Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Numbers, Target, Boobies, Nemo

Can I quote you on that?
Lucy’s new favorite thing to do is throw down movie lines at random moments…I think she uses them as stall tactics or to distract us because she knows it makes us laugh….Nemo and Bolt are her favorite movies to quote from at the moment…..

This morning, I asked her to head upstairs to get dressed for school and she stood her ground and yelled
No no Nemo! Don’t touch the boat!!!

I gave her some goldfish crackers (blub blubs as she calls them) the other day for a snack. She held a couple in her hand sort of studying them and then informed me Fish are friends, not food!

Or she’ll sort of fly around the room singing Zones! Zones! Lets name the zones lets name the zones of the open sea!!!!

And then of course when she wants to make us laugh, she looks at us and says Totallllyyy Duuuuddddee.

She also keeps calling me Pony Boy….

Or she’ll bust out with There’s no truck that I know that can keep in Bolt and Rhino! sung while doing a little Shakira hip dance and then ends with the triumph raising of her arms above her head and the declaration AWWEESSOOOMMMMEEEE!!!!

Lucy can count to what, I’m not really sure because it goes like this:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 4….and then she starts over at 1

I do know that two is her favorite number: she has two hands, two eyes, two ears, two feet, two fingers, two toes, two heads…..

Yaaayyyy for Target!
A couple Saturdays ago, Sean was sick (day 4 of the stomach flu)…I told him Friday night Lucy and I would leave the house Saturday morning so he could continue to rest in solitude. At 8:45, I had her loaded in the car headed for the indoor playground at the Liberty Tree mall that she loves. At 8:53, she was sound asleep (did I forget to mention she woke up at 4:30 that morning). At 9:03, I was sitting in the parking lot of the Liberty Tree Mall trying to decide what to do….I made a couple vain attempts to wake her up but nothing worked.

At 9:13, I left the Mall and drove around…for 1.5 hours. The only errands I had to do were a deposit at the bank and diapers at Target. After an hour of aimless driving, I headed back towards the bank and Target. While at the bank drive thru doing my deposit, this little voice breaks the silence and my reverie:

Mama! I wanna go see Caitlin! I wanna see Caiti!
Hi Lucy! You scared me!
Sorry Mama
How was your nap?
I sleep Mama. I wanna see Caiti!
Ok, I tell her. Let me call Caitlin’s Mum…

So while at the bank, I call Lori and she kindly invites us over….but can we give her a half hour or so to let her finish getting dressed and give the house a quick once over – no problem I say, we need to stop at Target for diapers.

Ok Lucy, we can go see Caiti but first we have to get diapers.
At Target Mama?
Yep, at Target.
Why? Everything is why now….
Because that’s where they have your diapers and they have the best price
Well, I suppose because it’s packaged as the store brand
She pauses and says Ohh
What Lucy?
We here?
Yes Lucy, we’re here
At Target?
Yes Lucy
She lets out a whoop usually only reserved for when we pull into day Care: YAAAAYYYY!!!!

I may take Lucy to Target to much…..

So we nip into Target with our obligatory stop in the dollar section and then continue through the store. The baby section is right next to the toys…and I have no problem wandering up and down the toy aisle with Lucy.......she rarely asks for anything, she usually just wants to stop and look at it.

But today, she spotted a stuffed blue monkey almost as big as her. She yanked it off the shelf and gave him a big snuggle….

What Lucy?
An Ah Ah (noise a monkey makes, she refers to animals by the sounds they make)
I know, he’s very nice.
For Daddy?
For Daddy, poor Daddy, he sick……

Now how sweet is that?!? She wants to get the Ah Ah for Daddy…
Mama! Ah Ah for Daddy? Poor Daddy….Ah Ah make Daddy better……poor Daddy…..all said while snuggling and petting the blue monkey.

There was no way I could say no, she looked so cute and at least three people heard her and threw me the “oh what a sweet little girl” glance...no way was I going to let them judge me....so we went home with the Ah Ah.

When we arrived home, I hoisted Lucy and the Ah Ah out of her seat and pointed her in the direction of the front door. She took off up the walk and her Dad opened the door to greet her

Hi Daddy!
Hi Lucy, what do you have there?
Ah Ah! and she held the blue monkey up for Daddy to see
Oh, that’s a nice Ah Ah he says.

I catch up with her and say Lucy, is there something you want to say to Daddy?

Lucy looks at me all quizzically……Hi Dadddy!
No Lucy, do you want to tell Daddy something and give him something???

Lucy looks at me all puzzled….

So I lean in and say Give Daddy the Ah Ah and tell him to get better soon!

Lucy looks at me, then at the Ah Ah, at me, then at her Dad…

Feel better Daddy! and she runs into the house past him hugging the monkey.
Lucy! Didn’t you want to give something to Daddy? The Ah Ah perhaps?!?
No thanks you Mama! Lucy’s Ah Ah!!! and she runs into the kitchen to hide under the table while clutching the monkey to her chest…….

What a Day
I picked Lucy up from Day Care one day last week and greeted her as I always do:

Hi Lucy! I love you! How was your day?

Lucy took a deep breath, let out a sigh and replied, Long Mama……

What’s Up Doc
Lucy’s ears have been draining for the past couple weeks and she’s had a cough and a runny nose since December. I took her to the Doctor again last week and finally convinced him that we needed to do more than just treat the ear infections she’s been getting (this is number 4 since January!), we need to figure out why and get rid if this cough and runny nose.

So for the first time in a long time, I finally got someone in the medical profession to stay in the room longer than 10 minutes and actually listen to me and answer my questions.

We talked for about 10-15 minutes (about her history, what we’ve been doing for her etc etc) before he was even ready to examine Lucy. As he and I were talking, she was sitting quietly on the exam table looking at her books and nibbling on blub blubs.

The doctor says Hi Lucy

She looks at him but says nothing

What are you looking at?

Camel she tells him pointing to the picture of the camel without making eye contact with him

Ahh, what else is in there? Is that a horse? And is that a zebra? He’s chattering away trying to distract her while moving in for a look into her ears…he almost gets there when Lucy looks at him and says

No thank you! as she ducks her head away and covers her ear

He chuckles and says Lucy, can I look in your ear, I want to try and fix it for you…
No thank you, Mama fix….and she goes back to reading her book

I tell him it may help if I pick her up and hold her against me…he agrees and I scoop her up and lay her head against my chest…..at which point she informs the doctor I have boobies….

Unto you, Lucy is born
Lucy’s #2 Birthday is coming up.

Periodically she announces It’s Lucy birthday! Then she proceeds to sing Happy Birthday to herself….she's been doing this for a couple weeks now.

I asked her if she wanted a party for her birthday and she responded with an enthusiastic Nemo party, Dude!

Who should come?
My friends! and she rattles off the usual suspects that we hang around with….Chase, Ben, Aubrey, Catherine, Caitlin, Cora……I don’t have the heart to tell her that Cora has moved away…..

So in my head, I started to plan a Nemo party thinking that I could do a sheet cake (yes, make it myself) decorated with some of the characters from the movie…you know, I would just buy the little plastics toys and stick them on top..but I was going to use green linguini for seaweed (pulled off before we ate the cake) blue frosting for water, maybe a little bit of colored marzipan or fondant for coral, those little silver ball candy sprinkle things for bubbles, pink snow balls for the jelly fish (licorice for their tentacles), black frosting under the little pink guy that inks when he’s scared, I was even going to go to the pet store and buy a little miniature Mount Wanna-hock-a-loogie…..so I said

Hey Lucy, what kind of cake do you want (in my head, it was already a chocolate cake)
White Mama!
White?! I swear she was switched at birth….
Yeah Mama. White. No cake
No cake?!? What d you mean no cake? We have to have cake! It’s a birthday party!
I want cup cakes!
Cup cakes?
Yeah Mama, little cakes!

The she giggles and takes off singing Zones! Zones!

Well, there goes my freakin’ awesome idea for Nemo cake……

So now I’m doing white cupcakes with blue water frosting, some sort of sprinkles for the bubbles and I found these cute little cupcake rings that have the characters on them that just sit on top of the cupcake (borrinnggg) then the kids can take home the rings…

Now apparently, Nemo is out of date because I had a really tough time finding Nemo stuff…..But I have secured the necessary props and pictures will follow as I don’t tyink I can do it justice in words…party is on the 9th so look for pictures shortly thereafter…..but let me leave you with this: I’m making the jelly fish, the ceiling will look like water, there will be a bubble machine, turtles, fish, a sea horse, and a sting ray…….I just need a shark…..

Maria, the Mum

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kryptonite, Cats and Dogs, Ssshh, 3 am, Duude

You Wet
Lucy stayed home again Friday as the stomach bug was still wrecking havoc on her constitution. I left for work at 6:30 and came home a bit after noon By the time I came home at noon to send Sean to work, he had changed her diaper at least 7 times (that's once an hour). The afternoon pretty much went the same way and a couple loads of laundry and two baths later, Lucy was in bed for the evening.

She had been in bed about an hour when she started to stir. We decided we too would just head to bed as we were tired and neither of us felt well. As soon as our heads hit the pillow, Lucy cried out for her Dad.
Sean went in and I could hear him talking softly to her...usually, she'll lie right back down and fall asleep but this particular evening, Sean picked her up for a bit of a cuddle....when all of a sudden, the moment between father and daughter was broken by a loud guttural retching sound, a splat and Sean yelling


I enter the room to see Sean standing in front of a puddle of throw up and Lucy crying.
She sees me, yelps Mama, reaches for me, opens her mouth and throws up down the front of me.

Sean in the meantime is frozen in place.....throw up is his kryptonite.

Fortunately, he was standing on the throw rug and the throw up landed on the rug with a bit of spray on her changing table and Sean's ankles. He had been holding Lucy on his shoulder so most of the throw up missed him and hit the floor....but there was some on the back of his shirt and his forearm from when he turned her around.

Lucy is sobbing and terribly distressed over having thrown up yet again.

She has throw up dribbling down her chin onto her chest.

Lucy are you all done honey?
Yeah Mama - I sorry
Its okay honey its OK. Have some water, Mama is going to get you cleaned up. I'm going to set you done and take your monkeys off (she was wearing her monkey PJs).
OK Mama.....her little lips tremble and she shivers as I unzip her PJs, grab a burp cloth and start wiping her off.

Sean has not moved - Lucy looks at him standing next to the puddle of throw up, sees a bit on his foot and says

Uh Oh Daddy, you wet!

Made me laugh but Sean merely chagrined....so I started talking him through the recovery and clean up process....because as we all know, I've been there....Sean on the other hand has never been thrown up on....

Honey, I say, just take your shirt off and drop it right in the floor - keep it on the rug - just roll it up over your head and you'll be fine. Just go quickly, rinse your hands and I need you to go get me a facecloth, wet it with warm water...I need to clean her up

I turned back to Lucy and continue to reassure her and wipe her little sniffling nose....she kept trying to lay her head on my shoulder but given that I was covered in throw up and wanted to curtail the contamination, I kept turning away knowing that within 15 seconds, Sean would be back and he could snuggle her while I got a clean shirt

Sean! Where are you? I need that facecloth! As I say this, I hear the I hear the shower turn on

Sean! What are you doing? I need that facecloth for Lucy!

He walks back into the room empty handed and says I had it on me! I had to get it off! And now I have to take a shower, I need to shower! I have to get cleaned up! There was throw up on me....

Throw up Sean, not kryptonite.....

Poor Mama
By the time I woke up Saturday morning, I had Lucy's stomach bug. Lucy seemed to be feeling much better and after waiting a bit to make sure poops were back to normal and all throw up had been expelled from her body, Sean took her out for a couple hours to let me rest.

Sean explained to Lucy that I was sick and needed to rest. Lucy's reaction?

A shake of her head and a sympathetic declaration of Poor Mama......

Do dogs chase cats?
Sunday morning, Lucy was having breakfast and watching Animal Planet as we often let her do on Sundays

I heard a commercial in the background for car insurance with the tag line "Do dogs chase cats?"

All of a sudden, Lucy let out the biggest whoop of laughter we have ever heard and was just screeching with laughter and pointing at the TV

The image on the TV?

A cat driving a car being chased by a dog driving a car

Lucy bellowed with laughter and declared Silly nunow! Silly puppy!

She continued chuckling and laughing at that commercial for the rest of her breakfast...

Silly nunow in the car! Silly puppy in the car....! she'd mutter while giggling.

Silly nunow and puppy! she'd say while laughing and shaking her head....

Quiet on the Set
We wanted to get out of the house after breakfast as we felt like we had been housebound for days so we decided to head to the Aquarium.

We got there right at 9am (because regardless of the whole spring ahead time change, someone was still up at 5 am) and as we walked in, the penguins were being fed and their rocks were being cleaned.

The penguins, when being fed, are quite vocal and we walked into a cacophony of honks and brays coming from the three different species that live there

By the time we made it around to the second penguin yard, Lucy decided she had had enough and started shushing the penguins...much to her dismay, none of them listened. So she pointed down at them and yelled

No no penguins! SSHHHH!!!!!

Look what I can do!
Sunday afternoon, Lucy and I went for a walk with Jet and Kristen

At one point, Lucy and I had fallen behind them as someone was lolly gagging....
Kristen turned around and was walking backwards encouraging Lucy to keep up with Jet.

Lucy politely ignored her.

All of a sudden, Lucy stopped, turned around, started walking backwards and after ten steps or so started giggling and said Look what I can do!! Look what I can do!!

Then she just started laughing hysterically and continued her backwards walk.

3am feeding
At 3:15 am on Monday, Lucy awoke with a start and called out for me. It was a sad little yelp and my heart sank as I was sure I was going to find her throwing up again.
Instead, I threw open her door to find her standing at the end of her crib sort of mewing like a cat does

What's wrong baby?
I hungry Mama...
I hungry Mama
Are you sure? It's 3 in the morning (like she knows that at 3 in the morning one is not supposed to get up and eat)
Yeah Mama, I hungry
OK well, what do you want?
Milk, cheese and blub blubs (goldfish crackers)

So at 3:20am, Lucy and I bonded over a cup of milk, cheese and goldfish crackers.....

We chatted about the stories we've been making up together (stories about a little girl named Lucy and her puppy Jack and their animal friends)
We talked about her going back to school (she misses Ryan and Rosie and Georgette and Kylie)...
What she should wear to school (her nunow shirt)....
She also asked for (and I gave her) an ice pack for her head (our friend Melissa was over earlier, hit her head and Lucy gave her an ice pack for her  boo boo..apparently Lucy was having sympathy pains)..she had said ice pack on her forehead for like 3 minutes....

Finally, she announced
I all done Mama, t'ank you!

And she reached up for me wrapping her arms around my neck and laying her head on my shoulder

She was asleep before we got to the top of the stairs....

I hope she remembers she can always wake me up at 3am when she's hungry.....or she wants to talk.....

Usually, Sean drops Lucy off at Day Care but yesterday morning he had a dentist appointment so I did drop off

While putting Lucy in her seat, she discovered a pair of sunglasses (hers) sticking out of the pocket of the seat in front of her. She gestured and grunted for them and asked me to put them on her.

So I placed the sunglasses on her face
She peered into the mirror hanging on the headrest in front of her and declared

Cooooool Duuuude

Not wanting to laugh aloud at her, I quickly finished buckling her in and shut the door chuckling as I walked over to the driver's side.

Halfway to school, the glasses fell off. At the red light, I put them back on

Thanks Mama
You're welcome Lucy
Yes Lucy?
She tipped her head back, and sort of peering out from underneath the glasses said, in quite a stoner/surfer/California kinda way
Tooottaalllyyy Coooool Duuuuuude

Maria, the Mum

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I Happy, Uh Oh Daddy, Twice as Nice, Hiding, Sick, Whale

I Happy
I was sweeping the kitchen and set the broom aside to pick up the dust pan. Lucy grabbed the broom, started pushing it around on the floor and declared Mama! I help! I help!
When her dad came home, she told her Dad I help Mama clean up!

We were driving one day and had the music playing. We were singing and laughing and having a snack...in between two songs, Lucy let out a big sigh and said Mama! I happy! I happy!

She walks over to the pantry door, stands in front of it and says I hungry. Snack please.

She also will warn you she's going to poop...and then kindly lets you know when she is done

Uh Oh Daddy
Sean was on the phone with Lowes Saturday about the delivery of our new washer. The purchase of the washer itself was pain free; the delivery process has been a nightmare. Saturday was the third delivery attempt and it was going about as well as the first two.
Lucy and I were upstairs getting her a clean diaper while Sean was on the phone with the store manager trying to straighten everything out.
As the conversation went on, Sean started to raise his voice and speak more rapidly and in a tone Lucy has probably not heard before.
Clean diaper in place, Lucy and I approached the top of the stairs to go down when Sean started to yell  into the phone
Lucy gasped, looked at me, pointed down over the stairs and and said Uh Oh Daddy! Daddy not happy!

Twice as Nice
For some reason, Lucy has taken to repeating everything twice
I love you Mummy Mummy, I love you Daddy Daddy
No No Daddy Daddy! No No Mummy Mummy!

I Hiding!
Lucy, while being changed, likes to look at books....often times, she'll lay the open book on her face and declare I hiding I hiding!

Lucy was sent home from school sick yesterday - she seems to have come down with a bit of a stomach bug. So today, she and I stayed home.
This morning, she fell asleep in my arms sitting at the kitchen table. I sat there for about half an hour watching the news and letting her sleep. She stirred a bit and then opened her mouth and started throwing up. I rushed her over to the sink and tried to get her to throw up in the sink...but throwing up down my shirt and in my face was far more convenient.
We trudged upstairs a few minutes later. As I was stripping her down in the bathroom, she looked at me with a sad little face and said Sorry Mama...

I'm fighting a bit of a cold and am congested so I've been blowing my nose alot.
Lucy asked me if I was sick too.
I was about to answer her when I sneezed..Lucy pipes up and says Bless you Mama!

A bit later, she asked if she could go see Georgette (her teacher) I said no because she's sick..she said I not sick Mama, only my belly is

Whale of a Tale
We were looking at some pictures of animals - as a picture flashed on the screen, Lucy named the animal: a lion, elephant, bear, zebra, panda bear, hippo, rhino. An orca whale appeared on the screen and Lucy declared it to be a panda whale....

Maria, the Mum

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Nemo, Silly Turkey, Here Daddy

In the tub one night, Lucy lays on her belly and yells
Look Mama! I'm swimming! I'm swimming! I'm swimming like Nemo!!!!!

Driving home from school, a turkey flys out in front of the car.
Lucy spots him and declares No no silly turkey! Bobble Bobble Bobble

Finding Nemo is the favorite movie right now...she likes to quote the turtles...Totallyyy Dude....

When were watching Nemo this past Sunday, at one point, Dory swims off leaving Marlin behind - Lucy, concerned about her absence from the screen, jumps up off the couch and started shouting
Dory! Dory! Where are you! Dory! Dory! Come back Dory!

Lucy picked her nose tonight, called her Dad over, said Here Daddy and handed him the boogers - he took them.

Maria, the Mum

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sleep, Sick, Baby J, Green Poop, Nunows, Dodo and Coffee Talk

I’m not even going to try and make excuses for my absence or why I have not finished the England blog……..I’m just lazy (read tired) and so not focused (read I “talk” too much so can’t get my thoughts into any order at all)

Rock a bye baby
When we arrived home from England, we were exhausted. Within three days, we all seemed to get over our jet lag and back into our routine…..except for our nighttime routine…

Prior to going to England, Lucy was a pretty good sleeper. Sure, she had her nights when she just did not want to go to bed or shed wake up in the night but for the most part, her Dad (because only Daddy could do this part) would rock her to sleep (usually would take about 15 minutes) and then he’d ;lay her in her crib and we typically would not hear from her until morning – like I said sometimes she got off course but for the most part, she was pretty good…..but then we took her to England and it all came apart at the seams….

While in England (or whilst as Sean would say), poor Lucy was dragged from pillar to post and as much as we tried, her naps and bedtime were not consistent – and her nighttime routine (play time, dinner, a bit more playing, bath, brush teeth, sing a couple songs, snuggle with Daddy, get in bed) was nonexistent. Poor kid was so out of whack she didn’t know if she was coming or going…..she did not sleep through a single night while we were away nor did she sleep anywhere except with us while we were gone. But a Mum and Dad do what they gotta do and at the time, it was the best thing for all of us. We knew coming home it would be tough to get her back into her routine (and out of our bed); we just did not think it would take a month-and-a-half! We were thinking more like a week…..totally lowball that one

So now our nights now went like this: Lucy and I got home, we’d play for a bit, and then Lucy would eat dinner. We might play for a bit more (10-15 minutes) and then go take a bath….and then we’d start fighting to get Lucy in her PJs……then she’d throw a temper tantrum to keep Daddy from picking her up and rocking her. Then she’d settle down and as soon as she was laid down, would scream, yell, cry, fling herself against the side of the crib (one night she threw herself so hard against it she toppled out of the crib and onto the floor!) and eventually, she’d literally sob herself to sleep……and then she’d wake up between 11 and 12:30 and have a temper tantrum for at least an hour….and then one of us would finally give in and take her into the second bedroom to sleep….this went on for weeks. Every once in awhile, we’d get lucky and she would not fight us when we were putting her down….but she’d give us a helluva fight when she woke up in the middle of the night.

By the third week, we were losing our shit. We were tired, snapping at one another, snapping at Lucy and desperate to get a good night’s sleep. Plus, Lucy had started to act up at dinner time and breakfast was no better….I was really starting to think she just did not like us…especially when day care told me she was the best eater in the room at lunch and snack time and, was by far one of the best behaved and polite kids……

So we do a little reading (I hate reading books about parenting) and decide maybe we should try to Ferberize again….four nights later, we gave that up and Lucy was worse than ever. So we stumble through the next few days as we have been and finally decide we have to do something or else we’re all going to officially lose it….so we try to read a couple books and do a bit of research to figure out what to do –

Now here’s the thing: we are surrounded by all kinds of well meaning people who kept giving us ideas and hints as to what we should do…..and we do in fact try some suggestions, but nothing seemed to work. So Sean started buying books and sending me articles to read – but we’d get through to chapters, try for two days and give up….makes us sound like quitters I know but here’s my thing: I think parenting is instinctual…..sure, a book can give you an idea or maybe a hint as to what’s going on but I think taking care of your child is more instinct than instruction……So I kept saying to Sean we need to just be patient and ride this out, I think it’s a phase…

A phase he says, are you sure it’s not Satan taking over our baby?

No, I’m pretty sure it’s a phase

How long do they last?

Probably longer than we will…..

So we decide the next might, we’ll try putting Lucy to bed a bit earlier because the only thing that all the articles/chapters seemed to have in common was that parents, more often than not, are putting their kids to bed too late.

So we bumped her bedtime up by about 45 minutes

We went through our normal routine though we’ve had to cut out the playing time

We have dinner, a bath, brush teeth, PJs on, read two books, I rock Lucy for ten minutes, put her in her crib and 5 minutes later, she’s asleep and I’m doing chores. She woke up at midnight, Sean went in, soothed her, stretched out on the floor next to her and they both fell asleep.

It’s been three weeks now and knock on wood, she’s been pretty good. Sure, she still wakes up once a night but no more tantrums and she typically is asleep within ten minutes….

Best part? In the morning, she is a totally hoot….she wakes up in a good mood, has a good breakfast and, things go so smoothly she and Daddy are able to sneak in at least 20 minutes of play time

Told you it was a phase

Coughs, Hives, Pink Eye and Creeping Crud
The second week we were home, I arrived at day care to pick Lucy up and could hear her crying as I walked down the hall. Kylie was taking Lucy’s temperature (Lucy’s least favorite thing to have done) and it registered 102.9. Poor Lucy was beside herself, her checks were flaming red, her hair matted to her forehead and her cough sounded like that of a two pack a dayer. And to boot, she had these little weird patched if hives on various parts of her body.

A night visit to the pediatrician, a blood test, throat swab and a set of chest X-Rays later, it is determined that Lucy has a touch of pneumonia and an ear infection.

Two days later, fever seems to be under control but the cough is still pretty vicious. A week later, the fever is back and Lucy develops this skin eating creeping crud hot to the touch rash ALL OVER her body…….so we head back to the doctor and its decided the initial round of hives was just her body reacting to the fever and this weird rash was either an allergic reaction to the amoxicillin or a reaction to the fever (but because she had both, inconclusive….medicine’s favorite word) We head home with instructions to stop giving her the antibiotic, stick to Benadryl and don’t be surprised if the rash pops up again (which it does, almost every day for the next four-six days)

A week later, fever is gone, rash is gone, cough is lingering but not as bad……oh and nothing was really eating her skin, that was just for dramatic effect – but it was really freaky looking

Did I mention in the middle of this Sean came down with a stomach bug that lasted 24 hours then pneumonia and conjunctivitis?

We cancelled all appearances for a couple weeks in hopes of getting everyone (read Sean and Lucy) healthy for the holiday….which we did……and then, unto us a child was born…

Happy Birthday Baby Jesus and Ho Ho Ho Santa!
Though this was not Lucy’s first Christmas, I was super excited for it because she can actually grasp and understand what is going on this year. Sort of like how she figured out ghost and witches at Halloween and turkeys at Thanksgiving, we taught her about Santa Claus and Baby Jesus.

Because we were holed up for a couple weeks, I had ample opportunity to do crafts with Lucy and decorate the tree and house….I skipped out on baking cookies this year because I was having way more fun decorating with Lucy – next year we’ll get back to making the gazillion batches of cookies

Anyway, we decorated the tree and the house, played Christmas carols for Lucy and told her all about Baby Jesus and Santa

We began with Baby J because he of course is the reason for all this

Years ago, my mother bought me a beautiful Nativity and crèche made by Fontanini and over the years, she has added pieces to it so I have really quite a lovely set; I’m talking camels, goats, sheep, the donkey, multiple angels, Rachel, Jeremiah, the Little Drummer Boy, Noah the shepard, the 3 Wise Men, the Choir….and one of my favorite things to do every year is set out the Nativity (without Baby Jesus of course)

So with help from Lucy, who loved the animals, we set out the Nativity.
I told her the story about Mary and Joseph and the angel Gabriel came to Mary…and how they  traveled to Bethlehem….and then I told her about the shepards in the field and the angel and the star and the birth of Baby Jesus and then the three wise men coming 12 days later……Now I ad libbed most of this pulling of course from Linus's Soliloquy (A Charlie Brown Christmas) and the classic children’s book The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (the only nice thing Mrs. Hamlin ever did for me was to introduce me to that book….) But I also I made up stories to go with all the animals and the little side characters – some were true, some I just made up because I can never remember who is who in the bible…….anyway, when we got to Baby Jesus, I tried to explain he wasn’t born yet so we would not put him in his crib yet…..Lucy looked at me a bit quizzically and said

Lucy: Mama, right here! as she held up Baby Jesus

Me: Well yes Lucy, that’s Baby Jesus but he is not born yet so we’ll hide him until Christmas…on Christmas Day, we’ll put Baby Jesus in his crib

Lucy: Mama, he here! As she waves him in front of my face

Me: He is Lucy, but well……he’s going to hide until his birthday and then surprise everyone!

Lucy (with great enthusiasm): Hi YO Baby ‘esus!

Me: That’s right – he’ll say here I am!!!

Lucy: Here I ISSS (her little voice goes up at the end)

Me: And we’ll say Happy Birthday Baby Jesus!

Lucy: Happy BirthDAY BABY ‘Esus!

For the next two weeks, every night we came home, she played with the Nativity – she would move the animals and the people around….and hide Baby Jesus…sometimes we would not see him for a couple days and once he turned up in Sean’s boot…..and if you say birthday, she yells Happy Birthday Baby Jesus!

We also taught Lucy about Santa.….that Santa says Ho Ho Ho, has a white beard, a red suit and reindeer….so now, if she sees someone with a white beard she yells out Ho Ho Ho! And if you say Rudolph, she says Ho Ho Ho…

We spent Christmas in Maine at Noni and Papa’s and it could not have been anymore perfect. Lucy got quality time in with her Aunts, made Noni and Papa laugh and was overwhelmed with the gifts and lights on the tree.

Her favorite gift of Christmas 2010?
The dog Noni and Papa gave her in 2009

Green Poop
Christmas was on Saturday and our plan was to stay through Sunday. But, come Sunday morning, we were ready to leave as a snow storm was scheduled to hit Boston in the afternoon and we needed to be back for a Monday doctor’s appointment. So at 9:45am, Sean, Lucy and I head south to Woburn. We stop at the corner store for gas, a bottle of water and I also grab a bag of fruit snacks for Lucy. I hop in the driver’s seat and tell Sean I’ll drive first as he always has to drive and he can take over when we stop for Lucy. As luck would have it, both Sean and Lucy fall asleep (Lucy before we even got to the highway, Sean ½ hour later).

2 hours later, Sean wakes up.

Sean: How long was I asleep?

Me: Just over two hours

Sean: Two hours…so are we in Portland yet…?

Me: Uhhh…..

Sean: Kennebunkport?

Me: Uhh….

Sean: Where are we? Wait, is that Portsmouth?

Me: Yeah! Can you believe it, we’re making great time!?!?!

Sean: What the….how fast are you driving?

Me: I’m just going with the traffic honey….go back to sleep

O-town is 241 miles from our house – about a 4 hour drive….need I say more?

Anyway, round about this time, Lucy also wakes up. Rather than stopping, I decide to keep driving because at this point, we’re really only an hour (read 40 minutes given the way I’m driving) from home. So I say to Sean, give her a drink and the fruit snacks (why did you buys such a big bag? He asks. Only size they had honey, please give Lucy the snacks; she’s hungry and whining for them now that she’s seen them) and entertain her until we get home.

So Sean hands her a drink, gives her some fruit snacks and they jabber back and forth until we get home.
As we’re unloading the car, I comment on how Lucy probably won’t want lunch as she ate the whole bag of fruit snacks.

That evening as we’re getting Lucy ready for bed, Sean is changing her and calls me upstairs

Look at her poop! He says. That is so weird, why is that happening?

Her poop, I observe, is neon green…I mean like so green it was actually blinding.

I shrug. Probably something she ate….she seems fine. Just get her to bed.

The next day, she is still pooping neon green. I happen to be on the phone with my Mum and admit to her I think it’s a bit weird – something she ate suggests my Mum. Yeah, I thought so too Mum but what? Yeah, she had spinach for dinner but not enough to make her poop neon green for 24 hours…and yes, she had a cookie with some green frosting on it but the cookie was not that big….she seems fine otherwise so I’m not going to worry

We did not worry but we were curious – and though we typically do not do this, we went to the internet to Google neon green poop (there was nothing in my American Academy of Pediatrics, Caring for your Child 0-5) All we came up with on Google was salmonella or botchalism….

Sean says well, you did make chicken last night, did you wash your hands? Sometimes it’s hard for me to not hit him upside the head….

It was two hours later that I realized why Lucy’s poop was neon green.......next time, I won’t let her eat the whole bag of fruit snacks………….

Not sure when, but at some point, Lucy started calling cats nunows. No matter what we do to try and correct her, she insists they are nunows…so we go with it.

Sean always had cats growing up and his parents had dogs.

In the Kearns house, we always had pets: a cat, dogs, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs and at some point, there were even birds…..our cat was Morris. Round about the time he died, the commercials with Morris the Cat came on TV…I vaguely remember being told Morris went to Hollywood and that’s why he was not around anymore. We had tons of gerbils – one of them killed herself (she would jump up and hang off the cover of the cage and then drop herself down…she basically jumped to her death) Chettie snapped the necks of at least two (totally accidentally, she did not grow up to be a raving lunatic) We had guinea pigs that I seem to recall escaping a lot (could have been we accidentally took them out of their cages) and the birds….I think one of the dogs ate the birds….and I know one of the dogs ate Mikel’s teddy bear hamster but I’m not sure if she knows that yet so keep it on the DL…

Anyway, we had talked about getting Lucy a cat for her #1 birthday but decided to wait. I thought we were going to get her A cat for her #2 birthday but somehow, the first weekend of January, we adopted two cats….not kittens, two 2 year old cats (2 Nunows as Lucy emphatically announces at random times for no reason)

So Sean brings home the two nunows called Frankie and Thunder…Thunder is changed to Charlie and we quickly learn that Frankie is needy, Charlie is independent. Frankie is a bit of a knucklehead (he stuck his head in the mini blinds and got stuck) Charlie is the thinker. Frankie is a bit quicker with his affection, Charlie is choosey but when he chooses you (he chose me) he loves you the most……

They are outside cats but we waited a week or so before letting them go outside; Charlie went first – Frankie finally followed a couple days later. Unfortunately, it’s been too cold or snowy for them to stay out for long periods of time…but we do try to get them out a couple times a day.

Sean picked them up on a Saturday night; Lucy was already in bed so did not meet them until Sunday morning. When the first cat came around the corner; Lucy sort of backed up, rubbed her eyes, looked at me and said, while pointing at Charlie,

Mama! Nunow?

Yes Lucy, that’s a nunow

My nunow?

Yes, your nunow….he’s going to live with us.

Daddy! Nunow! Nunow!

Frankie walked around the corner…

Daddy! Another nunow! TWO NUNOWS!!!!!!!!!!

At that point, she plopped herself down on the floor and just sat staring at the nunows with a silly grin on her face.

From that point on, when we would get up in the morning, Lucy would say Good morning nunows! In the evening when we got home, she would walk through the front door and announce Hi Yo nunows! Lucy home!

If only the bliss had lasted…..within a couple weeks, it became clear to us that the cats were not as fond of kids as the previous owner had led us to believe……Charlie especially was not a big fan of Lucy’s. Frankie was a bit more tolerate of her…but it got to the point where we could not leave Lucy and the nunows in the room together if we were not there…and Lucy stopped asking for the nunows last week after another run in with Charlie……

We contacted the previous owner as she had asked us to let her know how the cats were doing and if we had any problems with them and her reaction was yeah, I was afraid that might happen….try locking them in the bathroom, that’s what I did to keep them from my 2 year old….not fair to the cats or the 2 year old….

Fortunately, we live close to Nevins Farm and they took Charlie and Frankie yesterday – they are a no kill center and were quite reassuring in the process that they understood why we were doing what we were doing and agreed it was the best thing for the cats and Lucy. They’ll try hard to place the cats together and said we could call to check on them……They even invited us to come back when we’re ready to adopt again……

Dodo 1.0, Dodo 2.0, Dodo 3.0
So I’ve come to realize that as a parent, when faced with a crisis situation or a situation in which you want to protect your child, sometimes all reason and your ability to be rational goes out the window…..case in point:

Dodo is the fish we bought last October when we changed day cares

Good old Dodo…..Lucy talks to him every day (Morning Dodo! Night night Dodo! Time to eat Dodo!)She pulls her little stool over to the sideboard, hops up on it, pulls the tank to the edge and has conversations with Dodo….sometimes she shows him a book or a stuffed animal....or a picture she drew….

So one morning, I look at Dodo’s tank and realize it’s a mess…..the tank has not been cleaned for who knows how long…..we had gotten the cats, Lucy was just starting to sleeping at night, work was crazy for both of us and we had been distracted and tired for weeks…….

On this particular morning, about three weeks ago now, we were ahead of schedule – breakfast was done, lunches were packed, kitchen was cleaned up and we’re all dressed so I decide to take 10 minutes to clean Dodo’s tank….Lucy, as always, helps….I comment to Sean that this weekend we need to get new pebbles because the ones we have are starting to look kind of nasty…that is the purple coloring that’s on them is coming off…they just look gross….

That night, we arrive home a little late as I got hung up in traffic so I sort of hustled Lucy right to the dinner table in an effort to keep to her new (earlier) night time routine.

Lucy shouts a greeting to Dodo but I pay no attention as I need to get dinner on the table and the cats are being a pain in the ass (under foot and whining). Sean comes in the door and, as he had been doing every night, went downstairs to take care of the cats’ dinner and litter boxes. On this particular evening, they had made a fine mess in and out of their boxes so Sean was downstairs longer than he normally is.

I get Lucy fed (she decides to take her sweet time), start lunches for the next day and keep thinking I need to feed Dodo…

But it’s time to hustle Lucy up to the bath – quick bath, brush of the teeth, into her PJs, and she decides she wants Daddy to read to her……so up Daddy comes and settles down to read Lucy a book.

I head downstairs to finish the lunches, empty the dishwasher and clean up the messes we made…..Sean finally comes down about 45 minutes later…we were late getting upstairs and it took a bit longer for Lucy to fall asleep.

He was in the bathroom washing his head when I realize I never fed Dodo…I open up the tank to see Dodo floating in a horizontal position…..he looks white around the gills….and his eyes look weird, sort of bugged out…..

Oh no, oh no, oh no, please Dodo, don’t be……no no no….

I tap on the tank thinking maybe he’s just…resting his eyes….he doesn’t move. I tap harder thinking maybe I can shock some life into him.




Sean, Dodo is……..Dodo’s dead


Sean walks over, peers in and says He doesn’t look so good…

He’s dead honey, of course he doesn’t look so good….

Ok, let’s just leave him in there for now and we’ll get a new one tomorrow. Says Sean

We’re not leaving a dead fish in there! What if it smells, what is Lucy sees it…..no Sean, I do not want a dead fish in the house!

Well then just fish Dodo out and leave the water in so Lucy does not see the tank with no water and thinks something is up

You think she won’t notice Dodo is missing ?!?!

We both sort of freeze and look at one another with that “What should we do now?” look on our faces……at the same time we turn and look at the clock…its 8:40….

PetSmart is open till 9, says Sean

Well go! I yell. Go go go!

Sean grabs his coat and looks for his wallet as I tap on the tank again thinking I can get Dodo to wake up.

What are you going to do with him? Sean asked as he realized he was putting on my coat not his…

I’ll just flush him…I should have a few words right? Say a prayer?

Flush him…? Do we tell Lucy?

NO! For God’s sake just go! Get a new fish, he’s a male, make sure it’s the same color……I’ll clean the tank while you’re gone and get the water ready. When you get home, we can just drop him right in and Lucy will never know.

ALL RIGHT!!! I gotta go, I’ll get new rocks too.

Sean leaves in a flurry and I grab the tank and head into the bathroom

I was about to dump Dodo in when I hesitated….do I say a few words before I put him in the toilet or do I drop him in the toilet and then say something? Did I kill him? Do I just dump him or should I get the net and scoop him? Is dumping cruel…? What if there are no male fish only female?

See what I mean when I say all reason and rational go out the window?

As all these thoughts are running through my head, I’m not really paying attention and I sort of accidentally unceremoniously dump Dodo into the toilet – and before I can react, he sort of slips down the toilet bowl out of sight…

Christ, I didn’t even get to say anything! Not even a Hail Mary….well Dodo, thanks for the memories……Thanks for being there for Lucy and sorry about this.

I flush the toilet for good measure…..and it backs up……won’t flush…..so I have to plunge….and as I plunge, up comes Dodo….

It’s a miracle!

I peer down to see if Dodo has been shocked back to life…he wasn’t, I say a Hail Mary and an Our Father for good measure, thank Dodo for his service and flush. I also apologized because I’m pretty sure I killed Dodo…I think I cooked him……that is I think the water I put him in this morning was too hot…I killed him….I say two more Our Fathers and three more Hail Marys for good measure, cross myself and flush a second time just to be on the safe side…….

Funeral services over, I rush into the kitchen and start to clean the tank. I almost threw the rocks out but decide at the last minute to keep them….

By the time Sean gets home, the tank and rocks are clean and the water is conditioned and ready to go

Sean stumbles through the door with a big bag and I swear he pulled the fish out of his pocket….

What’s all this?

I bought a new tank….

A new tank?

Well yeah, I could not find the rocks so I just bought a new tank….this one has a filter so YOU won’t have to clean his tank as often…

We can’t put him in a new tank, I say. Lucy will realize it’s not the same tank…and, his tank now has all the stickers Lucy put on it….and she knows which stickers are on it and I don’t have the same stickers to redecorate the new tank and the new tank is bigger and she’ll know! She’ll know something happened! And what are we supposed to tell her, that Mummy killed her fish? That I cooked her fish?

We’ll just tell Lucy we got Dodo a new tank, a bigger and better one…what do you mean cooked her fish?

But she’ll want to know why, I say. What do we say then? Why do we tell her all of a sudden we bought a new tank? Do we tell her because when Mummy cleaned the tank she didn’t let the water cool down to room temperature because she was in a rush thereby cooking her fish????? And Sean, THIS TANK DIDN’T EVEN COME WITH ROCKS!!! NOW WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO DO???????


Again, we freeze.

Ok, let’s not panic. I saved the old rocks. We’ll just put Dodo 2 in the old tank with the old rocks….

Right, says Sean. And I’ll hide the tank so Lucy does not see it and think something is up…and then next time we clean the tank, we’ll pull out the new one and just say Hey Lucy! We got Dodo a new house! Let’s decorate it!

Good plan!

So Dodo 2.0, who is a bit prettier than Dodo 1.0, is transferred to the old tank with the old rocks…Sean hides the new tank so Lucy does not see it and the next morning, Lucy greets him as she always does…although I swear for a split second she stared at him a little longer than she normally does and I was convinced she was going to tell me Dodo looked different….

A few days later, Sean tells me he thinks Dodo does not like living here….he does not move around a lot and is not eating….I brush it off, I’ve had enough drama with fish.

This past weekend, it was time to clean the tank. So Sean busted out the new tank (and the new rocks he had to go and purchase separately)

Look Lucy! A new house for Dodo…WE JUST BOUGHT IT (wink wink). Should we decorate it for him?

Yeah Daddy! Stickers!

She bought it! So Lucy and Daddy busy themselves with decorating the new tank with stickers….

Dodo 2.0 moved into his house this past Sunday. Sunday evening, just as we were getting ready to sit down for dinner, I went to feed Dodo

Fuck. He’s dead….

I call Sean over….

Don’t make a big deal or react honey but Dodo is dead


He’s dead…I point to the tank…

Sean taps the tank…Yup, he is

We decide we can’t dispose of him as Lucy is right there and its dinner time…so we have dinner with a dead fish in the room

After Lucy went to bed, I inform Sean it’s his turn to dispose of the dead body, I did it last time

We make the decision to leave the tank filled and that we’ll pick up a new fish Monday…if Lucy asks in the morning where Dodo is, we’ll just tell her he’s hiding which we decide is totally plausible as Dodo 2.0 did like to hide in the plastic seaweed that was in tank…

Monday night, at 9pm, I realize we forgot to get the fish (most likely because we were dealing with the washing machine that had broken and the impending departure of the cats)

We think we can fake it until I can get to PetSmart at lunch on Tuesday to get a replacement fish

So yesterday, at lunchtime, Dodo 3.0 moved in….

Lucy greeted him as she always does when we got home last night…I think we may have pulled another one over on her…

Coffee Talk with Lucy
I was combing Lucy’s hair getting her ready for school and when her Dad walked in the room she proclaimed Daddy! I’m pretty!

Another day, I told Lucy she looked beautiful after I finished getting her dressed for school
I feel beautiful Mama! She replied

I stepped out of the shower one morning to be greeted by Lucy holding Noddy in one hand and Elmo in the other.
Mama, she growled in a funny voice, I’m a monster!
She does the voice again, I’m a monster!
And she raised her arms above her head shaking them (and hitting herself in the head with Elmo and Noddy) and yelled ARRRGGHHHH in an effort to scare me.
I’m a monster!!!!
And with that she turns, runs out of the bathroom with her arms still waving above her head and her Elmo and Noddy still hitting her and yelling ARRGGGHHHH

Lucy announced with great enthusiasm one day on the drive home from day care
Mama, I have toe! I have toes.
That’s great Lucy!
Yeah Mama, toes!
She told me again the next day she had toes; again I enthused about how wonderful it is to have toes.
She did it again the next day.
Lucy, I asked, where did you get your toes?
She holds up her left foot and says, in a very matter of fact manner, These toes are from Noni
What about your other toes?
She holds up her right foot and says These toes are from Papa!

We’ve become quite friendly with our neighbor Kristen. She has a greyhound called Jet; he and Lucy adore one another. It’s not uncommon for us to wander over to Kristen’s to visit with her and Jet. Right before Christmas, we met her boyfriend Roger; Lucy has taken a bit of a shining to him.
We had gone over to visit one day and Roger was there. He and Lucy chatted as they always do and when we said our good byes, Roger got a hug just like Kristen and Jet get.
Later that night, as I was getting her ready for bed, she looks at me all serious and says Mama, I like Roger.

Lucy was talking to my Mum on the phone the other night.
All of a sudden, mid conversation she says, Buh Bye Noni, I’m all done with you!

I asked Lucy what a dog says
What about a cat?
How about a cow?
What does a witch say?
She cackles Hahaha like a witch
What about a ghost?
What’s a turkey say?
Bobble Bobble
Ho Ho Ho
Lucy what does Elmo say?
Ha Ha Ha
What does Lucy say?
I love you Mummy
What does Noni say?
Buh Bye Lucy! Be a good girl!!!!

For a spell, Lucy was hooked on the movie Bolt. Bolt is a dog and he has two side kicks: Mittens, a cat and Rhino who is a hamster. Rhino totally makes the movie and his catch phrase is declaring Awwweeesome! During a recent trip to the mall (in an effort to kill an afternoon and get out of the house) we wandered into the Disney Store and found plush animals of all three characters. Lucy, upon seeing Rhino grabbed him, lifted him above her head and declared in her loudest voice AWWEEESOOMMMEE!!!!

When we leave day care each day, Lucy insists upon stopping and seeing the babies. The door to the baby room is typically closed but Lucy always presses her hands and face against the widnow and says Buh Bye Babies! See you tomorrow! And then she blows them a kiss. She has also taken to saying good bye to Michelle, the woman who is almost always in the room working…She looks at Michelle and says Buh Bye Baby Lady!

Please, thank you and you’re welcome have worked their way into Lucy’s vocabulary and she is actually really good about using them in context and with little or no prompting/coaching. The other day, I was putting laundry away in our room and she was in her room looking books. At one point I heard her say to Noddy, Ok Noddy, you can look at Lucy’s book. A few minutes later, Noddy was apparently done with the book because I then heard her say You’re welcome Noddy. Want another book?

There is of course much more to share but this should tide you over for a bit

Maria, the Mum