Friday, August 31, 2012

Sometimes parenthood isn't so sparkly. There are a lot of difficult and sometimes, gross, things that a mom has to endure. It comes with the territory. Late nights, "code browns", and meltdowns...all part of the job description. To toot my own horn, I have a pretty high threshold for what I'm able to endure. I was raised by hard workers, who were themselves, raised by hard workers, so pushing through fatigue or doing something that you just plain don't want to do, isn't something new to me. It's all part of reaching a specific goal. Sacrifice baby!
So when it comes to parenting, I can endure a lot with a smile on my face. It's simple really, when the goal is to give the best possible care to the most important thing in your life. Yes, I realize that I just called my child a thing.
However, in my relatively short stint in parenthood, I have discovered that something I absolutely can't endure is my baby being sick. After our happy beach excursion, Claire woke up from a nap a little on the crabby side. Since she and I both come from a long line of "slow waker's" (that's the nice way of saying grumps), I didn't think too much of it. But then grumpiness turned into a low-grade fever and a low-grade fever into a "call the on-call doctor on a Sunday night" fever. She had a rough few days (making Grammy hold her non-stop was apparently the cure for her ailment) but I think that I took it worse than she did. Seeing my child sad and in pain is basically unbearable. My parental ideals instantly go out the window and I will do almost anything to make her less miserable. Yes, you can watch Mickey Mouse. A bite of Grammy's ice cream? You got it! You don't want to sit in your highchair? Okay, mom will hold you while you eat your eggs.
She's fine now. Happy and healthy, with the dimples to prove it. The little pit in my stomach has been removed and life returns to normal. However, I now have answer the question "Mickey?" at least three times a day, followed by her backup question "hot dog?" (the dance Mickey does, not the food). Plus I have to convince my dear baby that she may not reserve my lap for all future mealtimes. Back to the drawing board in a lot of ways. 
Since we've been quarantining Claire (you're welcome to all the other parents in the Greater Tacoma area), I've been having to come up with some creative outings. No other kids, plus nothing else that other kids would come in contact with (i.e. no park). An evening outing to Harbor Freight fit the bill on Tuesday night ("Daddy, what's that?" might have been said a few dozen times) and a trip to the waterfront at Chambers Bay to throw rocks (rocky's) in the water did the trick on Wednesday.

Here is some pics of my healthy kiddo.

Searching for "rocky's".

Can we please take a second to acknowledge that these may just be the cutest set of legs in the history of legs?

Claire would throw a rock into the water then look at me and say "I throw (frow)" and make a fake throwing case I missed it. 

Then we got up-close and personal with a train. They may be a little overwhelming from this distance because the Little Red was pretty quiet as it was going by. After it passed, she let out a squeaky little "too choo".

Then she stacked rocks on her legs and thought she was hilarious. 

Then she got silly in the grass on the walk back to the car. The five minute walk turned into a 25 minute walk. 

Then she practiced her gymnastics. This is normal right? 

She ended the afternoon with a quick sprint around the park. "I run" as she would say. "Burning off the crazies" is what I call it. 

Healthy. Happy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

There is no pretending that as Claire's mom, I am not biased in my judgment of her fantastic-ality. In my eyes, she is a beautiful, smart, and incredibly sweet child. She's a dream baby. Not gonna lie. Adding to the list of my dear baby's qualities, the kid is freaking hilarious. She's always been a funny baby but her comic talents were limited by her inability to talk. Now that she's a full on talker, her hilarity is uninhibited. Here are some of the recent things that she says/does that make me smile. Mind you, you have to imagine a 16 month old saying these things to really appreciate the comic genius :)

1. Claire started saying "ok". The funny part is that she not only uses it in the correct context, she totally mocks the way that I say it to her. She whips out her high-pitched, sing-songy voice...apparently that's how I talk. 

2. Claire's cousin Vera recently developed a strong love of singing the ABC's a few dozen times a day. Since Claire is in love with her cousin and since we get to spend a lot of time with her lately, Claire has been taking a stab at it herself. So far, Claire does a pretty solid job of getting to the middle of her ABC's but the age old alphabet roadblock, LMNOP, totally trips her up. Claire has come up with a simple solution. Once she hits the tough spot, she replaces LMNOP with ELMO-P. Genius right? Actually, I kind of enjoy her version more than the original. 

3. In the last few days, Claire has decided that her Daddy needs to see everything that she sees or does. We spent the weekend at my parent's house and any time she did anything (noteworthy or not), she would yell "Daddy, watch". It didn't matter if he was in the same room or not. In fact, based on her gleeful yelling "Daaaaaaaaaaaaadddddddddddyyyyyyyyyyyyy", from the other room, she might actually prefer it that way. In addition to making sure her Daddy is aware of everything she does, she also makes sure that he knows what's going on around us. Widening his horizons really. For example, we went to the beach on Saturday and there were groups of horses going by. Someone would say "Look Claire, horses". Claire would see the horse,  say "horse", then say "Daddy" until she got his attention and then would say "horse" in a matter-of-fact be sure that he saw the horse too. Or maybe she thinks she's teaching him what a horse is. Could be either I suppose. Either way, she did this a least a few dozen times over the weekend for totally random things. I think Kyle liked the attention...and possibly learned some new words in the process. 

4. On a similar note, Claire loves to get her Grandpa's attention as well. Her recent joke is that when she's in her highchair, she waits until he isn't paying attention (i.e. trying to get something done) and then she yells "Gampa!" and as soon as he turns around to look at her, she lifts up her arms and does a funny little dance/wiggle and says "wooowoowoo". It's cute the first time she does it and hilarious the 34th time in a row she does it. 

5. Claire started adding y-endings to a bunch of words that she previously said correctly. I truly have no explanation for this. Rock has become rocky, hot is hotty (or I suppose hottie depending on the context), snack is snacky. She recently started saying her Aunt Lauren's name but somehow her interpretation of it is Lorly...have to admit, I think that one is pretty cute. We consciously make a point to say words correctly around her and don't cute-up the words we teach her (with the exception of maybe doggy or kitty but those are legit monikers in my book) so this is totally her own thing. 

6. This one is funny but scary at the same time. Claire's Grandma Susie recently brought over a new outfit for her, so we threw it on to see how it looked. I asked her to show me her outfit and she literally popped out a hip, held the pose, then looked at me. So I had her show her Grandpa and she did the same hip pop and looked over her shoulder at him. She "modeled" her outfit for everyone that was over in this manner before she got bored and started hitting things with stick (at least that's how most things end around our house, with Claire getting bored and whacking things with a stick). I'm curious if she'd do this again if I asked her to but I'm a little to frightened to try it!

Then there is the patented "Claire arm-cross" but that deserves it's own blog post. 

Since I'm pretty sure that 90% of the people who read my blog, skip my blabbering and go straight to the pictures, I don't want to disappoint. So I'll leave you with some photographic evidence that my child is silly (in case you weren't convinced). 

I've snicked every time I've seen this picture. I went to check out the evening lighting at a local park and stuck baby-model in front of the camera for some test shots. Her expression is hilarious to me and she's holding her arm like she's saying "awe shucks". 

Here she is checking out what Scout's up to under the bed. Maybe this is the source of the yoga pose, Downward Facing Dog! Eureka!

The dogs got a new water dish last week and Claire put it on her head at the store and proudly proclaimed "hat!". She decided that although she was banned from playing in the previous water dish, this one was fair game...even though, it's in the exact same spot and serves the exact same purpose as the old one. New bowl, new rules.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

In my continuing quest to pack in as much summer fun as possible into the last days of sunshine, we made an impromptu day trip to Ocean Shores over the weekend. Claire's previous experience with sandy beaches was almost a year ago and she really wasn't that big of a fan. She was a month or so shy of walking and I think that trudging along on all fours in the sticky sand wasn't her thing. Plus playtime during that period had a strong focus on putting things in her mouth and sand isn't exactly the most palatable substance.

Needless to say, we weren't entirely sure how our beach visit would go. Claire is generally up for a good time but once in a while, she decides to mix it up and observe instead of participate (i.e. our recent attempt at pony rides). Luckily, we brought along our secret weapon, Grammy and Grandpa. Side note, you know how you get to decide what your child will refer to people like their grandparents or aunts and uncles as? Well, it turns out that you only get to do that as long as you don't have a talking child. Grandpa, who was referred to as Grampy for a solid year plus, is officially Grandpa as per The Little Red's preference/insistence. Apparently, she has more sophisticated sensibilities.

So we hit the beach. Claire immediately was tickled with the sand in her toes. When I think about it from her perspective, the beach is basically an enormous park sandbox, just with less competition for the coveted toys (it's always the little plastic shovels that cause the stand off's).

Can we pause for a second and talk about this outfit? Is it just me or does she look like a little girl in her shorts/jacket combo? Her Grammy got her this jacket several months ago and I couldn't imagine her being big enough to wear it. Now it just needs one sleeve roll and she's good to go. It seriously flies by.

Claire likes to color coordinate with her Grammy.

To make a long story short, Claire is basically a beach super fan. She ran, jump, dug, threw sand (at Grampy mostly) and squealed with glee the whole time. Surprisingly, her favorite part was running and splashing in the  ice cold waves...didn't anticipate that one. Her Grammy would run her through them and each time they were done, Claire would say "More please" and hold her hand out for her Grammy to take her for another round.

More of her big girl run.

We brought Claire's cowgirl hat with us but cowgirls obviously don't go to the beach since it kept getting blown off her head by the wind. Luckily, my hat wasn't all that too big for her.

We went further down the beach to check out the kites. Claire was basically asleep in her car seat by the time we got there so I took a picture of the kitty (kikky) kite to show her when she woke up. Whenever she sees my camera she say "picture please" and we look at all the pictures on my card.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Parenting Lesson #35: Don't give your toddler a bowl full of dried beans to play with unless you really mean it.

 She actually looked at me and said "mama" in a taunting voice as she tossed a handful my way.

She literally thew every single bean out of the bowl. There was one left and she carefully picked it out and tossed it to the side.  This is a thorough kid.

Total mess but honestly, sometimes it's worth the 5 minutes of having a fully occupied child. P.S. Kyle got home shortly after this and said "what in the world are you wearing". Apparently her outfit was a little goggles I suppose.