Friday, November 30, 2012

18 months!

Yesterday, we took Mia in for her 18 month well check. My pediatrician was a bit shocked to see us both in the room. It was amazing that we both happened to be able to take our week day off in time for the well-visit. Mia is tiny, as usual, but healthy.

18 Month Stats:
Weight: 21 lbs, 7 oz.  10th percentile
Height: 31 Inches  25th percentile
Head circumference: 45.5cm  25th percentile
Milestones: Runs; Climbs; Can take stairs while holding hand; 20+ word vocabulary; Mimics what we say and do; Eats with a fork and spoon; Points at body parts.

Mia, at 18 months,

You are a bundle of energy and sass. You are constantly on the move, and any silence in the house just means trouble. You have gotten so fiesty, and we are really starting to catch a glimpse of what your terrible twos are going to look like. It is your way, or the meltdown face on the floor way. You want to eat on your own, on your own plate and with your own fork or spoon. If the food falls off the spoon, you may ask for help, but want to put it in your own mouth. That's fine with me, Mama finally gets to have dinner while everyone else does!

You are so playful and sweet, most of the time. You want to read books, watch Yo Gabba Gabba, and do everything to make us laugh. You have so many words, but you still get pretty frustrated when you can't communicate. All in good time. You'll be speaking in sentences in no time! 

Speaking of Bunnies, a couple of weeks ago while packing up the apartment, we found a stuffed bunny of mine that you have totally fallen in love with. You sleep with "Buttee" every night, and ask for him as soon as you're in your jammies. We love that she plays with Bunny, because it was a special purchase for us. The day B and I got sworn in to the Illinois Bar, the ceremony was at Navy Pier. On our way out, we walked the entire length of the Pier, and in the front was a Build A Bear workshop. We were both in such a good mood, we went in to build a stuffed animal to commemorate the day... and now, just three short years later, here you are enjoying our special little bunny. 

Our favorite little quirk of yours is that at random moments during your play, you'll go "Oh, Chloe!" As I've mentioned on here many a time, our beloved Beagle is now 14 years old and basically deaf. B and I have to YELL her name in order to get her attention. Mia, I think that you may have misinterpreted our meaning and think that "Oh Chloe" is some kind of curse word. Something will fall off the table, and you'll say "Oh, no! Chloe!" (What the Chloe did you just say to me?). Toddlers, you guys are hilarious. But, you continue to love your doggies more than any other toy, and you're finally learning to say Swarley ("Swaley"), and your previous "Tatty" for "Doggie" has evolved into "Cocky". (Also, socks=cock, walk=cocka) Do you sense a theme?

Our biggest hurdle continues to be sleep. I feel like I've been complaining about this since you were born, but Mama and Papa are very cranky when they don't get consistent sleep. We spoke to your Pediatrician about this, and she reminded us that we did some sleep training a few months ago which worked well before Lola (My Mom) came to visit. So, last night was night #1 of sleep training, which consists of going to you as soon as you cry, reassuring you without picking you up, and leaving the room. 10 minutes later, if you're still crying, repeat. Then, 20 minutes later. Then, 30, etc. Last night, we had to go all the way up to 40 before you quieted down and slept through the night from midnight to 6:30am. Not enough sleep for sure, but more consecutive hours than we've had in a while. We'll see how night #2 goes.

We love you more and more everyday, and last night, B summed it up perfectly. I'm so glad we made the baby we got, she's so awesome. That you are, Bunny. 


Mama and Papa

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A DIY Christmas

I'm not sure why I wait until after Thanksgiving to start putting together Christmas gifts, but 30 days does not seem like enough time to put everything together the way I want to. Especially not when that 30 days is actually just 2 hours per night once dinner is made and cleaned up, and my toddler is put to bed. Shopping for gifts is a pleasure for me. I love trying to think of things to give out, and this year even more so, with Mia actively playing with toys and starting to show preferences. Although I don't think she'll understand what is coming, I think once she realizes what is under those colorful wrappings, she'll be very excited to tear everything up.

It also seems like our list gets longer each year. There's the kids. Mia, our nephew, and a couple of friends kids. I took care of that on cyber monday. Not many. There's each other. This year, we are being very practical. B wants an exercise bike that we are currently scouring craigslist for. Mia broke our coffee pot, so I'd like a new one, so that, I can actually make coffee instead of drinking a Diet Pepsi every morning. As for the rest: my work colleagues, B's work colleagues, and friends that's where it starts getting time consuming. As much as I'd love to go out and pick something out for every person based on their personalities and tastes, that just isn't going to happen.

Since we have been in a reduced income household for over 6 months now, I think I've come up with a decent way of still having gifts for everyone without spending an inordinate amount of money. So, this year, will be a DIY Christmas. I will tell myself that the gifts will be so filled with love and thoughtfulness that they will not be perceived as cheap. RIGHT?

For women: Frenchie's Frills bracelets. Perhaps a single or double wrap, depending on the person. I have plenty of inventory left over from the Halloween craft show, and will likely have plenty left after our upcoming one in mid-December. Also, I have quite a few supplies to make any more, as needed. No money spent there -- I have everything I need. 

For men/families: Hand knit Christmas tree ornaments. I found a pattern yesterday, purchased some Styrofoam balls from Michael's for $10, two balls of yarn for $4 each, and viola. I spent about an hour and a half on my first one yesterday and I'm halfway through, so if I get used to the pattern, that should be plenty of time for about 15. (Juliet, act surprised!)

Now, this is our first year with a daycare. I am definitely giving a gift to the 3 main teachers in Mia's 1 year old room, but what about the rest of the staff? I was thinking I might buy a box of bagels and coffee one morning for them, but does that seem like too little?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

House Christening Fail

Well. Our first night in the house was... not great. Instead of Christening the house the traditional way, I Christened it on Sunday night by running to our shiny master bathroom (tripping over many boxes and stray hangers on the way) and ... vomiting. B did the same thing to the powder room toilet this morning around 5 am. I am keeping a very close eye on Mia who is so very sure to come next, although, I'm hoping she gave it to ME and we just didn't notice amidst the teething and moving angst. Because really, where else would we have gotten something like this except the dreaded daycare plague?

So, things haven't exactly gone as planned with the whole unpacking thing. Things went swimmingly with the moving of the stuff though, since evidently B is a moving MACHINE and had made two trips from the apartment to the house by the time Mia and I woke up last friday morning. Motivated by saving money on the movers, he probably took at least a dozen trips back and forth between the two places (which are NOT close by, I should add) in my Insight with the back seats folded down. 6 boxes at a time, and everything but the furniture was in the house by the time the moving truck got to the apartment on Sunday. 2 1/2 hours after that, and all the furniture was at the house, too (another score, because we paid by the hour, with a 2 hour minimum). 

The former owners wanted to stay in the house for a couple of weeks after the closing because they couldn't close on their new house immediately. After some negotiations, the agreement was: Leave the fridge, stay two weeks. In my (and my parents') mind, this seemed perfectly reasonable and fair. Evidently, they felt their fridge was worth far more than their (or OUR) convenience. They didn't take the fridge, but they did take a couple of things that in my opinion is clearly a FIXTURE (Hello -- I remember something from Real Estate Law) such as a bathroom cabinet, a toilet paper dispenser and towel rack. When I asked our realtor to ask for the bathroom cabinet back, their response was "No, you already got the fridge. You can buy a new bathroom cabinet yourselves, it's from Target". Not the point, but thanks, assholes. 

Anyway. I don't have many pictures to show, since the house looks like hell. (See above involving the Vomit.) But I do have two pictures of things I am awfully proud of:

CABINET SPACE! This cabinet holds all 12 of our red wine, white wine and champagne flutes, half of which were still in their original Crate and Barrel packaging from our wedding. 

The washer/dryer! B, Mia, Swarley and I all watched the first 8 minutes of the inaugural load, like a bunch of fools. Swarley barked, Mia "whoa"ed and B and I wondered how could so little water wash the clothes?
Anyway, I'm all better now. Poor B is at work feeling miserable since he has been off since Friday, so he can't take an outright sick day, though I hope for his sake that he can get out early. This afternoon, my office closes at 1pm, so I am off to the old apartment to clean up as much as possible and bring the final items over. More pictures as soon as there are no longer boxes in them!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Miss My Mommy

I really miss my Mommy. You'd think in your late 20's you'd be able to handle living across the country from your parents. That if you could muster the courage to move away at 22, that by 28 it'd be even easier- that you'd be completely "over" it, used to it, okay with it. That you'd feel like a grown a$$ adult and be okay on your own. But some days and times I just really want my Mom and/or Dad. Some moments I miss them so much I can't function- I just need a good cry. And I get jealous of those, like my husband and some of my friends, who have never lived more than a few hours from their folks and family. I think sometimes they take it for granted. There, I admitted it, I miss my Mommy. And I know, I wrote a month ago about how my Mom lost her job and my parents feel it's possibly the time to relocate out West, and that it makes me nervous because I don't know what I really want...*breath break*...and I still don't. Luckily, perhaps, it's not my decision to make. God/fate will step in and they will go wherever jobs can be found. But it's simply evidence that I really am torn. For every phone conversation that ends with me wanting to poke myself in the eye with a fork, there are moments like today when I am so sad it feels like someone is stabbing my heart with that damn fork.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Holiday around the corner

This morning, after reading several holiday facebook and blog posts, I realized that we've been so focused on the move (T-5 days) that I have totally forgotten to get excited about the holidays. Well, not completely since I did pick out Mia's gift from Santa from the Target toy catalog, but since I spent the weekend wearing my sherling-lined slippers, even Las Vegas is reminding me that the Holidays are a-comin'.

Since my time at home has been totally dominated by cardboard boxes, plastic bins and permanent markers, sitting down at my desk this morning after a 3 day weekend of marathon packing, I also made another realization. B, Mia and I will be spending our first holiday season on our own, as our own family. From Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve, neither my nor B's family will be around for the celebrations. Last year, we spent Thanksgiving at our apartment and the following long weekend in an RV, and then Christmas in France.

We had previously planned on going to Chicago for Christmas, but because we have already been there twice this year for various weddings, and because this move is costing many dollars despite our most valiant attempts at being cheap, we are staying put. I had been toying with the idea of doing an overnight somewhere like Mt. Charleston or St. George, UT to make Christmas Eve and Day less lonely, but I'm reconsidering. It might feel even more lonely if we are in a hotel room somewhere.

So for now, the plan will be to celebrate on our own, as a little family of three, in our new little house which will hopefully be fully unpacked and organized. This year is proving to be much less eventful, but hopefully just as happy!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mia's First Election

She stayed up until the networks made their projections. Not because we thought she needed to be awake for it or anything, but because I couldn't get myself away from the television for long enough to start her bedtime routine until 8 (which normally starts at 7, right after dinner). We were all very distracted, but at least for the next election (when she is 5 1/2!!!) we'll be able to show her this:

She claps when there is clapping on TV.
The Frenchie household is happy that Nevada went blue, at least in the Presidential Election.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday Assortment

The Packing 2012 is going slowly but is progressing. Embarrassingly, I had to spend the longest time organizing all of my hobby supplies. One entire plastic storage bin for my yarn, knitting needles and pattern books, and one entire plastic storage bin for my beads and their supplies, only to find that I had more stashed elsewhere and no room in either plastic storage bin.

When you still have two weeks before you have to leave, it's very difficult to pack only things you aren't going to need in the next two weeks. I packed all of our pet stuff, only to have to go through it again a few hours later to locate the heart worm medicine. Ditto when I got bored with the one knitting project I kept out, and had to dig through to locate supplies for another. (I realize the second was purely of my own, stupid, making). The kitchen remains untouched and is likely the biggest job of course -- my reasoning being that the kitchen cabinets do not need to be emptied for the movers, whereas the various shelving units do. We are planning on moving the non-furniture items ourselves, so as to save on the $89 per hour the movers are charging. We have cars and two weeks to clear out the apartment after our scheduled move, we can handle the remaining items. Of course, I say that now... The closing was last week and went very smoothly. I had to sign "[Mom's First Name Middle Name Maiden Name Married Name] by [Frenchie Middle Name Maiden Name Married Name] as her attorney in fact " every. single. time. which highly amused the title company guy, but our realtor gave me a gift basket with towels and chocolate, so it was all worth it. Now we wait until the evening of the 15th, and we will be given the keys. On the morning of the 16th, I will have scheduled a cleaning service, a carpet cleaning service, and washer dryer delivery. On the 18th, we will sleep in our new home!

Mia helps sort through my jewelry by wearing my bangles, and Hawaiian necklace.
We had a lovely and productive weekend despite the boxes starting to make us feel like we're living in a fort. Mia and I went to Stroller Strides on Saturday morning, and I had two victories. 1) I did not even come close to passing out. 2) I am not even remotely sore. We got Mia's second official haircut at a kids salon, and it was very uneventful and great. Mia sad in a Lightning McQueen Chair, watched Little Einsteins and did not cry one bit. She was very squirmy, but the hairdresser managed to cut her bangs very straight across anyway (as you can see in the above picture).

And then came Sunday night and The Walking Dead. I'd like to think that I've become much less sensitive to the gore and not too afraid of the zombies anymore, but last night's episode really threw me off. Not only was it extremely gory, but also... yikes. I couldn't sleep and my stomach was uneasy for the rest of the evening. I was actually grateful when Mia wouldn't settle down in her crib again, only for having an excuse to snuggle her very close to me and make sure she was... you know, safe from Walkers. I can hardly blame Mia for being completely unable to take advantage of that extra hour.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Annoyed ... and Halloween!

Sleep has been a constant battle in our house for... the past 17 months. Lately, and I fear, until several weeks after we have moved into the new house (Nov 18th will be the first night we sleep there), we will continue to lose.

Mia has a "touch of strep", pediatrician's words, and a huge case of molars coming in. So, she's still unhappy and clingy. Tuesday night, she wouldn't even go down in her own crib and stayed up until Midnight. I already knew I was keeping her home on Wednesday, so, I graciously told B to go to bed, and I would sleep in Mia's room with her. I quickly followed this up with "Since you are off on Thursday, you can do the same for me tomorrow night."

Well, after a glorious night of trick of treating fairyness, Mia woke up and I nudged B to get her. I went back to sleep. What do you know, but I get woken up to Mia being thrust into my sleeping arms. B and I discussed it the night before. Mia is a Mama's girl, so if she wouldn't calm down with B, he'd bring her in our room. I assumed this is what happened. The next morning, after a fitful night of Mia repositioning herself on various parts of my body, I asked B very sympathetically how long he had tried to calm her down before giving up. "Oh. I forgot that I was supposed to do that."

Oh, how convenient. 

But, on the bright side, this:

She was great! She walked up to the houses very firmly holding on to our hands. She held out her pumpkin and was very excited to see all the doggies and pumpkins around. She walked around, stopped briefly to survey her loot, refused to let us carry her pumpkin when it got heavy ("MINE!") and kept her wings and flower crown on the whole time. We had a lot of fun going around with Juliet's family.