Thursday, September 23, 2010

Toddler Speak: Episode Two

Me: Good morning, Haddy! Can I have a hug?

Hadley: I want Daddy. I want Daddy Nowwwww (pronounced: neowwwwww).

Me: Oh, sweetie, he had to leave early for work. We'll see him for lunch later, though.

Hadley: I want Daddy. I want Daddy Nowwwww.

Me: How about some breakfast? Do you want a smoothie or some yogurt?

Hadley: I want nana. I want nana Nowwwww.

Me: Okay, let's go get you a banana.

Hadley: No want nana.

Me: Okay, no nana. How about a peach?

Hadley: No want.

Me: How about a strawberry smoothie?

Hadley: Yeah, Yeah, want shake. Want shake Nowwwwww.

Me: A shake it is.

Hadley: I want Daddy. I want Daddy Nowwwwwww.

Long live the toddler mantra. If only adding "Nowwwww" to every sentence ensured that you get what you want!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Clean it up

A couple of weeks before Hadley started school, her teacher sent me a large packet of paperwork in the mail. Included in the packet were lots papers that I was instructed to "keep on hand." Soon thereafter, I started gathering all of the stuff Hadley would need each day for school: a backpack, lunchbox, change of clothes, blanket, sheet, diapers, and lovie. Then, being type A and all, I had a major panic attack and freaked out about where I was going to store all of this STUFF! And it wasn't just school stuff giving me nightmares. We routinely have shoes, bags, purses, hats, and other assorted stuff that ends up hanging out in our kitchen until I can filter it all to its rightful home. Enter my newly-organized laundry room/ mud room/ command center. It's the brains of this operation.

This is it. It's small, but it's the first room you come to when you enter our house from the garage. That makes it the logical spot to store things you either want to drop off when coming home or grab when running out the door. It's the "landing pad" for all of our junk.

Our laundry room was also the first room in the entire house that I decorated. I stole the design wholly and shamelessly from an issue of the now-defunct Domino and love it. I painted the back wall a pretty robins' egg blue and searched high and low for the black and white ironing board cover. I ended up ordering it from a little shop in New York because I couldn't find it anywhere near where I live.

It was worth the trouble.

So here's how I've organized my life, literally, in our teeny, tiny laundry room. That basket on top of the dryer works overtime. It generally holds odds and ends, like clothes that need to be ironed (since I generally try to avoid ironing at all costs), the giant pack of D batteries for Brynn's swing, and a couple of things I need to return to Target. The basket neatly keeps things out of sight while also keeping them close at hand for when I need them. The blanket in the basket was there because I was planning to take it with us on a picnic the next day.

One thing that was driving me crazy every winter was the inevitable pile-up of jackets in our kitchen. Since we come and go from our house through our garage door, which opens into our kitchen, we naturally dropped our jackets off on kitchen chairs instead of walking them to the coat closet on the other side of the house. Enter our makeshift coat closet in the laundry room. Last winter, we hung this set of hooks. Right now, the hooks hold Hadley's backpack and my diaper bag. Once cool weather sets in and we start wearing jackets again, these hooks will hold jackets, and the bags will be moved to the little shelf between the washer and dryer. I'm thinking ahead:-). It's that Type A thing.

We also recently hung the dry-erase whiteboard next to the coat hooks. I'm using the board to keep me sane. It holds school paperwork, school calendars, and other fliers that I need to reference often. I also snagged a set of 3M sticky folders at Target, and so far, they've made organizing assorted paperwork, coupons, and fliers easy. This system has worked wonders on my organizational anxiety!

Luckily, out tiny laundry room also has a closet, which I have stuffed full of everything from canned goods to shoes. Wanna little peek inside? On the inside of the door, we hung another set of hooks. This one is dedicated to our hats and umbrellas during summer months and to the girls' jackets and hats in the winter months.

Inside the closet, I added two baskets, one to hold Hadley's crafts, like sidewalk chalk, Play-Doh, bubbles, water guns, and paints, and one to hold her shoes. It's so simple to have Hadley's shoes handy by the garage door when we are ready to head out. It's one more thing I don't have to remember to get from her room when I'm trying to wrangle the kids out the door. On the remainder of that shelf, we store Hadley's lunch box and small insulated bags. The shelf above holds craft paper and coloring books in an office sorter, Hadley's markers in a clear, plastic cup (love the simplicity of this!), Hadley's watering can, and my recipe box and cookbooks. The shelf below the baskets holds our emergency canned goods supply and Brynn's baby food.

Below that shelf is one that holds the Bumbo (a small chair that Brynn sits in when we feed her) and below that is a small shelving unit we snagged at Target that holds our frequently-worn shoes. This gets the shoes off of the kitchen and laundry room floors but makes them so convenient for slipping on as we are running out the door. I love organization that makes life simpler!

Whew! That's our laundry room! I'm loving my organizational system and the fact that I was able to squeeze so much function into such a teeny, tiny room. Now, when we come home, we can easily drop off our shoes, bags, jackets, and hats as soon as we walk into the house. This keeps everything from piling up in the kitchen and ultimately, keeps me from going c-razy trying to keep everything put away. I'm all about simplicity and ease of design and this little room fits the bill!

Do you guys have "organizational hubs" in your house where you keep all of the things you use on a day-to-day basis? Or, am I the only one who worries about these things???

Home Sick

Remember staying home sick from school, holed up on the couch with your favorite pillow and blanket, watching the Price is Right? Okay, maybe that was just me, but seeing my sick baby lounging on a little nest Sean made her on the couch reminded me of those days. I was a little heartsick for Sprite and chicken-noodle soup. Hadley got an episode of Dora and a few chocolate chips.

I'm pretty sure she approved.

Putting the "O" in OMG

Life is kicking my butt this week. What started as a pretty laid-back week quickly devovled into a pit of snot, constipation, and sleepless nights. Want to come over, don't you??

We started Brynn on solid foods (squash and green beans) last weekend and while she LOVED eating them, her tummy didn't so much like processing or digesting them. This then led to a cranky, uncomfortable baby who refused to sleep for more than two hours at night. That was fun.

Luckily, Hadley's two-year well child checkup was scheduled for Tuesday, so I made Sean take off work so we could drag both kids to the doctor's office. Let's just say that it wasn't the best of ideas. I'm glad both kids got looked at, but trying to entertain two kids for two hours in a 6 x 6 exam room wasn't my idea of fun. I think the doc was a little bemused when she saw the pile of tongue depressers we had commandeered as drumsticks to keep Hadley busy. And then, not even 24-hours after the appointment, Hadley started sneezing and sniffling. As if that wasn't bad enough, Hadley hasn't yet mastered covering her nose when she sneezes. So she doesn't just sneeze, she EXPLODES all over everything and all of us, including Brynn. It's like Hadley waits until right before she has to sneeze to run over and stand next to Brynn and then aims right for Brynn's face. Hey, at least she's sharing-- even if it's just her germs!! Then, Hadley runs off to wipe snot on the furniture or just recently, a rattle. I'm constantly shouting, "Cover your nose and mouth!" and "Wait! Let me get a tissue!!" I might as well live in a barn, people.

I think we have fixed Brynn's little tummy troubles. The doc advised that we lay off the solids for a few days to let her tummy adjust. It seems to be working-- slowly. I'm thinking we'll start the solids back a little more slowly next week.

Here's to a nice, relaxing, sleep-filled weekend. I could use it!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Cow, Dobby, Nanda

Since Hadley is fascinated by animals, we spent her actual birthday day at the zoo. Or, as she refers to it, DA ZOOOOOO!!!! Naturally, we spent a lot of time at the petting zoo portion, where we could get up close and personal with an actual cow, some ducks, some pigs, and a few, adorable sheep. Hadley was brave enough to touch and feed a goat and some sheep. And, I could have easily pocketed a few of the lambs and brought them home to live in my bathtub. Until that one took an explosive poop right beside me. That's when I realized that owning wildlife would not be so different than owning baby humans.

Lamb poop aside, we had a fabulous day with our newly-minted two year old. It was the absolute perfect way to spend her birthday. We leisurely strolled about, stopping in to see Hadley's favorite animals, and when we were all pooped (no pun intended), we stopped to eat a little picnic that we topped off with more brownie cupcakes. I'm addicted to those things now.

Here are a few highlights from our day:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor of love

Dear Hadley:

This past weekend, you turned two years old. TWO! Or, as you say, "one-two-one." And TWO you definitely are:-)! You are so incredibly adorable. You repeat everything we say, you sing and dance, you are exuberant about everything, and you feel everything so BIG! You wear your emotions like giant beacons on your face and they range from extreme giddiness one second to the depths of despair the next. It's really laughable-- or would be anyway if it didn't involve you melting into a puddle on the floor when things don't go as you wish.

Honestly, you rarely have tantrums. Now that you can communicate with us, we can act almost civilized. We can ask you to stop doing something and tell you why you should stop and amazingly, you listen. I know! I never thought that day would come, either. Speaking of communication, you have made leaps and bounds in speech just in the past month. You are speaking in sentences, singing whole songs (row, row, row your boat is your favorite), learning the alphabet and colors, and learning new words at lightning fast speeds. Your all-time favorite phrase is, "Uh oh, oh no!"

When you are asked what color something is, you automatically answer "LELLOW!" Then, we remind you that it is, in fact, pink or green or blue or red, and you agree. Your favorite thing to say is "I want ______," as in "I want cheese," or "I want mou (her stuffed mouse)." Yesterday, you melted my heart by saying "I want my Minnie (Brynn)" as we were packing up to go to the store. You also routinely want everything you see. Last week at the store, you wanted (in no particular order) a cow, a dobby (doggie), a nanda (panda), a bed, juice, and shoes (men's shoes, in fact).

Recently, much to my surprise and delight, you have decided that you want to wear bows in your hair. You now ask us repeatedly for a bow and frequently request that we "bow Minnie," too. You also love to play dress up and often wear three or four tutus at once while playing in your playroom. One day recently, you refused to take off your tutus, so we compromised and you wore one to Target. The check-out clerk almost fell over fawning over you.

You are the best big sister ever. You love, love, love your little sister and dote on her constantly. As soon as you wake up, you ask for "Minnie" and if Brynn is sleeping, you tell everyone "shhhhh." Lately, when Brynn cries, you say, "Minnie's crying" and you tell her, "It's ok, Minnie," and "I know, Minnie." You have such a big heart and are even learning to share your toys with Brynn. Yesterday, while we were playing, you hugged your giant Pooh Bear and then walked over and placed him right on top of Brynn. Then you casually walked away. Pooh is easily three times bigger than Brynn, but I was still proud of you for sharing! Baby steps.

You recently started preschool and so far, you are loving it. You still have moments where you get lonely for me, Daddy, and Brynn, but otherwise, you are having so much fun. You are learning new songs, painting, coloring, playing outside, and making friends. I love that you are getting the social experience that school provides, and I'm so proud of you for adjusting to something so new.

For your birthday, we had a delightful, little family party at the local botanic gardens. There is a children's "backyard" area there with treehouses, miniature playhouses, a rainstorm area, gardens, a hedge maze, and fountains. You love the gardens and I knew that a party there would make you so happy.

And it did! You had a blast in your pink tutu, headband, and bow. You even wore the sunglasses I brought as party favors. After we played for a while, we took a break to eat some brownie cupcakes that I made. You surprised all of us by blowing out your birthday candle with no prompting at all. I have no idea where you learned that!
It was an amazing day that I will never forget. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

I love you, my Sweet Pea. My life is so much brighter and happier with you in it.

Love and happy, happy Birthday!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Baby Love

I think we're going to have two Daddy's girls in this house.

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