March 12, 2009

Abbul and eckum!

Posted in Baby Talk tagged , , , , at 9:33 pm by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

Rachael said her very first word at eight months old – “duck”, plain as day, and she’s barely paused to draw a breath between chattering since. She was speaking in full sentences by eighteen months, which (combined with being a tall girl and having long hair) always made people think she was much older than she truly was.

Her sister isn’t going to have that problem. At fifteen months, she’s still practically bald on top. She’s normal-ish in size, and doesn’t say much. Until the past week, she’s been pretty limited to hi, bye bye, up, eat, no, uh-oh, bebe (baby), mama, dada and giggy (which is Mill-ese for “sissy”.) Suddenly, she seems to have decided that she’d rather talk, though, and now she’s attempting to repeat words left and right. She’s finally mastered duck, and is working on cup – her favorite thing in this world, although it still comes out “hup”. She can say abbul (apple), deuce (juice), kiki (cookie), ‘mon (come on) and pants whenever she sees a dog. My favorite, though, is “eckum”, said very quickly. This is “welcome”, and she says it every time she’s told “thank you”, which is constantly since she’s forever handing us something.

“Thank you, Milly!”
“Eckum.”

I love eckum.

Okay, wanna see a couple of new scrap pages? The big one in the center of this page is my all-time favorite of Rachael. She was six days old in these. 🙂

And this is Milly, snapped just a couple of weeks ago.

Both of these were made using the Sweet Dreams by Aisne’s Creations…whose creative team I’m thrilled to have recently joined. 🙂  Here’s the kit preview – just click on it to visit her store!

I’m behind on my scrapping (not to mention writing out updates on my children – oops), so I’ll be back soon with more…

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February 4, 2009

Typicalness

Posted in I Wanna Talk About Me tagged , , at 9:29 pm by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

I have a bad, bad habit of diving into a new project with gusto, fully intending to make it perfect and complete and in record time. I was going to have my first daughter’s scrapbook completely caught up before my second daughter arrived, knit a complete layout for my younger daughter (and all of my friends who are having babies) and update this blog every single stinking day. Guess how many of those have happened?

They just get less thrilling with time. I put it off, because I’m not as thrilled with it. Then sometimes I forget about it entirely. I guess that’s the definition of procrastination, and I’m BAD about it.

What’s worse, is that when I think of it again, I get discouraged because it didn’t go better. Take this blog, that absolutely no one reads – except for you, Talia (thanks!) And I don’t know that I’ve updated our homeschool blog at all. Of course, that’s also been being put off a bit lately, thanks to holidays, birthdays, snotty noses and random other things. I guess that’s the one thing that I can’t keep on the back burner for very long.

I’ve been tempted to start a completely new blog, now that I’ve fallen head over heels for digital scrapbooking and, in order to consider someone for their Creative Team, many designers insist that they have a blog to post their layouts on. But I don’t want to abandon this one, as then I’d have no good written record of family events (when the inspiration strikes to blog about them, that is.)

Maybe I’ll just prettify this one and start posting them here instead.

That would, of course, demand that I ditch the ridiculous monikers attached to my girls and reveal their real names. You know, I’m not completely sure why I did that in the first place. I guess it was because I’ve read so many other blogs that called their daughters Mookie and Dipsy and Dotty and Girl, and it always drove me nuts not knowing what the little cuties were actually called. It just created the evil little bent that wanted to return the favor. But again, no one reads anyway (except Talia, and she already knows my girls’ names) so what’s the point? And besides, I chose their names and love their names, so I’m done with the charade.

Princess is Rachael. She really is a Princess, that’s no lie. It’s one of only two nicknames in the world we can get away with calling her without her having a tee total fit on us, and if we try to explain that she’s not actually a princess (as Mommy and Daddy are not royalty) she will argue the point until she is absolutely blue in the face.

Boogie is Amelia. Or Milly. Or Boo Bear. But I wasn’t really so far off in calling her Boogie here, as we actually call her Boogie more than anything else anyway. But no one knew that but me, so nyah-nyah-nyah.

NOW. I’ve gotten my fuming out of the way about that…I’ll be back with more later.

November 24, 2008

“Go ahead and do it wrong, it’s okay.”

Posted in Baby Talk, Things That Tick Me Off tagged , , , , , , , at 4:41 pm by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

GOOD NEWS: Boogie has officially unwrapped her first birthday and Christmas gifts, which was actually one really huge gift from her Gramma (love my mom, she’s just the awesomest.) She knew that we had saved to buy Princess a great carseat when she was close to outgrowing the seat with the 40 pound weight limit. There was no way in the world I was moving my then-not-quite-four-year-old into a booster, so we splurged on the Britax Marathon, which harnesses your kiddo in until they reach 65 pounds. (At nearly five, Princess is about 42 pounds. I’m guessing this thing will last a while.) Britax has a wonderful reputation for being one of the safest seats on the market, and beyond that, they have some cute covers – hers is pink and yellow and flowery. And according to her, it’s way more comfy than the Evenflo Triumph seat that became her sister’s.

Well, having Boogie in the Triumph was fine for a while. There was, of course, the nagging mommy guilt about having her in a seemingly inferior seat to her sister’s because, after all, I do love her just as much and absolutely want them to be as safe as possible. I’ve considered bubble-wrapping them, except that so much packing surely wouldn’t fit in the carseat, and there’s the chance of asphyxiation and whatnot. So naturally, my thought processes turned to obtaining a Britax seat for Boogie as well – and I fell in love with the brown and pink flowered seat that is exclusive to Target. Only problem? The price tag – $279. Ouch. You obviously can’t put a price on your child’s safety, but it wasn’t so easy to convince my husband, Mr. I Never Rode In A Carseat and Look At Me, I’m Perfectly Fine. (I know, it’s a long name, but it seems to be a family tradition – his father is Mr. Hey Did You Know That Your Baby’s Carseat Is Turned Backward?)

I thought…Christmas. Maybe I can justify it for Christmas. Of course, it would be the only thing that Santa brought her, and her sister would surely wonder why a) she only got one thing and b) it was something as terribly no-fun as a carseat. But then – dum-da-da- DUM! – Gramma to the rescue! Mom offered to buy it for her, so long as it could be a combination birthday (which is in early December) and Christmas gift. Would I mind? Heck NO, I wouldn’t mind! So she bought it, and last weekend she let her unwrap it early. Mr. INRIACALAMIPF was immediately sent outside to install it in my van, and Boogie rode home in more comfort than she’s ever known from a carseat. And it’s darned cute too.

BAD NEWS: Holy wowza, that seat is HUGE! The Evenflo Triumph is notoriously short, and so I wasn’t totally prepared for how much more room the Marathon would take up in the back seat of my van – now, the front passenger seat is sitting completely upright and the back of the carseat still mashes into it. (Which begs the question, HOW do people fit these things rear-facing in the back of a normal car, if it’s this tight in my van?!) I tend to sit pretty straight anyway, but this is still rather uncomfortable. And the seat looks as if it’s tilted just ever so slightly to the right, which doesn’t really fly with me. There’s no question that it’s tight – I make him (you know the one) get into the seat while tightening it. But still, I would feel better having it looked at by a professional – someone who can tell me if it’s inclined correctly, if I need to reconfigure the middle row to make it fit better, what have you.

The problem is – there ARE no professionals around here. Which I suppose is a hazard of living in a middle-of-nowhere tiny little podunk town. But you would think that someone would be trained in evaluating a carseat. The state police department – who used to have someone on staff (I know this because I had them check Princess’s seat a couple of years ago) – no longer has anyone. The lady who I talked to his morning told me that they “just tell parents to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.” Gee, really? I had never thought of that. I resisted the urge to inform her (although I probably should have, perhaps for the greater good) that studies have shown that four out of five carseats are installed incorrectly. Four out of five. Think of your own children, and add in a few friends’ kids to make five, if you don’t currently have five in carseats (and God bless you if you do.) Now think – only one of those children is as safe in their carseat as they should be. Is it yours? What if you have more than one child? What if you have two? Are your children the only two out of ten riding in a properly secured seat? Anal as I am about proper installation, I’m not willing to bet my girls’ lives that they’re two out of ten.

I’ve tried to call the local fire department to see if perhaps they had someone – no answer. Same with the local rescue squad. Searched online for a carseat inspection station – the nearest one is an hour’s drive away.  *sigh*

If I can’t find anyone today, I’ll try the city police, fire and rescue tomorrow. Surely to goodness someone will know something about proper carseat installation. Even if it’s just to look at mine and say “wow, you guys did a really great job installing this one, it’s as secure as Fort Knox”, I want to hear it from a pro. And by gosh, I’m going to find that pro if it’s the last thing I do.

September 29, 2008

Mean people breed little mean people.

Posted in Fun Stuff, Things That Tick Me Off tagged , , , at 3:57 am by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

I saw this on a bumper sticker earlier today, not realizing at the time that it was about to become a recurring theme in my day.

We took the girls to PBS KidsFest today. Princess had seen commercials for it and had been asking to go – it was an hour’s drive away, but admission and everything inside was free, and she was pretty desperate to go and meet some of the PBS characters. (PBSkids.com is her favorite website, so she’s a little more familiar with them than I am at this point.) So we thought, sure, fun outing with the kidlets, and off we went.

HOLY COW was this place crowded! For some reason, I just wasn’t expecting this massive amount of children – but there they were, and we jumped right into the middle of it. After spending our first ten minutes inside waiting for the elevator (I knew I should’ve left the stupid stroller in the van), we stepped out into the floor of the civic center – and one solid wall of bodies. Just getting through the crowd was next to impossible. Parents, children, strollers, as far as the eye could see.

And having been a part of that ridiculous crowd for several hours, I’d just like to share a few pointers with some of the parents I encountered there today.

1. When attending a very crowded event intended for children, there will be children present. They are shorter than you. Please glance down occasionally while walking to be sure that you aren’t walking on top of one. Especially mine. And if you do step on mine because you weren’t watching where you were going, please pardon my elbow jabbing into your ribs. I have a hard time watching where I’m slinging those things sometimes.

2. I’m also assuming that if you are attending a very crowded event intended for children, that you will be accompanied by a child. Please glance down occasionally while walking to be sure that you aren’t walking on top of your own child. Or that s/he isn’t walking on top of my child. Or twirling in the middle of the crowd, whacking everyone and everything in the vicinity, leaving a path of destruction in his/her wake.

3. And for God’s sake, hold your child’s hand in the parking lot!

4. Strollers are unwieldy, especially in a crowd. I know I struggle with mine at times, but please know that IF I bump into you (or run over your foot), that I will take a few seconds to apologize profusely before moving on. In return, and although I understand the whole stroller situation, if you run over my foot, a quick “sorry” would be appreciated. Don’t pretend it didn’t happen and keep walking – that’s just rude. And don’t run into my child with your stroller, period. I adhere to #2, thankyouverymuch, and she will be walking very, very close to me, and will not be flagrantly in your way.

5. Do not step OVER my stroller to get in front of me while walking. The tires are big, and you will trip and look like even more of a moron than you would for just stepping over a stroller. And if you manage not to trip, I will most likely run it into the backs of your ankles anyway – and that mess hurts. OOPS!

6. Do not pick your child up and carry him/her to the front of the line/center of the stage/etc. in front of a bunch of other children. This is presumptious and rude, and every other parent will hate you for it. Your child is not cuter or more special than our children.

7. If you fail to adhere to the above suggestions, I must admit that I do not expect your children to behave much better than you do. I’m sure that the kid behind us in the never-ending balloon animal line that blew a stinking whistle in my ear non-stop for half an hour was a primo example of such parenting. And the one that snatched my baby’s toy out of my stroller. And the ones that jumped ahead of us in numerous lines. And the one that pitched a full-blown tantrum in the middle of everything, bringing traffic to an absolute standstill while Mommy tried to coax her out of it, instead of just picking her up and removing her. Way to share, Mom! Sure, kids forget themselves sometimes, and the whole crowded mess was probably overwhelming. But still, if I see a rude kid accompanied by rude parents…yep, you guessed it. I’m going to blame you.

Aside from the crowd and a ton of noise, it was reasonably enjoyable. Princess met and had her picture made with Word Girl, Duck (from Word World) and Mr. McFeely (from Mister Rogers). Boogie wore her Elmo dress and I intended to get a picture of them together, but the line for Elmo was the longest of all, and he was a little freaky looking – so we didn’t bother. Brought home a ton of stickers, coloring pages, etc. Had her face painted to look like a white, glittery kitty. She’s already asking to go back next year – and we probably will.