of her so she could take a bite. On this particular day, Rachel was not interested in eating the pear. But she laughed, and then she reached out and hugged the pear to her, rocked it back and forth, and said, "baby."

Lastly, Rachel has quiet time almost every morning for 30-45 minutes, or until she seems restless and ready for some company. I put her in her crib with some stuffed animals and books, and, more recently, I've started allowing her a toy or two. The first day I let her take her puzzle and pocketbook and piggy bank, she played and played and played, perfectly content for almost an hour. Then, all of a sudden, she fell silent. Curious, I went to check on her. She looked like she fell asleep mid-motion, so of course I had to take a picture or two...

non-toy toy of the day

PopPop and Uma came by for a few minutes over the weekend, and they brought Rachel a festive singing and dancing ghost. He is pretty cute, and he's been singing and dancing almost non-stop since he arrived.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

once upon a time...

A long, long time ago--in February, I believe--I submitted Rachel's picture to the BabyLegs website for their "Customer Gallery." It never showed up, and I quit checking in June or July. Now that the weather is cooler, I just decided to order her a couple more pairs of BabyLegs, and, when I checked their site, her picture was up! It appears in the February pictures in the Customer Gallery. I think their website is pretty terrible, but it's still neat for her to be on there! Scroll all the way down to the bottom to see two pictures of your favorite BabyLegs lady...

Monday, October 15, 2007

sincerest flattery

I have been going going going for several days now, and I'm starting to feel the affects. Among other events, my cousin DeeDee's two kids, Sarah and David came over for a couple of hours Friday afternoon. Here's what our living room looks like when three kids have free reign...

We visited Rachel's great-grandparents, NaNa and PaPa on Saturday, which did provide a bit of a break, since there were many eyes and hands on Rachel. I was pretty wiped out, though, after driving there and back in one day, especially since Rachel was cranky in the car (she usually is very polite to sleep on long trips).

cute moment

Rachel is really into imitating now. The other day, Rachel was eating a little bowl of applesauce at breakfast, and I poured myself a bowl of cereal. I added the milk (as one usually does to cereal), as Rachel observed. She immediately picked up her sippy cup of milk and "poured" it into her applesauce, and then stirred as if she had added something.

Rachel is also becoming more and more particular, and exceedingly bossy. After she got up this morning, sleepy me lay on the floor in her room, using her little blanket as cover, resting my head on her big teddy bear, while she played around me. Finally, she came over and said, "Up. Up." She then yanked the blanket away and pulled the bear out from under my head. She signed and said, "All finished," (which sounds like "ah in"). I guess naptime was over.

I wore my glasses all day today, too, and Rachel was scolded several times for grabbing at them. Tonight, she must have been tired of looking at them on my face, because, over and over, she pointed to my glasses then to the floor, saying, "byebye, byebye" until I finally removed them. Other things she has ordered me to do lately: hang up the hand towel, put the babywash in its place, sit by her on the step outside, carry her vacuum, sippy cup, AND hat while she walks around outside (when I tried to put any one thing down, she picked it right back up to hand it to me again), brush her hair, give her a sticker (or all the stickers), close a cabinet door I had accidentally left cracked, put cheese back in the refrigerator, put on my shoes, put on Jarrad's shoes, pick her up (she often tries to pick me up when she wants me to carry her somewhere), throw trash away, move the trash can to its usual location...

non-toy toy of the day

Rachel has been affixed to this popper push-toy--a gift from Aunt Mamber at Rachel's birthday. She has played and played and played with it since last Wednesday. I have always called it her "vacuum" because that's what I distract with her when I vacuum the carpet and rugs ("Rachel, where's your vacuum?").

Whenever I clean our wood floors, I always drag our three rugs from the floor to the carpet in our living room, where I can easily vacuum them before replacing them on the clean floors. Rachel has seen this process many times, and, apparently she thought it needed to be done. Unprompted, she walked intently into the kitchen, retrieved the little rug from in front of the sink, dragged it to the living room, ran her "vacuum" across it a time or two, and then dragged it back to the kitchen. I was amazed, although I'll have to say that the rug did not seem much cleaner than it was before.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

yard work

We've had guys working all week on making the rough land behind our house into a backyard! It is really exciting to see it all come together, and it's been a fun distraction for Rachel. They are planting grass tomorrow, and that'll be it for now! I can't wait to have a fun and safe place for Rachel to play!

cute moment

Rachel and I were out and about tonight, and, once the sun went down, it was so nice outside. We had dinner with my friend Shawna, and then we followed Rachel around for about 30 minutes, as she pushed her stroller haphazardly. I tried to keep at least one finger on the handle to guide it, but if Rachel caught me doing that, she had a fit. I guess SHE wanted to do it.

When we got home tonight, Rachel and I went straight to her room to play quietly until bedtime. She has developed a bad habit of throwing toys and books, and I'm trying to teach her to be "gentle." She threw a book at me, and I sternly said, "No, Rachel, NO throw the books." She hopped right over and collapsed in my lap, grinning her cutest grin, gave me a kiss, pointed to me and said, sweetly, "Mama," and then pointed to herself and said, "Baby." I think if she had the words, she would have said, "How can you be mad at me, Mommy? I'm your baby!"

non-toy toy of the day

As we were meandering around outside, good-citizen Rachel, who, as you know, loves to collect and dispose of trash, picked up a cigarette butt. "Ta!" she declared, pointing to the trash receptacle. EWWWWW!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

where is tall one?

I just want to say that Rachel is unbelievably tall now! Her clothes are so short on her, and she only has a couple of dresses that still look okay. I love the dress in the picture, and she wears it all the time. I remember when it came all the way down to her ankles. Amazing!

cute moment

Rachel completely understands potty stuff, but that doesn't keep her from "forgetting" sometimes. Yesterday, she had a wet diaper late in the afternoon, and, as I sat her on the potty, I sighed with frustration. Rachel grinned at me, and then sighed dramatically, with exactly the same inflection as my sigh. I laughed hysterically, and so did she.

non-toy toy of the day

Rachel loves her Snack Trapper right now. I usually keep Cheerios in there, even though she doesn't really like to eat Cheerios very often these days. When we're in the car, or going for a walk--really anytime I have to strap her down--I just give her the Snack Trapper, and Rachel just digs her hand in there, eating a Cheerio or two now and then. She even fell asleep in the car with the Snack Trapper clenched tightly in her fist.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

banana gel

Rachel is 100% better now, and she seems to be ecstatic about it. She was pretty silly all day today, and has rediscovered her toys. It's sure nice to have my baby back.

cute moment

Rachel woke up at 7:00am today (a big improvement from 6:00am yesterday). She woke up content, and she talked to herself and played...and played and played. At 7:40am, I finally went to her room--not because she had become discontent, but because I was ready to see her! "Rachel, are you ready to get down?" "No." She requested that I give her each of her stuffed animals and books. She soon had a crib full of friends and reading material, and she continued to play. Finally, at 8:15am, she asked to get out of the crib, and indicated that she was hungry. Breakfast took a long time, too, as she busied herself smearing banana and applesauce, and crunching Cheerios. What a happy girl!

non-toy toy of the day

We went to the Farmers Market today with Aunt KiKi and Cousin Tyler, and I bought Rachel a little pumpkin. She loved it! She also continues to enjoy sitting in bags...