talk about it more

a virtual baby book

When she was two, Fiona regularly said "Talk about it more!" to express her desire to know more about whatever we were discussing.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Thank you, Jolene!

OK, one would figure that parents get better at this parenting thing as they go, but I believe I have become addicted to the PHP 24-hour Nurseline that our insurance company offers, because I continue to come up with bright, shiny reasons to call those wonderful nurses. Here's this morning's reason.

It was early Sunday morning. We were having a lazy day, having taken care of all our Sunday obligations the night before, and we three girls were sitting downstairs together giving Ian some extra snooze time before he had to go to work. I was nursing Nora and talking to Fiona about the excitement I miraculously slept through last night. She was telling me animatedly about the nightmare she had in which "a scary decoration cat that goes on the floor turned alive", at which point Dream Fiona "ran away and got up onto a table and the cat got under the table, then onto it, but she got into the bathroom and was safe." How COULD I manage to sleep through all THAT?!

I was so drawn into the vivid description of the tumultuous night which followed that I didn't really notice what Fiona was doing until I saw her pale face and heard her panicked shrieks. She had stuck one of Nora's snap lock beads onto her right ring finger, and couldn't get it off. At all. In fact, it wouldn't move, and her finger was beginning to get pink and puffy. To quote Fiona, "It DID come right off my pinky." Why stop there?

Well! This looked like a job for Captain Dish Soap! We all went into the kitchen, where Nora went into Safe Mode (a Cheerios breakfast while snugly strapped into the high chair) and Fiona got to play in icy, soapy water in the sink. I gave her a "hand massage" with dish soap. That purple bead was going nowhere.

Suddenly I was catapulted back to the day when I foolishly believed, a couple weeks after Fiona was born, that I could put my wedding ring back onto my pudgy, puffy postpartum finger. I missed it, I wanted it, I put it on, and I was sorry. Oh, so sorry. It took an emergency room visit and a new wedding band to remedy that situation, and now my mind became swimmy. I wasn't feeling so capable anymore as Fiona and I splashed in the kitchen sink. I felt giddy-- in a bad way.

After waking Ian for a quick reality check, I phoned the PHP 24-Hour Nurseline and talked to Jolene. What would be best-- ice? Elevation? More soaking in the sink? Giving up now before the swelling gets worse and Fiona gets totally spooked? Jolene thought it over, consulted some texts, and called me back with some ideas. Fortunately, the old Petroleum Jelly Trick worked, because it was our last chance. Jolene, you and the Nurseline totally rock on toast!

Keep looking

Ian had the day off yesterday. Since we still have a child who wakes up multiple times most nights, we try to give each other time to sleep-- I generally get the 10-midnight block, and Ian gets whatever morning time he's able to catch. I decided to take the girls for an early-morning wagon ride (read mall walking) so he'd have some peace and quiet, but I couldn't seem to find anything I needed. I couldn't find my shoes, I couldn't find Ian's boots (I had put the insoles from my sneakers into his boots to make them more bearable while I shoveled our walks)-- nothing. In the meantime, Fiona and Nora woke up completely and began bleating their happiness throughout the house. It was clear that if we were going to go, we needed to get on with it.

Feeling utterly defeated I said, "Well, phooey. I can't find jack. I'll wear my regular shoes-- let's just go now!" I began herding my little cats toward the car. When we got to the mall, Fiona and Nora had a nice ride while bobbing in time to the oldies that blare from the speakers at that hour. About an hour later we were once again suited up for the cold and headed home.

Out of the blue, Fiona chirped, "You really ought to try looking in the car, Mom." We were almost home by that time, and I had no idea what she was talking about. When pressed for further information, she went on, "You said you couldn't find Jack, but I'm sure you didn't look in the car yet. But we looked all over the house already , so if he's not here I'd give up if I were you. Who IS Jack?"

Thursday, February 22, 2007

New 'do!

Going from two incomes to one brings many cost-cutting strategies. One that bombed big time was home haircuts. Fiona and I used to go to the same stylist, but recently Fiona stopped going there (so sorry, Amy!). I tried cutting Fiona's bangs last week, and have been snipping strays ever since. And the dubious method I used for a straight bang line, The Scotch Tape Method, is a story of its own.

I am certain that this is a tried-and-true method that has been used on me in the past, perhaps when Grandma wasn't available with the dog shears? One simply puts a long strip of Scotch tape across the bangs as a guide and starts cutting. Simple, no? However, I didn't consider two issues:

1. Fiona is so sensitive about ripping sticky stuff off herself that she lets Band-Aids fall off, a process that can take a week even with regular bathing.

2. I think 3M makes tape better than they used to.

Suffice to say, the tape ordeal was long and arduous. I learned that sometimes Moms have to pretend everything is OK when really things are really, truly NOT OK. Hours after we began, we finally ended up together in the tub with a "washcloth headband" across her head dribbling fresh water down pretending she was a fountain of some sort. I kept saying, "Wow, isn't this fun?" in case it was helping.

So when I found a 4.99 Great Clips coupon today in the junk ads, we went. One man's junk is another's lifeline. Our stylist, Kei, lopped 4" off Fiona's head and fixed the bangs which, I'm proud to say, she said weren't so bad.

Fiona now sports an inverse bob. Even though she's been trying to "grow her hair long like Annie Rose" for over a year now, she was tiring of the tangles in the morning, and is now looking forward to the lack of fuss involved in the current style. And we're both very glad we won't be going back to The Scotch Tape Method.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Ends with 'a'

I was heating some veggie lasagna for Fiona while she did some drawing in the dining room. Fiona was writing her name and Nora's name in her notebook, and said, "Both Nora's name and my name end in 'a'."

I told her that I knew that, and that her dad and I sort of chose Nora's name with that thought in mind, among others. I told her that the other name we considered for Nora had an 'a' at the end too, or at least an 'a' sound -- Aïne (pronounced Anya). She thought for a moment, and said, "Oh! Like lasAGNA!"

Saturday, February 10, 2007

I don't know


I was brushing my teeth. Fiona was explaining to me about the little mirror we have and why she had left it on the floor of the bathroom. Then she asked me what the mirror was for. I don't like to talk around the sonic toothbrush - too messy - so I shrugged my shoulders.

"You don't know?" Fiona asked. I shook my head.

"Why don't you know?" Fiona asked. I felt that I could just stick with the line I'd started, so I shrugged again.

"You don't know why you don't know?" I started to see where this was going, but I shook my head again.

"Why don't you know why you don't know?"

At this point I was laughing so hard I had to turn off the toothbrush.

Horsie, horsie


Nora has a couple of non-stick nicknames, which means that they won't follow her past infancy, most likely. Still, one is worth pointing out, because otherwise we might forget, and it's worth remembering.

When we put Nora in her high chair and then try to put on her bib, she puffs her belly out so that we can't get it down past the tray, sort of like a horse holding its breath when being saddled so that it won't be cinched quite so tightly when the horse breathes out later. So we call her our little horsie.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Just how cute IS a bug's nose anyway?


Fully realizing that every parent has said this at some point or another about his or her child, I still need to go on record saying that Nora is about as cute as she can be. Even as she has spent the past month pushing four teeth through her miserable gums, she has been relatively sunny. Having just turned one, she is definitely at a wonderful age. We are enjoying watching her grow and change very rapidly, and we love seeing her personality blossom.

Besides the head nodding and sign language mentioned in an earlier post, she has a fair number of words for a one year old: uh-oh, baby, bye-bye, hi, mama, that's all, bubble, da-da (=dog), and, bafflingly enough, BOW! It sounds like "Pow!" but with a "b" in front, and she never fails to say it brightly with a big smile while I change her diaper. Beats me! She has a different wave to go with "hi" and "bye-bye", and as of now, everyone from myself to strangers on the street might be called mama.

Nora has spent enough quality time in my arms working on our nursing relationship that she is not terribly interested in pulling up and walking away from me, but she's just now getting around to it. It's as if she can't help herself. She's able to, and something within her tells her she must. Ian saw her stand unsupported once, but once Nora knew she was doing it, she started crying and plopped back down.

She crawls now to supplement her ski-like bottom-scooting thing, pulls up on most things vertical, and even cruises a little, especially when enticed by a dog on the sofa. Nora loves dogs so much that simply seeing one in close proximity makes her quiver and squeal with sheer excitement and exuberance.

A little over a year has gone by now since Nora rushed her way into our lives on Fiona's bedroom floor. What a wonderful year it has been! I feel so lucky to be able to enjoy more time at home with both girls.