Wednesday, November 28, 2007

weather for the soul

It has been so beautiful this week, and Rachel is being such a good girl (she was obviously missing her daddy last week). I sure do love her, and I sure think she's a pretty girl. Can you tell I'm feeling smitten today?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

mac and cheese productions

Uma taught Rachel a very important skill when we were visiting in the mountains...

Monday, November 26, 2007

time out game

Today, Rachel slept her latest to date: 9:05am. I never thought it would happen, but today was the day. As a result, we had a great day. She had one very small temper tantrum, one time out, and one self-imposed time out. Huh? Well, I started time out [again] last week. I tried it a few weeks ago, and she didn't seem to get it. She gets it now. I usually get one of the small, square floor pillows, set it in the corner, and then she sits there for about a minute. The same day she got a time out for the first time, she gave herself a time out. Now, when I give her a warning and say she'll get a time out if she does ____ again, she goes and has a time out. She pulls the pillow off the stack, sets it in the corner, sits on it for a second and looks at me, and then says/signs "all finished" before replacing the pillow on the stack. I also reluctantly use spanking on occasion, and she has also begun requesting a "spank spank" (that's what I call it) when I give her a warning. Don't get me wrong--she definitely seems to have her feelings hurt when I give her a spank spank or a time I don't understand what she's thinking. As usual.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

terrible seventeen-months

Rachel has been extremely cranky today, and I think there's nothing really to blame it on, except her age. I got pretty cranky, myself by lunchtime. Rachel had been playing contentedly, and I was taking pictures. After a few minutes, I decided I should tidy up the kitchen a bit and wash the couple of dishes left over from breakfast. Oh, the wails that followed. Rachel bosses me all day, and sometimes I just say, "No, Rachel, I will not sit next to you while you eat and feed your teddy bear his imaginary food and milk, because I don't have to do what you say." So there. Boy, does she get mad. So I'm standing at the sink, washing dishes, and she is literally pushing my legs in the direction she wants me to go. When I tell her "no," she just flings herself around, often smacking her head against a cabinet or the floor, which she really plays up like she's injured beyond repair. It makes me crazy. But I really almost lost it when she was standing there in my feet, having a fit, and she wet her pants. This child has not had an accident in several days (with the exception of her tummy issues, but I mean a peepee accident), so it was all because she was in the middle of her temper tantrum that she wet herself. Thankfully, she haulted, and I got her to the potty for most of the peepee, which was some consolation to me.

I love this outfit Rachel's wearing, but she added the jeans herself. She has figured out how to put pants on, and she drags jeans around and struggles to put them on and then take them off. They often end up backward, and she has trouble walking around and bending over in them, but she's just so proud of herself that she doesn't mind. She finally got these on the right direction, and I helped her get them buttoned, and, ya know what--this outfit is actually cuter with the jeans! Oh, oh, what will she be like as a teenager...

cute moment

When it was time to put cranky Rachel down for her nap, Little Miss Busy didn't want to go to bed. Part of our routine now is that I hold her by her crib and sway her for a couple minutes. She gets really still and sweet, and pats my shoulder a lot, so it's hard to put her down (I think she knows that). Today, she collapsed on my shoulder for a few seconds and then sat up and told me she needed to go potty. "No, we're all finished with the potty--you just went potty." Without protest, she collapsed again for a few seconds more, and then popped her head up and asked for some water. "No, Rachel, you had some water." She lay back down. Then she looked at me and snorted out her nose and pointed to the box of tissues. "You don't need to blow your nose, Rachel." After lying still and thinking of one last delay tactic, she looked back up and asked for a bath. It was hard not to laugh as I refused her last ditch effort.

non-toy toy of the day

CD's...(notice all her teeth!)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

where in the world

Our camera batteries are completely shot, so here's one old picture of Rachel...

So where have we been? Where do I begin? Rachel has had an ugly tummy virus for almost two weeks, but it seems to be clearing up. Insanely, I woke up Tuesday morning and decided I should take Rachel to Tennessee to visit her Great-Grandma, who was there visiting relatives. For a variety of reasons, Rachel and I never make it up to the mountains of West Virginia where she lives. Where she was in Tennessee is only 1.5 hours from where Jarrad's dad lives. So, I made all the phone calls to line it up, threw everything in the car, including Rachel, and headed out. We stopped by my hometown and picked up my dad, who graciously accompanied us on our roadtrip as entertainment for Rachel. So on Tuesday afternoon, we landed at Jarrad's dad's house, where we spent the night, and then the four of us (Rachel, Poppy, PopPop, and I) headed to Tennessee and back on Wednesday, spent the night again, and then back through my hometown and back to Raleigh on Thursday. (Hopefully I'll get pictures from the visit from Jarrad's cousin soon.) Whew!

We returned exhausted and sickly. I recovered, but Rachel is quite sick with a nasty headcold. After two weeks of the stomach stuff, I decided to take her on to the doctor on Friday, who predictably told us it was just two viruses back-to-back, and we just have to wait it out. On a funny note, Rachel wasted no time trying to boss the doctor, and the doctor pointed out several times that Rachel is "very grown up for her age." Rachel peepeed in the potty and blew her nose while we were there. What a show off.

Although Rachel's vocabulary has been a bit slow to grow, she finally started saying "more" and "please" this week. She has used the signs for these words for months, but she seems to finally have made the connection between the sign and the actual word (now she runs around saying "muh, muh, muh" for everything). She still has yet to say anything with the "ee" sound (she says "mama" for MiMi), but I do try not to get anxious--difficult, isn't it??

cute moment

Of course, Rachel did not cooperate with my roadtrip plan, which was for her to sleep on the way to pick up my dad and then stay awake with him in the backseat on the way to the mountains. She did the opposite, and she yelled essentially the whole 1.5 hours we were in the car alone. My nerves were completely shot, and, at one point, I turned around to her and said, "Rachel--that is TOO LOUD!" I guess I sounded kind of mean, because she looked so hurt and sad. Her bottom lip poked out and her brow furrowed, as if she was fighting back tears. She silently peered out the window, but she perked up shortly, and recommenced yelling. I felt bad that I hurt her feelings, though.

But the cutest thing for me was when we were spending our second night at PopPop and Uma's house. Rachel and I were sharing a room, which Rachel did not realize on night one. She woke up at 1:15am on night two, and she insisted from her pack n play that she needed to potty. In an effort to keep her from waking up the whole house, I set her on the potty, where she proved to be wide awake. As I sat in front of her, struggling to keep my eyes open, she looked at me, wide-eyed, with a smile all over her face. She was still, and seemed to be studying my face. She reached out and patted my cheek a few times, and then she wanted hugs. My little sweetie didn't really need to potty, but that was okay. I put a new diaper on her and attempted to put her back to bed, which she protested LOUDLY. So, I put her in bed with me, and I told her that she had to go to sleep or she'd have to go back in the pack n play. She seemed to understand that, because she lay down quietly. But she was wide awake, and she tossed and turned, talked to herself and giggled. After about 45 minutes, I decided to try again to put her to bed. She cried. She screamed. I tried to ride it out, and she settled down in about 10 minutes, but started right back up again. So I gave in, and she must have worn herself out, because she ended up falling right to sleep lying next to me--something that hasn't happened in a really really long time. I didn't sleep all that well, but it was really sweet to sleep by my baby. She stirred a few times after 5:00am, but she quickly curled up on me and went back to sleep every time. She was finally up for the day around 6:30am, and she was in a surprisingly great mood.

One of Rachel's favorite things about our visit was feeding the ducks that hang out at the pond in PopPop and Uma's neighborhood. This morning, before I went to Rachel when she woke up, I heard her calling the ducks. Uma called the ducks over by putting her fist to her mouth and quacking. Rachel's interpretation of that is putting her open palm to her mouth and saying "duck duck duck duck duck." She is still talking about our trip, including Uma and the ducks.

non-toy toy of the day

Rachel took a decent nap today, for the first time in almost a week. She was in a good mood between nap and bedtime, and she spent a lot of it folding and stacking her diapers. She hasn't played with her diapers in a long time, since we don't use them much. Rachel also continues to play with the bucket of bubble gum she got from the big gorilla at the mall on Halloween.

But her favorite play right now comes from her shopping cart and her vacuum (the popper push toy). She prefers that someone push one while she pushes the other, so she is constantly insisting on that. She has enjoyed two visits from GiGi this week, and GiGi has been a willing playmate.

Thursday, November 8, 2007


Jarrad and I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of one of Rachel's little toys playing music over and over. What isn't a loud toy during the day is a really really loud toy by night, and I remembered that she had had this particular toy in her crib after naptime (where was it hidden at bedtime?). Jarrad said, "What is that?" I said, "It's her stupid (pardon the language) keyring toy--I forgot it was in her crib." "Is she awake?" he asked. "Well, she probably is now." Each song immediately followed the one before, as if she was depressing the play-a-song button continuously, though she was silent and still. When I entered her room, she lay there, sound asleep, gripping this awful toy. I pulled it away from her (I really had to yank it), and she grumbled and rolled over, but stayed asleep. WHEW!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

the camera comes clean

Our camera batteries do not usually cooperate long enough to get many good series o pictures these days, so I've been a bit lazy getting the pics onto the computer. When I cleaned off the card today, I remembered this...

cute moment

The glimmer and newness of the fun fun bucket of gum Rachel gained on Halloween night has finally begun to wear off. Yesterday was probably the first day she didn't drag it around everywhere (or demand that I carry it behind her like her attendant). The day after Halloween, she could hardly bear to part with it even long enough to eat breakfast. We finally compromised, and she agreed to eat her scrambled eggs.

And here is Rachel with two of her bff's, Lyssette and Ella

Cousin Tyler taught Rachel to hug her friends. Lyssette was unsure...