Thursday, January 28, 2010

a 'bonus day' at home

On Saturday, we noticed Lola had herself a terrible diaper rash. The really terrible kind that has her digging her fingernails into her back skin and trying to pull it from her bones. It was nasty.

I don't know if I've written much about it, but this poor girl has always battled diaper rashes. Bad ones. The first 7-8 months of her life were a blur a Desitin, Butt Paste and tears (from all three of us ... well, maybe not Ray). Then, while venting to a co-worker, she mentioned that her little boy never responded well to anything but A + D.

Really?

That night, we slathered on some A + D on and, boom, by morning, she was all clear. It was amazing.

Anyhow, back to the present, Lola got a bad diaper rash Saturday. Which I found odd since, you know, we do try to change her diaper on a fairly regular basis - and she hasn't had a diaper rash in a very long time. Anyhow, I put A + D on and waited.

It got worse.

This is unusual.

Um, OK ... so more diapers throughout the weekend, more A & D.

Slight improvements, but she was still itchy and visibly uncomfortable.

Come Tuesday night, she threw up a little bit at the dinner table. We figured she ate too much applesauce. No big thing. Washed her up and put her to bed.

Yesterday (Wednesday) morning, way too early, Ray and I woke up to the sounds of Lola hacking her lungs out over the monitor. (Well, actually, I woke up to that. Ray woke up to me jabbing him in the ribs with my elbow, "Ray, is Lola sick?" As if from his deep slumber he could read Lola's mind.) I checked on her and, sure enough, a low-grade fever, pink cheeks and plugged-up nose.

So I stayed home from work.

Just about an hour after we had some breakfast, Lola was throwing a temper tantrum because she wanted to be held and I wanted (not really) to do dishes. She threw her head back and screeched. (The Tyrannosaurus Rex howl comes to mind.)

Anyhow, I got an inside look into Lola's mouth and noticed two little white nubs on the top in the back of her gums on either side.

Sure enough, Lola got molars. Who knew?

Everything suddenly made sense: the diaper rash, congestion, fever.

(Insert light bulb here.)

So it became a snuggle day. A day of rocking and cuddles.

I can't complain.

***

OK, and for those of you wondering how Ray is dealing with Sunday's game...



We've broken out the Twins gear.

- Bethany :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Mondays

Lola had the same thought I did this morning:
"Can't we just sleep in a little longer?"



Happy Monday.

- Bethany :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

growing up



We've packed up all of Lola's "baby" toys and have enjoyed watching her take interest in more toddler-ish toys these past few weeks. Her favorite toys, lately, have been her baby dolls. But I don't have pictures of those - when she plays with them, I'm too busy showing her to put the babies to bed, feed them and burp them.

Another of her favorites lately are her blocks. Which, admittedly, are her parents' favorite, too. Lola (a.k.a. Miss Independent) wants Ray and I sitting on the floor by her when she's playing, but lately she kind of wants to just play by herself. She doesn't really want your help right now.

So Ray I build towers of blocks. It keeps us busy and Lola is happy because we're on the floor playing with her, sort of.

So here's the drill: Ray and I build a large tower and Lola comes and knocks it down.




What's cute about the whole thing, especially, is that Lola doesn't twice let us build a tower. After the first time, she wants to help.

And she's gotten really good at building her own mini-towers (which she, too, knocks down).




***

Toddler-hood. So far, I'm loving it.

Last night, as I was driving Lola home from day care and listening to her talk to me and the trees (and, at one point, the deer), I began wondering: "What do I think is Lola's ratio between cries and real talk?"

Lola has been talking up a storm. What began with mama now includes a whole vocabulary. Most are fairly ordinary: dada, bada, num-nums, baby, no, etc.

But she is figuring out so many more (this is just a few):

- goopa is grandpa
- mooma is grandma (you have to listen really closely to distinguish the difference between this and mama)
- cuddum is cuddles (her blankie, which she now is dragging all over the house)
- mo is more
- ni-ni is night-night (usually said while putting a "baby" to night-night or to say "no ni-ni" at bedtime)

She is learning a new word every day, too. Lola is naturally shy, so you have to listen closely. She won't really say a new word out loud until she hears herself say it first, just to try it out.

We were taking a bath Wednesday when I pointed and said, "Bubbles," as she began trying to, yes, eat them.

Softly, just barely a whisper, Lola repeated, "Bubble."

Then again, a little louder.

After I smiled and said she was doing a good job, she began practically shouting it for the next 15 minutes, "Bubble, bubble, bubble."

Later, she saw Ray doing dishes and pointed: "Bubble."

And, yesterday, while in the car, she learned the word "please" as in "more fishies, please." It comes out "peace," which makes me smile even more.

So back to the original thought: "What do I think is Lola's ratio between cries and real talk?"

I would guess she still cries, whimpers or whines more than actual talking, but not much. Maybe 60-40. But if I only consider the really awake times, before she gets sleepy or crabby, she talks way more than crying; maybe 85-15.

I remember during her infancy, when Ray would say, usually in exasperation, "Lola, I can't wait until you can tell us what you want."

We're there. And we're loving it.

Have a great weekend,
- Bethany :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Children's Museum ... and a Vikings win!

I knew it would happen sooner or later. *Sigh* This is my first full week of work since Christmas. Five days seems so long! It's not like I'm not working, but when we work Saturdays, we usually take off Friday.

This past week, I had worked so many hours for work that it just made sense to take Friday off and get some extra time in the Cities. We left Friday morning and got to Ray's parent's place earlier than usual, which was super nice since Lola was awake for a while and we all got to hang out quite a bit. The extra time was also appreciated since Grandma and Grandpa Wesley are leaving in two weeks for a six-week vacation ... well, sort of a vacation. Either way, they're spending a few weeks in Florida, which no matter how you look at it, has got to be a vacation from our Minnesota winter!

I'm not great at taking pictures with the Wesleys, and I feel bad about it. I never think of it at the time and then I feel bad when I start uploading pictures here. I swear, I like the Wesleys an awful lot! All of the Wesleys have always been warm and completely supportive of Ray and me. So it's just laziness, not any indication of any animosity between them and myself. There is none. Stop looking for controversy! :)

Anyhow, I did get one photo from our time in Maple Grove. I thought this was just too cute, with Lola sandwiched between her daddy (Ray) and her grandfather (Ray).



***

Our big outing for the weekend was a trip Sunday morning to the Minnesota Children's Museum in St. Paul with my parents, who were more than happy to spend time showing Lola all the different sights and activities.

She had a really good time, I think. She best liked the displays where she had her own space and could really explore the features. Overall, she was certainly overwhelmed by the number if people. (It was the third Sunday, so apparently that means the museum is free. I don't know how busy it is on "regular" days, but it was pretty crowded.)













***

Sunday was also the day for the "big game" as Ray and his dad made their way downtown to watch the Vikes tame the Cowboys.

Meanwhile, my parents (Bears fans, by the way) and I went to St. Paul to play with Lola's cousins and allow us adults to visit. It was a really fun afternoon. The kids all got along really well - and the Vikes won, so Lola and I were happy for Ray.




***

A quick, overall thought: Lola is an only child. And she loves it.

Earlier in the weekend, we stopped by my other brother's house and had a girls afternoon, as Lola played with his two daughters. The baby, smiley Katelyn, was just asking to be held (OK, she was giggling and laughing, but I wanted baby cuddles), so I picked her up.

Lola, from across the living room, saw me dare to touch another child and ran to my feet, screaming and trying to climb up my legs into my lap.

Now, granted, maybe for some kids this is kinda' normal. Well, Lola doesn't particularly like being held, unless she is sick, scared or nervous. This was just a "That's my mom!" temper tantrum.

My brother came and took his baby back, and I got Lola. Not that that is ever a consolation prize.

OK, so anyway, apparently this possessive streak is extending beyond me.

On Sunday, while we were playing with the boys, Lola decided that my mother's lap is her lap. And only her lap.




Just look at how happy Lola is to have to share. (Ha! Not happy at all!)

***

So that was our weekend. We had a wonderful time and are now looking forward to this weekend, which is predicted to contain a painting project, a major house gutting and reorganization project, and snowshoeing.

Not to mention a Vikings win?!

- Bethany :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lola's quilt

One of the very first things we got for the baby's room was Lola's quilt, her lovely and beautiful quilt.

Ray and I knew we wanted to do some theme that was kind of woodsy and northern Minnesota-ish. So, when my mom and I saw the quilt on display at Emily's Country Cottage in Bemidji, we knew we had to have it. (Mom bought the pieces anyway and sent them to my aunt in Chicago area, who then put it together.)

I loved the colors - but more so, I loved the animals: bears, deer, foxes and moose. Perfect for us!

It is especially fun to have it around now that Lola can really take notice of the designs and the animals.

Not unlike other kids her age, I'm sure, Lola is fascinated by animals.

She saw a herd of deer a few weeks and would have leaped out of the car had it not been for the window and car seat. "Dog!" Dog! Dog!" she cried, waving her arms and trying to break free. Then, when I didn't stop the car, it was, "Mama! DOG!" So, yes, I stopped the car (we were on a dirt road leaving day care) and we watched the 5-6 deer as they ran across a field.

Now, she sees the quilt and points, "Bar." (Bear)

So I got the quilt out the other day and we went over some of the animals.






It's just so fun to watch her learn more every day, to take notice of something she had not completely seen before.

Fun times. Really.
- Bethany :)

P.S. My kid turns a year and a half old today. I can't believe it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Lola's room

It's funny the things you do in preparation for a new baby (i.e. washing all of the baby clothes in $12 Dreft laundry detergent).

For us, our one weakness was Lola's room. Where Ray spent countless hours hand-painting the flowers, pine tree, butterflies and the letters of her name. It was - and still is - an absolutely gorgeous room. It still takes my breath away every time I walk in to get her or put her down. It's perfect.

(Especially now, in the dead of winter. At least I can go into Lola's room to see 23 bright flowers and a sun shining overhead. It's always summertime in Lola's room. If not anywhere else in Bemidji.)

So, where do we hang out least at home? Yep, Lola's room. Figures.

So I especially tried this weekend to get some picture of Lola in her own room.



She's our little angel.

While she may not always be happy to go into her crib, Lola is always waiting for us at the foot of her crib with a wide, open-mouthed grin.

Waiting not-so-patiently for us to come and rescue her.




(I swear she wasn't naked! She had just devoured a chocolate chip cookie and was having some time to herself while I was putting a load of laundry in the wash. And, no, I wasn't using Dreft.)

Happy Monday,
Bethany

Monday, January 4, 2010

a new year!

Happy New Year everyone!

We celebrated the new year with a house full of poker buddies from the Cities. Before Bemidji, Ray I would meet up with these guys 4-5 times a week to play cards in a garage. Now, it's once a year. Someday, he would like me to leave Lola for a whole night (eek!) and meet up back in the suburbs. We will see...

Anyhow, most of our time was spent playing with Lola (when she was awake) and playing cards or Wii at nighttime. It was a fun four days.

(For the record, no, I did not make it to midnight to welcome in the new year. I turned in at 11 p.m.)

Today, instead of telling you about my homebound life in Brrrrrrmidji as they say (where it is -30), I thought I would offer a few fun Lola updates.

***




Topic No. 1:
Bath time.

Oh bath time. The first 12 months of Lola's life, she got a bath nearly every day. She loved bath time. She would laugh and giggle and clap and squeal. It was like having a little dolphin.

Then, she turned one.

For some reason, she began hating bath time. She would scream and fight and yell. (Now it was like having a very angry monkey, if we're sticking with the zoo animal theme.)

The only way I had any chance of a successful bath was to take on with her. This went on until a few weeks ago, perhaps a month, when she began at least accepting bath time.

This weekend, after the guys left, I asked Lola what she wanted to do and she literally ran to the bathroom door and said, "Splish." (As in splish-splash, for those of you not quite fluent in Lola-speak.)

Wish enthusiastically granted! I didn't even wash her hair, to make sure she really enjoyed herself.

Her good mood carried on, even after we left the bathtub.







***

Topic No. 2: mealtimes.

We have a saying in our household: "Lola is an independent child."

She doesn't want us to do anything that she believes she can do herself. It started with applesauce about two months ago.

In fact, or soon-to-be-18-month-old's most oft-used full sentence? "I do it."

Yep, she does it. She feeds herself, takes her socks on (and them places them on top of her foot as if she actually put them on), throws away the garbage, recycles pop bottles (hopefully empty ones), and puts her toys away.

Now, she is getting fed up with being fed. She doesn't want us to break her food up anymore, because she knows Ray and I don't eat that way. She doesn't want to use a sippy cup, because she knows we don't use them.

This weekend, when we were eating French toast, she finally noticed the fork.

"I do it!" she wailed, when I tried to cut up her slice.

So we broke out the baby forks. (She has been using spoons for a while.)

She figured it out quickly. Although I must say that those baby utensils are not exactly sharp enough to actually stick into much...





***

Topic No. 3: Vikings!

OK, this is really just for fun. I don't have much to add; the pictures speak for themselves!





Go Vikes!

(Did you notice her fishy face in the second Vikings picture? I love it.)

- Bethany :)