Monday, March 22, 2010

Two and a HALF!!!

Laylah officially turned two and a half yesterday. It's a milestone. In six months she will be three and that makes me think she won't be a baby anymore, she'll be a little kid. Don't really want to think about that. Anyway, this week I decided I'd take advantage of our fair city for the few remaining months we have left here, it seems Brandon is sure we're headed to DC. We went Everywhere! Monday we went to the zoo. We had a great time, the weather was warm, Laylah got to ride the train and sat in the Peacock chair on the carousel. She found all the animals that they mention comparing to dinosaurs on Dinosaur Train and told me all about them. Giraffes are like Apatosaurus, rhinos are like triceratops, lions are like T-Rexes, etc. She's so cute. It was really a fantastic day. On Tuesday we went to the children's museum and the aquarium, two of her favorite spots. She played the most with the pretend food at the children's museum, she's really gotten into that lately, first shopping for the food and paying for it, just like Mommy! and then putting it away and making dinner, just like Mommy! Only she warns you every time not to really eat it because, "It's pretend! Don't eat it!" At the aquarium we finally saw the belugas again, they've been gone forever, and after that we went to the playground across the street, she loves that playground and since it's still light outside later we can enjoy it after five when the museums close. Wednesday was St. Patrick's Day and we missed the parade on Saturday because I thought it would be the day of, so I looked high and low for something to do that would be St Patrick'sy, we went to Gymboree first to no avail, then in the afternoon we went to a new toy store called Bean Head Toys where they had a craft time. Very cool toy store! We made a shamrock decoration and played with lots of toys there. They have a story time too that we might try. Then we made bread from scratch at home and I made sausage/potato/onion/beer stew with the crusty bread and some Irish cheese. It was yummy. Thursday was busy busy. We went to the High Art Museum in the morning because we ended up get a membership there from a coupon for only $45 which is less than it would cost of us to go once anyway and we can now go to a program they have called Toddler Thursdays. They give you a paper when you get there with instructions, every week is different. This week we were supposed to look for a portrait of a lady with a blue dress where we would then find Ellsworth the Cat who would read a story. We did this going from gallery to gallery asking questions about the paintings, "Is that lady wearing a blue dress?" "Does that have a boy or a girl?" "That girl looks like Laylah!" etc. We found lots of mommies with babies (Christ and Marys) and then we found the right one and got to hear a story about following lines and what lines make, very cute. Then we went downstairs to their classrooms to make a self portrait. We did this by drawing with marker on a mirror then wetting a piece of paper and pressing it to the drawing on the mirror so it would transfer. Had lots of fun with this, though the portrait ended up being more Picasso than Renoir. After that we went to their children's area which is great, they had a person doing a survey about putting children's area's in art museums that we took and ended up getting a free poster, Andy Warhol, Laylah picked it out, I wanted the Degas, but what can you do? After the art museum we went home for a nap before joining our friends at the Dino Museum. You thought we would forget to go there? Never! We ended up having Quinn, Rhea, Sofia, Jaqueline, and Laylah running around the place. At one point they were all holding hands, soooo cute. Of course Laylah took it upon herself to show her friends around and sing the T-Rex song at least eight times. On Friday we went to Sweet Apple Park, once we found it, I really need a GPS! The whole group was there again and we had fun playing in the sandbox, it was over 70! Then we all went to the Fickle Pickle for lunch, twelve mamas and babies and grannies, we drove the waiters crazy! It was fun though and we ate outside. After that we decided, well she hasn't napped yet and it 3pm so she probably won't, so we went to a toy store having a petting zoo day. We got to hold little chicks, see rabits, an alpaca, a horse, lambs, etc. We also played inside the toy store for a while and watched them take professional photos with bunnies, but we didn't do that. $20 for one 5x7? not worth it. Laylah did nap on the drive home afterall and good thing since we were stuck in traffic, including spending forty minutes on a stretch of road that usually takes less than five because Atlanta Traffic cops SUCK! Brandon spent Friday evening out with friends for a birthday party so Laylah and I had a quiet night, and since the weather was soooo nice I decided to open the windows for a while, right? nice? NOOOOOO! apparently I let in all sorts of bad air allergies because by bedtime I was terribly stuffed up, headachy, and had a sore throat! yay! I slept not at all, spent Saturday miserable in bed while Brandon took Laylah to the bookstore for a few hours. Sunday I was feeling a little better and I felt so bad about not doing anything for her official half birthday that I dragged myself out of bed and we took her to the children's museum beacuse that's where she said she wanted to go. It turned out ok and since it was rainy my allergies weren't bad. We went to a new pizza place after that where they gave Laylah a ball of dough to play with and a mini chocolate ice cream for dessert. It was yummy. This morning I woke up with a terrible migraine and a ball of tension in my neck, yay. The migraine is gone for now but the ball is still there. I've been applying heat which seems to help. Maybe just slept wrong, maybe thinking too much about how I don't want to move, I dislike this ball. When Laylah wakes up I'm debating staying in or going to the post office to send Cathy's baby package and then going to the store for food. We don't have any which is a problem. Well, I was busy last week, who can remember to buy groceries with all that going on?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Babies, babies everywhere!

It seems like everyone I know has either just had a baby, is having one, or is trying to have one. We fall into the last category, hoping it won't take too long. However, because of all of these babies I am in baby-stuff making mode. My friends Cathy and Alea are both due in April and I realized last week, crap! I have not made any blankets or hats or anything! So to Michaels we went and bough a boatload of yarn, which, as it turned out, was still not enough, apparently I needed an oil tanker-load of yarn. So Cathy is going with a Tigger theme so I've made her a yellow/pink/white little cap for the baby, cause even though she'll be born in April babies always need little hats when they are first born, they get cold easily. I'm also making her a tigger blanket, which is what I need more yarn for. I hope I get it done before she's actually due though. Alea is going the natural route, home birth, not finding out the gender, so I made her a blue and purple little hat because she thinks she's having a boy and she likes blue in any case. She is having a birthing encouragement party with her midwife and we are all supposed to bring something home-made, some encouraging note cards for her to read while in labor, and something to eat. So I've made her a vase that I painted with a mother and child, sun and moon, her sign and the baby's, I'm going to fill it with sour lollypops that she can suck on during labor since the roof of the mouth has a pressure point that is supposed to relieve pain. I'm going to send some to Cathy too, but they might not let her have them in the hospital since they don't let you eat anything or drink anything while in labor. I think everything is turning out well, we'll see, it has certainly kept me busy most evenings. Makes me think about the little babies coming soon and how precious they will be, how precious Laylah is, how small she was.. I know it will be a challenge to have two, but I think she'll be such a good big sister, she keeps telling me she wants a boy baby in Mommy's tummy, and to name him Quinn, her current boyfriend. She's a funny one. Today we went to Gymboree where she did a great job participating and following directions, sharing even! After that we went to the grocery store, and she played by herself when we got home so that I could straighten up a little and make some banana bread with our old bananas. Added some ground flax seeds and wheat germ this time for an extra boost, we'll see how we like it. The house always smells so good after baking banana bread though. Then we sat down to paint, just a few sheets with green, yellow, blue and spunges and fingers. I'm going to cut out Clovers from them and put them in the window. When we were done she said is was nap time, I love how she does that, I hope it lasts forever. During her nap I've made her a St. Patrick's Day crown out of felt, pipe-cleaners, and glitter and some clover pins for Brandon and I to wear that day, just for fun, maybe if he wears his I can hook it to his tie like a tie pin. Other than making lots of green food I don't know what we'll do for St. Patrick's Day yet. OOps, she's awake, Time to get more yarn and finish these baby projects so I can send them off before the babies arrive. Though nine months seem to last forever, it really does zoom by, I hope we get to experience that zooming soon again too!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Week in Review

Let's see...this week we've enjoyed fine weather, spent a day cleaning up vomit and rushing to an after-hours Pediatrician, of course we've been to the dinosaur museum, and the necessary weekly dentist appointment, but we also had my LAST dentist appointment (for six months), went to the Botanical Gardens to enjoy 70 degrees outside, and had a fantastic Mama's night out. A couple of the moms that we see often decided in December that we should have a monthly outing for Mommies, dinner, a movie, some special activity, so relax, without our kids or husbands, where we can unwind and complain about those we love best. This Sunday was the all time best one, so far. We went to a tapas restaurant with seven moms. After pitchers of sangria and mojitos our pregnant dd took us all to see Dear John, terrible, very very bad movie btw, and two moms left/got thrown out of the theater for making too much noise about how much it sucked, those of us that were not quite so blasted stayed and regretted it, but it was a great time anyway. We all laughed too much, ate too much, and decided we all need another bachelorette party, with me, being the one married the longest (how scary is that?) as the bride. We'll see if this comes about. We are also going to do a painting class together soon. It is really great to have girlfriends that are at the same place in life that you can go to for advice, cry with, laugh with, trust your children with, and I feel really lucky to have that here. So after our wild night out, Monday was still busy. Laylah's friend Sofia and her mom and little baby sister went with us to the Atlanta History Center for their Easter Egg Hunt. They had a great time searching for eggs at the farm, saw some real chickens, made a crafts of a chicken coming out of an egg, played cornhole with stuffed peeps and won prizes. It was also 70 degrees out so after nap we also went to the Fernbank Science Center that afternoon to walk in their forest and smell the daffodils. And since the Fernbank is right around the corner we went to the dino museum after that. Tuesday we went to a playground with our usual group then went to La Leche League meeting at Harry's, the gigantic Whole Foods out here. There was free lunch included, though since it was Kale salad and wraps, Laylah ate none of it and we went to Chick fil-a after. She loves shopping at Herry's though because they have those little kids carts that she can push herself, I just wish she didn't get tired of pushing it half way through and so I end up bent over pushing it while carrying her at the same time, ugh. They also don't fit much in them. It was a good day though. Then started raining last night and has not stopped, at all. Of course I had to drive all the way out to Roswell to drop Laylah off at Play while I went to my last dentist appointment, and of course my wipers have decided they don't function on fast mode (they flip themselves around and scrape the windshield to hell) so I ended up going about 40mph on the highway in torrential downpour with wipers set at just above super slow and everyone passing me for four trips back and forth to get here there, get me to the dentist, go back and get here and then get us home. I'm freakin' exhausted from driving with so much tension! I hate driving in the rain like that! Thank God we got home safe. Oh and I did actually stop at a Jiffy Lube on the way back to get her and asked them about the wipers, apparently I just need to go to an auto parts store and get entirely new more hefty ones cause the ones that came with the car just aint cuttin' it. yay. So they could do nothing. Laylah had a good time though at Play, she was jumping in the bouncy house laughing when I picked her up. She wanted to go to an outside wee right after but I had to explain that was a bad idea in the rain. And it's supposed to rain until Saturday, I might just not leave the house till then. I'm traumatized. We'll see. At least no more dentist for a while, a long while. I'm telling my teeth now that if they ever do that again, whichever tooth is responsible will not be given a second chance to get their act straight, they are out! No going to the dentists every two weeks or more for six months ever again, stupid teeth. Ok, gotta go, need to just sit and relax and not think about my knuckles white on the steering wheel hoping my wipers would hold out on the drive home. Stupid wipers. I need another mama's night out, tonight, with a hummer limo and driver. May your wipers be working and the rain not hit you!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Dino pictures test

This is a test to see if I can put pictures in here the right way. Hope this works. The first picture is of Laylah in her dino dress at the dino museum gazing up at all the big dinos. The second one is of Laylah and Quinn, her fellow dino lover, as they sit under their T-Rex and dream of their wedding reception that will be held in this room in about twenty years. Oh, and the correct spelling of that dino Laylah can say is.....parasaurolophus. Just in case you were wondering. Today we're doing Eric Carle Animal pictures as an art project using sponges, tinfoil, plastic wrap and fingers to spread the paint, then we'll cut out animals. Laylah is loving the Mr. Seahorse book right now and since the weather is terrible I thought it would be a good indoor craft. Also, I made super yummy pasta last night. Laylah really wanted broccoli at the store but she never eats it so I told her we'd get it if she eats it. So I made Spaghetti and then cut up the broccoli into really small pieces, added chopped sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and chopped pepperoni, fried it up, added some water from the cooked pasta and some lime juice, then tossed in basil, parsley and parmesan cheese. It turned out sooooo good and Laylah ate every bight of broccoli! Woohoo!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thank you, Dinosaurs. Thank you!

I know, I know. I haven't written in forever and I didn't mean not to write, things just got away from me. We've been trying to potty train, given up trying to potty train (whole long story I just don't want to go into), doing taxes, having parties, and the usual day to day craziness that goes along with a two-year-old. First, this is the last year that we will get probably any taxes back and I just want to commemorate this tax season by saying I will really miss the wonderful surprise of completing our taxes and getting a HUGE check, or automatic deposit. Of course I wish we could use it for something fun like a vacation, but saying goodbye to credit card bills feels pretty darn good too. We also had a really fun Valentine's Day Party for Laylah's usual playgroup and their moms. It was a craft party with gifts to be made for dad ( a heart-shaped dough hand-print, later baked and painted to be a paper-weight) Mom (scented candles with message heart candies glued on to make them festive), and grandparents (home-made valentines) We also decorated shortbread cookies with pink and white icing and lots of lots of sprinkles. Oh, and made heart shaped hats/masks out of paper plates. It was really a good time and everyone brought home some really cute crafts and memories. We also almost went to a Valentine's Cupcake party but Atlanta shut down because, drum roll please.....IT SNOWED!!!!! Three or more inches! In ATLANTA!! It was crazy! We had lots of left over strawberry cupcakes (we took them to an AP meeting the next week and it worked out) but we had a fantastic time in the snow. The next day was a Saturday and we went to Chastain Park, where everyone had sleds, where the heck did they get sleds in Atlanta? It must have been a rush shipment to Target that we didn't get the memo about. We used out pizza pan, didn't work too well, but we build a snowman and a snow-dino and multiple snow-angels. Laylah's snow-angels were head down, but still the general shape. Everyone was out though and the park was sooo pretty! The next day on Valentine's Day we went to the Fernbank, the Dino-Museum, because, let's face it, Dinosaurs are Laylah's true love so we decided to honor that on the day of love. We had a blast with her showing everything to Daddy, since it's usually just her and I. Brandon also made me dinner that evening, planned it and everything with no input from me. It was yummy and I think the tradition should continue, maybe once a week? Anyway, since then I've been the dentist once a week to continue fixing my stupid tooth, it's been what? five months of this now? Nice. But one good thing has come of it. We finally found a reliable babysitter! We had a girl before but she got a job and started canceling all the time, so we went to this playgroup at a place called Play. It's basically a kid's gym with trampolines, balls pits, foam pits, balls, slides, sand-boxes (actually full of rice so less messy), a book corner, play kitchen, trains, cars, a kid wonderland! and they have a drop-off program. You can drop off your child for up to four hours at $8 an hour for age appropriate play and programs including a snack and craft and a report when you pick them up of everything they did. It's fantastic. I checked it out very carefully and read all the reviews, but frankly, Laylah loves it! She doesn't complain when I drop her off, the staff there is fantastic, the security is great, she has made the cutest crafts, and they have a kid's night out every Saturday evening so parents can have a date night. I've only dropped her off twice for dentist appointments, but it worked out great and no need to reschedule because you can't find child-care. It's not like day-care with forty kids and nothing for them to do, they only take eight at a time, ever. I love the reports of what she did too, makes me feel like I didn't miss out. She shared, she played with dolls, she read a story, she had a poopie diaper, etc. We also went this last weekend with Daddy so that she knows we don't just drop her off there and so Brandon could see it. They also have a parent's room so you can let your kid play in the supervised area and you can sit on the nice couches and watch TV or read or whatever. There should be one of these places everywhere! Our mom's group is thinking of using it one morning so we can go to the salon next door and get our nails done while the kids all play together for an hour. Bliss! Next topic. Dinosaurs. We went to the Fernbank again this week with two of Laylah's friends, one, Quinn, is her special dino-fan buddy. They are both huge dino and train fans, and they both love Dinosaur Train and can both sing Buddy's T-Rex song. Quinn's mom and I predict a large wedding with all of their paleontologist friends with a reception at the Fernbank. Laylah had a great time taking Quinn to see all her favorite dinos, singing the song together, holding hands. She of course got a dinosaur at the shop, a parasaurlophasus, which she can say. here's the best part. She spent and hour and a half playing with her dinos ALONE when we got home. No tugging on me, no wanting anything, just taking them with her around the house, talking to each other, etc. It was amazing! I got so much done! Laundry, dinner, ironing, cleaning the bathroom! Thank you Dinosaurs! That $5 dinosaur was sooooo worth every penny. She's gradually collecting them all, and can say all of them. We also have so many dinosaur books I'm beginning to think I've read every child's dino book there is. We went to the library on Wednesday and got five more! I also went to a consignment sale last week and found a box labled, "Dino Books," I got like five books for fifty cents! Woohoo! I'm saving some for Easter presents. Then on Friday we went to the Aquarium with her playgroup, she and Quinn connected again over the love of fish. Laylah held his hand as much as he would let her and kissed him a couple of times. Tried to drag him off to dark corner to talk of their love of dinos and fish. I've got a two-year-old who's boy-crazy! Well, maybe more Dino-fish crazy, but still. Brandon should be worried. The weekend was busy as well, Friday evening we picked Daddy up from work early and went to the bookstore and then Taco-Mac for a special dinner treat, Laylah ate about three tons of chips and salsa, her favorite food by far. Saturday we went to J Christopher's for breakfast and had Dino-eggs, a key point in it's popularity with our family. Play is right next door so we went there after. Then we went to Harry's, it's a huge version of Whole Foods with a farmer's market feel to it. They had tons of yummy samples and we got Laylah gelato. In the evening Brandon babysat and I got to go see Valentine's Day with Laurel. It was a very feel good movie though very similar to Love Actually, but I loved Love Actually so I don't see a problem with that. Sunday we cleaned, went food shopping, and watched USA loose Hockey Gold. Then Lee came over for Pizza. Laylah loves Lee, I think he'd give Quinn some competition if he wasn't twenty-five years too old and married already. That's all for the catch-up, maybe next time I won't have to catch up and will just keep up. If the solo-dino play continues I may have a lot more time on my hands. Yay for Dinos! All HAIL DINOS!