Thursday, December 27, 2007

Breaking News!

Gaz just renamed her daddy "T. M. Puffle."

And no, we haven't exposed her to H. R. Pufnstuf yet.

Hot and Cold Running Preschooler

I know part of the trouble is the holiday madness, but these days she really turns on a dime.

Last night she and Mark were putting stickers in a new coloring book and kept saying "I hurt you heart." I'm really not sure what she was talking about; she seemed like she was in a pretty good mood when she was talking, but the subject sounded sad. We reassured her that she in fact makes our hearts feel fabulous, but you know kids and their amazing ability to repeat the same thing over and over. Maybe she just needed to hear how much we love her over and over. She also says a lot of hilarious things still, so don't fret that she's depressed. Usually she bounces back and forth from cheerful to frustrated. It's a little more hair-triggery when she's had more sugary foods than average (that'll learn me to make any pink cookie-gun Christmas trees), but even on a good day she's plenty wacky.

Today, for instance, we got up, she promptly poked herself in the eye with the pointy end of a rattail comb, happily rubbed her owied eye while eating a banana, then completely flipped out because I put butter on her pancake instead of on the plate by itself and wouldn't give her any more butter until she ate some pancake. (Did I mention she's got a profound love of butter? Just butter, all by itself.)

But anyway, we're all doing well here, freakouts and tantrums aside. I also put up the Christmas pictures on my Flickr site, but Gaz interrupted with a tantrum before I was able to label most of them. So give me a little while to recover some sleep and then I'll get that taken care of.

Oops. Time for another fit.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl
Photos from Evansville and beyond are uploaded. Everyone happy? Good. Because you're not getting Christmas presents!

Life has been more of the same. More craziness, more chattiness. We're getting used to it. I'm sure she's said a thousand hilarious things, but they don't stick in my head. I'm so busy setting boundaries and holding the line that there are many things that just don't stick in my head very long.

But the twitchy short-term memory and the endless repeating of cautions and prohibitions will one day pay off. One day. When something finally sinks in through that adorable little skull.

In the meantime, that damaged brain is better equipped to enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

a bold new era of perpetual motion

This morning Gaz started the day asking questions like, "Mommy, what 'contraption' mean?" The rest of the morning followed that pattern. "What 'freezing rain' mean? What 'disaster area' mean?" Good times. Mark has been eagerly awaiting the twenty-questions phase. It looks like it's pretty much here.

There's also the little matter of magnets. After buying and making a bunch to keep her entertained and ensure that her art does not fall down from the filing cabinet, I found all our old magnets in a box in my closet. Now she has twice as many number magnets, and is having a great time yelling out random numbers and trying to assemble them out of magnets. Today she declared that 85 was 18, so I showed her how to put the one and the eight together and she promptly replaced the one with the five. But we're moving in a numbers direction, so that's good.

We have a little cheapo toy keyboard around the house these days, and Gaz dragged me into the living room to "hear my music! Come hear my lovely music!" Sometimes what she does to the keyboard actually doesn't sound half bad considering that it's still mostly the random mashing of keys. She also does this very careful, deliberate thing sometimes wherein she will play the keys sequentially from low to high on the "saxophone" sound setting. It's really cute, if she makes a mistake (like hitting two keys at the same time) she'll start over. So maybe she's getting the notion that one key at a time is a good thing, and that if you make a mistake you can start over. I know she's heard enough of me trying to remember "Chopsticks" and "To a Wild Rose." Mark, of course, has already figured out the Wallace & Gromit theme. He has some mad piano skills.

While coloring on the chalkboard this afternoon, I wrote "Gaz rocks!" in a blank space, which inspired the following conversation:
Me: (reading off the board) "Gaz rocks!"
Gaz: No, you rock. That same thing.
Me: Well, you rock too.
Gaz: No, you rock same time.
It would seem that we rock simultaneously.

We had dancing time while waiting for Mark to get home from work and Gaz ran circles around me, saying, "I can't stop for my life!" She actually could, of course, but it was a funny thing to hear her say. I'm not sure where she learned that.

Today was also diaper experiment day--she's slimmed down enough with the constant growing taller that she's back in size 5 diapers. Diaper Fairy, make a note of it! It's nice to not have to try to make the giant diapers stay on for a change. I have no idea how long this will last, but at least diapers don't go bad.

It's been a hilarious, intense, wild day. Soon to be followed by much more of the same, I'm sure. Maybe tomorrow she'll slow down enough to nap.

Thursday, December 6, 2007


Yesterday Gaz removed a scraper from our general child-safe kitchen utensil drawer. She looked at it really closely, and said, "This is for licking!" and proceeded to lick the scraper. Then she handed it to me, saying, "Here, you lick it now." And then she sneezed into the drawer. Full of utensils. I am glad she didn't do this before Sunday's dinner party. (At which she was well behaved, I am happy to report.)

As I typed the above, Gaz was running around saying "Two for a dollar! Two for a dollar!" and patting Mark and I on the backside as she ran around us. "Two for a dollar?" Mark asked. "Two for a dollar you butt!" Gaz replied with a cackle.

But now it's Big Honking Tantrum number 2, so I must go and do something about that.

Monday, December 3, 2007


Last night we had a wee dinner party here. Gaz didn't nap too much, so I wasn't sure how she would do, but she was really good. When she decided she was done eating, she went off to quietly color on her easel for a while, giving Mark and me a chance to finish eating before getting called into duty. Auntie Aiiee also helped with the Gaz entertainment, too, which was much, much appreciated.

Now, I've gone this far without any real scatalogical tales for you, but Mark insists that I blog the following. This evening Gaz was crouched down in the living room doing her diaper-filling thing. She then got up and walked over to her Duplo block tower she built earlier today, patted it, and identified it to Mark as "tower of poop." I have no idea what any of that was about, but we're still laughing about it.

And now for something completely different, Gaz has been talking in her sleep lately. Last night Mark heard her mumble something about turning. Then she laughed and said, "Silly flowers." I only remember the request for nursing that came just after that. I believe she was dreaming about the musical flower pot thing she saw at the nursing home while we were recently visiting my grandpa, but who knows. Maybe all the flowers in her dreamscape are silly. She's also been overheard singing the Dragon Tales theme in the middle of the night. Less fun was the night she woke up asking for her pink comb and then threw a tantrum when I wouldn't let her get up to look for it. But she cheered up before long and gave both Mark and me some imaginary spiders. Because spiders won't hurt you and they aren't scary.

I think we're finally settling into the twoness of Gaz.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Last night I happened by the bath room just as Gaz's bath was ending. There she stood in her bear hooded bear towel as she informed me, quite earnestly, "Mommy, I have a tiny butt." We've been all about size lately, as yesterday was a height and weight recheck. I think her weight fluctuations (which are in direct contrast to her early weight increase) are just a normal adjustment after the hyperactive growth of her early days. I was a pretty skinny kid at her age, so I'm guessing that she will be too. And her height keeps on keeping on. She's over 38" now, so she's clearly still growing.

Yesterday before we went to the doctor's office I asked Gaz to pick out a toy to take with her to the doctor's office. She selected a tape measure she found in the library. So all the way to the doctor's office she was measuring who knows what. It was rather handy, giving me an easy way to explain what we were about to do. She was a champ too, even with the height measuring on that stupid board. She's almost too big for that now, so I hope next time they move us up to a bigger-kid exam room. She kept asking the nurse and me, "What you doing to me now?" Each time we completed a task. I think she was largely excited that she got to be naked for the weighing-in.

She was pretty good with the flu shot, too. Predictable amounts of screaming and crying (and predictable amounts of leg kicking, which I warned the nurse about but she really wasn't prepared to hold that leg still) which she quickly got over when she realized that she could get a bunch of stickers (Dora!) and go play in the waiting room again. Getting her out of the waiting room was tricky, but I can live with that. At least as long as she's still small enough that I can pick her up without hurting myself.

Today she's been writing "Mommy" when we do the free-form crayon scribbles that are all the rage this week. But she uses a very nonstandard approach to spelling. She's recited "ackefk" and "cthth" and a few others as she makes her little letter-sized scribbles. It's totally cute.

Today we're off to visit the Grandparents Mitchell (and other nearby relatives). Next week we'll be spending the holiday with the Grandparents Rizen. Lots of time in the car, so think good thoughts for road safety and Gaz behavior.

Monday, November 12, 2007

scrubba time?

Here's a little song Auntie Aiiee and I improvised on Saturday when Gaz was struggling against bath time:

Come on, come on--think about all those soap suds!
Come on, come on--you're gonna be squeaky!
Come on, come on--ain't no time to get squeamish!
Come on, come on--I swear by all my pores
When you're clean the world will be yours!

I admit that "squeaky" was a lame choice, but that was my fault. I was thinking of the actual lyrics. Points for them what knows the tune. :)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Madness and Art

Beautiful Art
Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl
We have been having a less than fabulous time lately, what with tantrums and naps going AWOL (which makes bath time and toothbrushing a living hell) and assorted schedule upsets. But still, some good things are going on.

Art is the big one. Today Gaz made the adorable installation you see here, in addition to drawing her first ever smiley faces all over the whiteboard on her easel. We're also into the color wonder stuff, and usually have to make footprints every day. Her footprints. She always tries to color my feet for a footprint, but I dissuade her by pointing out that my foot is bigger than the paper and my footprint would cover up hers. I'm sure she'll find a way around those reasons soon enough.

She's still saying new random things that amuse us. Like when she makes an emphatic statement like "Everything ohkay. That's a fact!" And we haven't even shown her The Kids in the Hall yet. And . . . being sleep-deprived, I can think of no others now. But I assure you that I laugh every day. Which is good, because the bad days are very bad around here. Most of the time we don't go out for more than necessary trips to visit playgrounds on pretty days and run errands, because thirty minutes of carrying a violently thrashing, screaming child. That was last night. I'm not doing that again any time soon.

But even with the bad days, she can still make me laugh. Sometimes unintentionally, like the evening when she was hysterical over being bathed and it took both of us to get her in her diaper. While Mark was hoisting her back side by her feet (a hard thing for me to do with my tenosynovitis) she was trying to get her feet free and in the process was wiggling her bottom so much that not only could I not get the diaper on, Mark and I were both incapacitated with laughter.

So we won't be making many public appearances for while. Papa Charley assured me earlier today that this phase doesn't last forever, so maybe we won't be hermited for too long. But you never know. This kid is pretty strong-willed. We'll see who wins. ::crosses fingers::

Friday, October 26, 2007

but wait, there's more

Gaz's lullaby goes something like this:
"Lullaby / Sleep sleep sleep / My little one"
And it melts my heart every time I hear it.

Sometimes we'll be driving, or looking out the window at home or walking down the street and Gaz will say, "Know what that needs?" and we'll say, "What does that need?" and Gaz will say, "Needs more GREEN!" Sometimes it's "Needs more green trees." I'm not sure if this is an environmental comment spawned by the urbanness of our locale or if she just likes green and vegetation.

Also on the subject of colors, pink is it these days. She usually says "pink my favorite color" all together like that. As if we would forget.

Gaz encountered mint the other day. I was flossing my teeth and gave her a small piece to try. She licked it and made yummy sounds, so I said "Do you like that? It's called mint." She replied with "I love mint! Mint my favorite flavor." So maybe we won't be doomed to fruity toothpaste forever.

Speaking of toothpaste, toothbrushing is sometimes okay, sometimes evil and takes forever. Depends on the day. But the one thing that usually goes well is getting her to rinse. How do we do that? When she spits out the water into the sink, she gets to spit it on her hands. We really talk that up like it's the most fun thing ever. Since toothbrushing happens just before bath time, I don't worry about her running around with spat-upon hands. When things are really tense, we employ a variant of the game wherein she gets to try to spit on my hands. The things I do to make brushing fun.

I think I got everything now.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

all the things I've been meaning to blog this month

Before I go finish Gaz's Halloween costume, here's the update.

Gaz has a bunch of new stuff from Ikea: a table and chairs set, an easel, a little pink stool, a soft soccer ball, a little loopy-wirey wooden bead thing, and a step thing. The step thing is full of play food, which she gives to me several times a day with a flourish while yelling "Surprise! Happy birthday!"* The soccer ball is very important for soccer "teamer" practice. The bead thing she just loves. On Tuesday we had a lovely little breakfast of homemade banana bread and coffee while sitting at the little table.

Gaz has been talking a lot lately about Mothra and Godzilla and Batra. Mostly, she's talking about how she'd like to hug them, but Batra is under the water, and Godzilla and Mothra are both really big. So she'll have to hug them when she gets bigger. And, most importantly, she'll need a ladder. She's really insistent about the ladder. She also told me the other day that she wants to go to the hospital to meet the dragons and dinosaurs. "They're at the hospital?" I ask. She is very sure.

One morning Gaz gets out of bed while I'm still groggy. She goes to the small desk fan we've got on a nearby shelf and starts typing away, saying, "I working on my website!" I have no idea where she has heard this phrase before, but it's really cute. She does this most mornings now, and she's branched out to working on a number of other "computers" (window sills, tables, trash cans, TV trays, etc.).

Gaz loves telling stories. If asked to tell one off the top of her head, she will start by repeating "one time. . . one time . . ." until she thinks of something to talk about, usually something within sight like fire or Proton or Ookla. Then after she comes up with a noun, she shouts "the end!" and takes a bow while shouting "Thank you! Thank you!" She is 100% honey-glazed ham. I know this will get much more annoying when she gets older. Right now it's still adorable.

Tonight she read us the first few pages of The Pokey Little Puppy. And by "read" I mean recited what she has memorized of those pages. Which turns out to be almost all of them, right up to the first time the four puppies run down the hill roly-poly, pell-mell, tumble-bumble. Mark and I were both quite impressed.

Gaz is also a walking Taco Bell commercial. When pressed for time one day, Mark ended up bringing Taco Bell home for dinner. While we quietly ate our food, Gaz suddenly said "I love Taco Bell." We laughed and agreed that Taco Bell ain't bad. Then she said it again, this time with more gusto. We laughed harder. So she did it again, this time gesturing expansively. We ended up cackling like lunatics while Gaz shouted "I love Taco Bell! I love Taco Bell!" over and over. I had almost forgotten about this (I know, I should have blogged sooner), but then tonight Gaz pulled out a little metal bell from the cat toy drawer. It's one of those little bells that people give out as wedding favors. So she's got this little bell and she's running around shaking it. It's not long before she's saying, you guessed it, "Taco Bell! Taco Bell! Taco Bell!" We need a commercial deal.

Gaz is completely obsessed now with the cat carrier, of all things. It's in the living room right now, were she packs it full of toys every day. Sometimes there are few enough toys in there that the cat managed to get in. He's a strange animal that likes to nest, and the carrier is one of his favorite places to lurk when he's allowed to do so. Today I noticed Gaz and Proton playing this really fun game where Proton pushes against the carrier door with his face, and Gaz pushes the door shut, but doesn't latch it (she hasn't figured that out yet, and I don't plan on showing her). Then Proton pushes against the door again, and Gaz shuts the door. Lather, rinse, repeat. I tried to get a picture, but the little ham saw me with the camera and loosened her hold on the door enough that Proton managed escaped. It was fun while it lasted.

Every now and again, she randomly tells me, "I can't play with you now Mommy. I too busy." I don't think I've ever said anything quite like that. I tell her that she needs to wait a minute while I'm cooking or otherwise indisposed, but I try not to say things that sound, well, mean, for lack of a better word. It's still cute (I know, what does she do that isn't cute these days?**), and when she says it to me I just say "Okay. I'll play over here. You come play with me when you can." It seemed like the best way to react.

* She has been doing this consistently since September when there were lots of birthdays between cousin Brynn, me, Mark, Grandpa Will, Auntie Maude, etc. We will see how long this is still fun. I would find it more amusing if she didn't shout every time she said it, or if she'd maybe just say it once at a time. Guess I should focus on the good--she could be shouting many worse things.

** The answer to this completely not rhetorical question is: tantrums. Tantrums the likes of which I had not imagined. Throwing toys and furniture (child-sized furniture, but furniture nonetheless), smashing her face into the floor repeatedly (even though she has to know by now that this hurts), shrieking the most insanity-inducing shrieks. Sometimes for as long as an hour. Sometimes she takes a nap mid-tantrum and wakes up refreshed, ready to keep freaking out some more. And this was just this past Monday.

Monday, October 1, 2007

100% Gaz

100% Gaz
Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl
This is Gaz's first drawing done entirely by her. She looked like a crazed Jackson Pollack as she furiously employed her crayons. Neither Mark or I had anything to with the making of the art. I handed her the magnet and moved some other pictures around so she could place this one in the place of honor, where it can easily be seen from the living room.

She also built a pretty complex foam block house yesterday, again with no help from any grown-ups. It was much more involved than the things she usually builds out of the Mega Blocks.

This miraculous progress comes in the wake of her profound frustration with two-dimensional representations of three-dimensional objects. She has had a few tantrums because she can't color both of Ord's wings on the Dragon Tales color pages I printed out from I try to explain that his other wing is behind him, but it doesn't matter. She knows it's somewhere and just doesn't quite get why she can't find it. All she knows is that she really wants to color both of them.

I'm crazy proud of my little artist, and amazed yet again at how she's starting to understand the complexities of the world around her.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Addendum to the infamy

Last night I carefully got into bed, so as not to disturb Gaz, who was out cold. I was very careful not to shake the bed too much or bump into her. And then I sneezed loud enough to wake the dead. Gaz shifted a bit in her sleep, and mumbled "I farted," before rolling over to snuggle with me.

It took all the energy I had left at that hour of night to not wake her up laughing.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A day that will live in infamy.

Gaz has known the word "fart" for quite some time now. She knows (or at least has been exposed to) other kinder, gentler ways of expressing the same sentiment, but we all know which is the shortest road to the labeling of flatulence.

Today we had some tofu for lunch that maybe was a little closer to its expiration date than I thought, and I'm guessing that was what led to the musical afternoon and evening we had. But the real fun happened when, during naked time*, she was running around the dining room table, propelled by some vile posterior force, shouting to us "I farted! I farted! I farted!" Because you know the first time she made the declaration at all, she couldn't just stop with saying it once. I suppose it didn't help that she was repeatedly gassy as she ran around the table. She finished the display by running to leap onto the couch between Mark and me, holding her backside the whole time, rolling around in glee as she told us again for the 10th through 30th times that she "farted."

And since she was so insistent on letting us know about her wind issues, I felt it was my moral duty to let you all know that today Gaz farted. But she'll probably tell you all about it the next time you see her.

Also, she learned how to shoot herself in the face with breastmilk while trying to convince me that one breast was empty. It's been one of those days.

* Naked time is that period of time between when her diaper comes off and when bath time commences. The joys of running around diaperless for a few minutes in the evenings takes some of the sting out of the indignity of having her teeth brushed by mean old Mom.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

of feet and failure

Gaz loves fingerpaints, but we have none at home. (I prefer to keep the mess at Nana and Papa's house for now.) She has discovered that she can use her Color Wonder markers to turn her hands and feet into stamps, and all without ruining her clothes and the carpet. She really loves making footprints, and now I marvel at how much work it took to ink her foot while she slept in order to get a print while she was just a few months old. Now I have to tell her "enough" when the page looks like a multicolored blur.

We've got a couple of good prints that aren't too smudgey, which brought on the realization that Gaz's feet really are huge. She has new, flashy Dora sneakers, size 7. We've always had to buy shoes for her based on the chubbiness of the middles of her feet, so I haven't been thinking so much about overall foot size. I can no longer deny that my little girl has enormous dogs. The mind boggles.

Gaz has a new favorite sentence: "I can't do it!" It is not my favorite, for obvious reasons. She runs into a problem (sometimes something we can fix, sometimes she wants to walk on the ceiling) and she disintegrates into a flood of "I can't do it," repeated ad nauseum, regardless of what encouragement or assistance is offered. It's simultaneously heartbreaking and annoying. We're still working on ways to defuse the I-can't bomb that don't exacerbate her temper that we're contradicting her.

On a happier note, she suddenly started calling me Doctor Mommy. "Sure, Doctor Mommy! Here you go, Doctor Mommy!" I have no idea where this came from, but it's cute and it's nice and it makes me forget that sometimes she "can't."

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Gaz can

Eat my brains! At breakfast the other day I asked her if she wanted to eat more of whatever it was that was left on her plate. She replied, "No. Eat you brains!" So she walked over to me and make chewing sounds at my head. It was impossibly cute! The retelling does not do it justice.

Assemble a variety of not-too-complicated puzzles (she's doing pretty well with a US map puzzle that has the states separated into groups).

Open the cat accoutrement drawer, which until this week had been too sticky for her to open under her own power.

Speak in sentences. Decent sentences, some of them even complete and grammatically sound (unlike these).

Take off her diaper and yell "run around!" She's pretty much set for college.

She can do so many things. We talk often about all sorts of subjects, and I don't feel like a complete loony like I have in the past for conversing with a kid who couldn't speak yet. She's good. She's got her moments of furious shrieking that inspire me to find caches of patience I didn't even know I had, but for the most part she's a great girl. We've just come off a run of grandparent visits, and even with all the traveling and schedule upheaval, she's been more fun than not. I'm a lucky gal.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Third Year Firsts

As we embark upon Gaz's third year, we already have hit some firsts:

- First trip to the emergency room! While hanging out with some friends, one of said friends tried to give Gaz a piggy back ride by hoisting her by the arms instead of holding her up by the backside, and before anyone could say anything, Gaz was crying hysterically. We got her calmed down and I got to take a look, only for my prodding to set her off again, so off to the ER we went. It turned out to be nursemaid's elbow, which was resoved during the course of the x-rays. The even better news is that we know what to do now if it ever happens again. There may, of course, be weeping when we see the bill.

- First ponytail! On Sunday Gaz asked me to give her a "poky tail" and so I did. It's totally cute, but never lasts long. I got her to let me put her hair up again today, but it lasted just a few minutes. Maybe when she's got a more diverse audience this weekend she'll be more interested in the poky tail again.

- First photo taken mostly by Gaz! A picture of me and Sweetie. Mark helped by supporting the camera, but Gaz lined up the shot and pushed the button. It's pretty good, and one day in the near future, I'll upload that and other pictures.

- First monster movie! Mark showed Gaz Godzilla vs. Mothra: Battle For Earth, and of course she loved it. She now asks to see Mothra and the other monsters all the time, especially when Mothra emerges from its cocoon. She sometimes asks to see them fight, but she needs to cuddle with someone when that sort of thing is on the screen. It wasn't my idea to show her any movies like this, but it happened when I was out of the room.

Add to that more of what we've been seeing: more singing ("Go for G!" and "Twinkle Twinkle" and the alphabet) and much, much more talking. "What doing there?" is the new "Why?" in this house, and there is no end to how many times she can ask me "What Pooton doing there?" no matter how many times I explain "Proton is sleeping." Good times.

This week saw Gaz's two-year doctor appointment, and apart from her weight decreasing slightly (which we think is a normal correction, considering how off the charts she's been all along), all is as perfect as expected. She was such a champ for the doctor (and the med student and the nurse with the poky things) that she got a messy cupcake when we got home. She is now, apart from flu shots and any incidentals, done with needles until she's 4. Huzzah!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Seven Hundred Thirty-one Days

Right this minute Gaz is sitting in her new Radio Flyer wagon eating blueberries with her doll, Sweetie. I tried to get her a used wagon on craigslist, but the lady I connected with never did tell me where she lived or where to meet her. Then when Gaz got a healthy amount of birthday money, we just decided to go for one with seatbelts (considering how daring Gaz is, we probably should have planned on doing this from the beginning).

As I already noted, Gaz has been talking constantly. Every day now, we have an explosion of various magnitudes of new words and word combinations. There are so many new words, that I can't tell anymore if a word is in fact new or I was too overwhelmed with other words the last time she said a thing.

"My turn!" has replaced "Self!" as the new way for her to express her desire to do a thing by herself. She demands that it is her turn to do it herself for everything from cutting up a cucumber for a snack (which I don't allow, in case you were worried) to driving the car (also not allowed, in addition to being not possible) to brushing her teeth and combing her hair. Today she got dressed all by herself. Okay, she had a tiny bit of help from me: I straightened her shirt out so she could get her arms in the correct sleeves, and I helped her get her waistband over the bulky backside of diaper.

Now Gaz has moved on to playing in the wagon box. She's in there with a flashlight yelling "keep me!" Not sure exactly what that's about, but it's cute.

She's still singing and dancing all the time. She's still got her old favorites ("Animals! Animals animals ANIMALS!" and "Unicorns" and "Dinosaurs", which are all the same tune with different words) and some new ones too. The best one hasn't been repeated in a while, but I'm sure she'll sing it again soon. I've never gone on about infant excrement here and I don't plan on going on about the toddler variety, but we're going to get close to that subject. I promise it's funny, though.

The other day I was here at the laptop and Gaz was playing under the dining room table with some balloons. There is a fan on the other side of the table, so when an ill wind blew my way I knew who the culprit was. "Do you have a poopy* diaper?" I asked. "No, Mommy," was the initial response, but even before I could get down on hands and knees to coax her out I started hearing the new song: "Pooooooopy daaaaaaaahhhhhhhhper! Pooooooopy daaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhper!" I laughed myself stupid. The adorable babyish pronunciation makes it. And now let me share with you another song of hers:
Twinkle, twinkle, twinkle, H
Twinkle, twinkle, what you are
W X Y and Z!
She's also obsessed with They Might Be Giants's album "Here Come The ABCs." She knows the names to most of the songs and has her favorites that she like to sing along with. "Go for G" is quite popular these days.

Now Gaz has filled her wagon with pillows and insists that she is sleeping. I have to go explain again that I can't join her in the wagon. I think this is just about all the new stuff. Except that she's got three of her two-year molars out and about. Still waiting on the lower right to make its entrance. Wooo!

Oh, and if you are localish and haven't received the e-mail about our local birthday party plans, drop us a line!

* I don't like using cutesy names for bodily functions, but I do make use of and advocate "poopy" as an adjective.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Happy Birthday, Gaz!

Birthday Morn
Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl
Yesterday we closed out the year by experimenting with static electricity (sticking balloons to the undersides of tables) and talking up a storm. After I was reasonably sure that sleep was about to over take the wiggling, Gaz sat up in bed and began telling me about an episode of Dragon Tales. There was much talk of Eunice the unicorn and how she lost her glasses and how she had a race for baby unicorns, and how the dragons and Max and Emmy helped. . . It was wild to listen to her go!

And she wouldn't stop. I called in Mark so she could tell him about Eunice, and she continued to ramble on about all sorts of things (stuffed animals, eating people's brains) for about an hour, at which time I insisted that it was definitely time for bed and promptly fell asleep myself.

Today so far Gaz has refused to put on clothes and is eating some animal-shaped confectionery sprinkles because I am a fool and can't say no to sugar for her today. At least not when it comes in such cute and tiny shapes.

My head's a whirl today, but I'll post more about what the girl's been up to soon

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Monday, July 16th, 2007

The day Gaz first said "I love you."

Granted, it was to Dipsy, but she said it of her own accord. By the end of the evening, I got her to say it to Mark, and this morning she said it to me.

It's more than wonderful, even if sometimes it takes some prompting.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Gaz had her first trip to Shedd Aquarium on Friday the 13th! I forgot to bring the camera along, but Uncle Greg and his Canon PowerShot stepped up to help out. So go enjoy his photos of a very pleasant and Gaz-amusing visit to one of our fine local institutions of cool and stuff.

And if anyone wants to give us a life-size plastic sea turtle, Gaz will surely be your best friend forever!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Update and Birthday Information

Life continues here, as it tends to do, with eating, sleeping, some conversation, and the odd tantrum over wearing pants.

Yesterday was one of those rare extra-good days. Gaz communicated more effectively than she ever has, using words appropriately and being more patient with her thick-skulled mama. She was also very good about playing (both alone and with me) and only got a little frustrated with a bowl. I still don't know what she was wanting it to do with it. I doubt she really knew either.

New word tricks involve instant apologies or apologetic hugs for things ranging from not listening to stepping on the cat to throwing food on the floor to lifting up my shirt. She's also been grabbing my hair today and saying "nice cut!" (I got my hair cut last month). Just a moment ago, she said "nice shirt!" tried to identify the color (she was pretty close), and asked if I liked her shirt. Colors and shapes are slowly being learned. Sometimes she's stubborn about colors. I'm sure there's a reason why red is sometimes "buh-loo" but I sure don't know what it is. It's hard to recall as I type exactly how she's been progressing because it's much less remarkable to hear proper English than it is to hear things like "pocky" and "bankie" and "bocky." I promise that the next time you see/hear her you will be suitably impressed.

Now for the birthday information: the local shindig will be on August 18th around noon. If you are interested, email me and I will get you to details. It'll be a barbecue sorta affair, and presents are optional. Mostly we want to have a good time with our nearest and dearest.

If you are in the gifting mood, however, keep you eyes peeled for an update to Gaz's Amazon Wish List (which hasn't happened yet, but will soonish). She's also really into Dragon Tales, and anything you can find for that show, be it books or toys, would be seriously appreciated. Of course, all that stuff is not currently in production, so any such items would be found on eBay. She also loves Thomas the Tank Engine, but since many of those toys have been recalled, I would suggest going with books if you're in a train mood. We have seriously had more than enough of lead worries in this house.

She's getting a bit better about book annihilation, so things like the Little Golden Books are okay now. We've got a TON of Dr. Seuss books already, so ask us before you buy any of those. We're still slowly easing into the longer books, which is kinda hit-or-miss. Sometimes she's patient, sometimes she's not. So shorter is still better, and board books would not be frowned upon, especially if the board books were of the Olivia variety.

It looks like it's time for a snack now, so I'm off.

Saturday, June 30, 2007


Gaz sits in her rocking chair playing her toy accordion.
Mommy: I like that song you're playing. Does your song have any words?
Gaz: YEAH!
Gaz turns the accordion over and points to the label on the back: "Made in China"
Mommy falls over laughing.

Friday, June 29, 2007


Ketchup = "red sauce" in Gazspeak = her new favorite food, all by itself. No bread or anything necessary.

Lots of pictures on Flickr, so go clicky over there =====>

It's been a while, I see. Gaz has not been slacking, let me assure you. She's been wearing us out!

We've had a trip to visit my folks, Mark's folks have come up for a visit, Gaz has been to the zoo a few times and also to various parks. Wiggleworms is over for the session and we're taking a session off--teething and other assorted grumpinesses was making it difficult to make it through a whole class there toward the end, although Gaz was getting much more interactive when she was in the mood. She pretends to read "Sweater," she can sit through all of "Hop on Pop" and asks me to read an Easter bunny story over and over and over again (one of those Little Golden Books), and she continues to be obsessed with They Might Be Giants's "Here Come the ABC's." She's also nuts about "Dragon Tales" and "Thomas the Tank Engine." I don't know what I would do without PBS.

In short, her brain is growing by leaps and bounds. Her vocabulary continues to amaze people. Even I have to note that she's picking up words completely after hearing them just once or twice. Her sentences keep getting more complex, and her imagination is . . . unstoppable. We had a tantrum yesterday because she wanted to play with the animals in the kitchen.

There's not much specific stuff to tell y'all about. It's the little things that have been going on that continue to accrue for the most part.

The only piece of unique newsishness we've got is that we're going to be having our local birthday party around mid-August, in the form of a barbecue. Our summers are just always completely bonkers. Details will emerge as we get closer. I am historically bad at doing that in a timely fashion (the 2006 Christmas cards are *still* sitting here on the shelf), but I endeavor to do better this year than I did last year.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

identity and blues

One of Gaz's very favorite things to do right now is yell her name over and over and over. I mean, it's a pretty cool accomplishment to master a three-syllable name, but after a while you start wondering how long it will take for one word to get old to her. It turns out that yelling out a single word over and over and over again never gets old. Or at least it probably won't for another few years. Some days it's a bit grating to the nerves, but I try to keep it in perspective. She isn't, after all, rubbing tofu into the carpet repeatedly (and anyone who suggests that to her will be savagely beaten).

Yesterday we went down to the Blues Fest, and while she was totally into the music and having that whole field thing to run around in, she's really bad at staying out of people's ways (she almost walked right into a number of people and bicycles, even though she was looking right at them) and also not so good at coping with the crowds-and-heat combo of the day. She did get her groove on quite a bit though, and today she said she had a good time, so I think it was a successful trip. It'll definitely take some working up to taking her to something like the Warped Tour.

We are all exhausted but satisfied with the visiting that we accomplished this weekend. Auntie Llydie (aka Auntie Heather) and Auntie Maude (aka Auntie Amanda) got to spend some quality time with Gaz, and we also got in some good social time with Auntie Sarah and Uncle Dave. But now it's time to take a day off or so and rest up for our impending Evansville trip.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Memorial Day Pix

Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl
I've uploaded (but not sorted or labeled) our Memorial Day pictures. We went up to Rogers Park to hit the beach with Uncle Greg (who officiated Gaz's christening last summer) and some of Greg's friends. It was a hoot and Gaz, of course, got soaked. We didn't think to bring additional clothes for her, so it was a barrel of laughs. Acutally, it *was* a barrel of laughs, after we realized that we had a jacket for her to run around in while her clothes were drying off.

Additional photos of the day can be found at Greg's Flickr site.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Gaz's "Guitar"

Gaz's Guitar
Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl
It was a shopping trip gone awry.

Angeli and I had a master plan to hit a couple of music stores to price some instruments, because we're both hoping to take music classes in the fall at the Old Town School of Folk Music, the very establishment wherein Gaz attends Wiggleworms. Today we stopped in at Different Strummer, which is the music store that's actually in the OTS.

Gaz made a beeline for a basket of shakers just like the one she fixates on at Wiggleworms. I've had my eye on some wee drums there that I thought Gaz might enjoy, and lo and behold, there was a tiny djembe-looking thing that was not only inexpensive, it was also on sale! I cheerfully showed it to Gaz, who was much more interested in pawing the mandolins Auntie Angeli was looking at. Or the really expensive ukulele right next to the mandolin Auntie Angeli was looking at. There were althogether too many stringed instruments just laying about at Gaz-height. Insert a volley of distraction tactics.

One thing led to another and before you know it, she had a small yellow ukulele that she was running around cheerfully abusing. It was, I think, a kids' uke; at least is was the cheapest one they had. Eventually she swapped it out for a green one, but it seemed unlikely that we would be able to leave without the uke. We found an inexpensive instructional book and figured that at least one of the big people, if not both, would just have to learn how to play the ukulele.

But of course, Gaz isn't into sharing so much, so we'll have to learn while she's asleep. Anyway, that's the tale of our new ukulele. I'm off to go learn me some chords.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Genuinely Good Day!

Today was such a good day! It's about time we had a nice one.

It was crazy hot in the apartment, so it was good to get out of the house for Wiggleworms. Gaz refused breakfast apart from a few nibbles of toast, but didn't fight getting diapered or dressed. In the car she ate a whole box of raisins, though, and that did the trick in keeping her from being cranky at class.

She was a total doll at class (the girl we had trouble with last week was not there, thankfully) and danced like it's what she was born to do. It's good she was in such a good mood since there was a gentleman there videotaping part of our class for promotional use on the Old Town School website. She got to use her favorite "shakey" during shaker time and didn't freak out when we didn't do bubbles at the time we usually do. I can't remember the last time she didn't ask to nurse part way through class, too.

She was good walking to and from the car, she was good getting in and out of the car seat. We stopped at the grocery store on the way home and she got a little wandery and distracted there, but I really can't complain compared to other shopping trips. She fell asleep on the way home and, miraculously, stayed asleep when I carried her upstairs and laid her down on the couch. She had a really good nap and was a very happy and fun girl the rest of the day. And she's really rocking the alphabet puzzle I got her a couple of weeks ago. Her brain works so fast, I can't believe it sometimes.

That's going to carry me for a while. We were due for a really good day.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Week That Was

It has been a trying week.

First, I've been trying to break Gaz of a bad habit that I've allowed to run rampant for far too long. She always likes to hold onto the spare breast when she's nursing, and since this has never really bothered me, I let her. But it does make public nursing that much harder when she's used to doing things a certain way that involves me exposing more of myself than I really want to. So on Tuesday when she lifted up my entire shirt for her first-of-the-morning nursing session, I just decided that I had had enough. I clamped one hand over the spare breast and so began the battle of wills. I won, of course, but it took an hour and a half of her crying and me explaining and attempting to soothe for her to settle down enough to nurse. She's still testing me, but she's getting better. Sometimes I don't even have to cover the spare breast.

The side effect of this is that Gaz has been a bit more irritable than usual. Twice this week she's woken up from naps and cried hysterically for more than twenty minutes at a stretch, and after Wiggleworms this week she had a nice, long fit induced by the frustration of one little girl stealing her shaker and not getting to strum the guitar as much as she wanted.

But in amongst the unhappy moments have been some real gems. Tuesday I had a dentist appointment, and Mark met us up at the dentist's office to take over Gaz duties while I got cleaned and x-rayed (no cavities! hooray!). She really missed me and when we stopped for dinner afterward, she sat next to me and showered me with hugs and kisses when she wasn't trying to destroy my water glass.

On the way home from Michigan last weekend Gaz unleashed a new sentence on us: "I excited!" I hear it all the time now when I'm bringing food to the table or getting out a snack or settling in with her to nurse. She's also insistent about which side she nurses on, always asking for the "good one." The good one is never the same one twice, so that makes things hard to predict. But I'm loving the new depths to her vocabulary and expression.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Two Weird Little Things

Last Friday we took Proton to the vet because, wonder of wonders, he's peeing on everything. Again. So we go (Gaz of course had the best time talking to all the people and animals), get pills, come home and he doesn't want to come out of his carrier. Fair enough. So I leave the door open and eventually he decided he was hungry and finally left his wee cage.

The carrier, though, is not a typical cat carrier. It's small dog size, both because Proton is a large cat (13 pounds of sinewy jungle cat, dontchaknow) and because he freaks out somewhat less if he's got pacing room. This also means that the carrier is big enough to entice curious toddlers.

She first demanded that Proton vacate the carrier so she could get in, and when he didn't leave she tired to squeeze in alongside him. That obviously didn't work and she soon gave up, but in that space of time between when Proton went for a snack and I noticed that he was out and about, Gaz managed to get in the carrier. She went in butt first and got everything but her legs inside. But then she wanted to move around and when she couldn't go forward or backward or in or out, she started crying hysterically. I tried to help her wiggle out, but I couldn't get her to keep both arms on the outside. All I could think of was to take the top off the carrier. So while I frantically attacked the screws, Gaz finally figured out how to get her legs inside, after which it was much easier to crawl out. And crawl back in. All that mama adrenaline for nothing!

The other weird little thing: she's eating Cheerios with a fork. And it's working!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Recently Overheard

Mark: (hands something to Gaz) Here you go. Now you say "thank you."
Gaz: I welcome!
M: No, you say "thank you" and I say "you're welcome."
G: I welcome!
M: How about you say "thank you" and I say "you're welcome?"
G: Thank you I welcome!

Mark: Hey Gaz! I love you!
Gaz: Hello to you too!

Mark: Would you like a chip?
Gaz: Chip please!
Mark hands Gaz an extra-BBQ-y Grippo's chip
Gaz: (makes a face that would break a thousand hearts with its sheer unhappiness) I love it!
Gaz rakes out the slobbery chip from her burning mouth while Mom gives Dad the business for handing her such a spicy chip.

If anyone asks her to do something, her default response these days is, "Okay. I'll try." Sometimes she'll tack on a melodramatic sigh, the poor long-suffering child. Another charming thing is when I tell her that, say, I've got to get her shoes on her so we can go outside, and she yells "self!" or "no! self!" or "I self!" because she wants to do everything all on her own. I thought I had some more time before the premature independence kicked in, but no dice. It's really cute when she's not doing it some day when we should have been out the door ten minutes ago.

She's got a million crazy things to say these days, and I'm excited to see what madness occurs when we visit Emily, Kyle, and The Goils this weekend for Evynn's fifth birthday party!

Friday, May 4, 2007


Peeps and Sky
Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl.
Just uploaded a buncha pictures from our recent trip to Evansville.

Poorly captioned, but the cute is intact and as dangerous as ever.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Bushels of New Tricks

Greetings from Evansville! We're at the end of our visit with Nana Cel and Papa Charley, and Gaz has been having a mostly lovely time. There have been the usual amount of tantrums, most of which have been related to tiredness or hunger. Those are the easy fixes. Her mouth has been bothering her, too, but not nearly as bad as it has in the recent past. I think we may have a molar that's finally cut (2nd year molar; all her first year teeth are already fully erupted).

Anyway, those tricks I mentioned:
- Mostly new sentences, such as "I love it!" "No like!" "See you later" and many more I don't remember at this time of night
- Asking for bed and leading me by the hand to the bedroom
- Greeting people she really likes with many kisses (it's unbelievably nice to be on the recieving end of this trick) and blowing more kisses with less prompting
- Trampoline jumping!
- Singing "Twinkle what you are!" over and over again
- Swinging on the big girl swing, followed by falling off the big girl swing, followed by getting back on the big girl swings without any tears.
- Going in and out the dog door in the back porch wall

We've had good visits with Great-Grandma Kathy and Great-Grandpa Charlie, Amber, Beth-Terry-Kate and Patty-Jaimie-Cody (thanks again for the trampolining and the big sistering and big brothering!), and of course, Uncle Sean and Aunt Hillary. Gaz loves her Uncle Sean so much she made him walk around outside with her and also attacked his beard-braid with the full power of her toddler grip. Uncle Sean's poor chin will perhaps not be so bearded when next we visit (for unrelated reasons mostly, but I'm sure the memory of Gaz hanging from his chin wiskers will ensure that he doesn't forget to shave).

We went to the zoo (where Gaz was very well behaved) and looked at the wild bald eagles (where Gaz wasn't quite so well behaved, but she didn't run out into the road so that's a definite plus). It's been a very full not-quite-a-week.

Tomorrow we drive back home with Papa Charley, and hopefully we start a new round of Wiggleworms on Thursday. I had to call and beg for Gaz to be moved into the 2-3 year-olds class because she's one month shy of the typical cut-off for moving up. It's rather a necessity, though, as she's way too rambunctious to be running around twelve-month-olds these days. I'm sure she'll love the more active stuff that they do in the 2-3 class. My only regret is that we couldn't get into the class with one of the little boys from this previous class. I'm sure she'll have a great time meeting new kids, though, and she will probably attach herself to a new someone-else's-caregiver too. Maybe not one as cool as Bella's nanny, though.

Monday, April 16, 2007

"I did it!"

Gaz is now declaring "I did it!" when she accomplishes things. If only she would start saying "yatta!" Well, we'll work on that.

We've fallen off the potty wagon, with the last five attempts or so ending in accidents on the bathroom floor or just a whole lotta nothing. Oh well. I didn't think it was going to be that easy, really.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Mama Gaz?

Last night when I laid my weary bones down next to Gaz, I fell asleep. I often do this these days, because there are few things as soothing as slipping into unconsciousness next to your angelic little sleeping child.

And, as I often do, I woke up two hours later. Usually I'll get up and get a few things done before going back to sleep, but last night I was thinking I'd just doze off again. Until I noticed that instead of Gaz snuggled up next to me, I had a small stuffed monkey toy pressed against my chest, and Gaz was sound asleep with her head and shoulders up on Mark's pillow.

It seems that not only did I doze off, I dozed off well before Gaz did. And instead of making a nuissance of herself, she tucked me in and laid down on daddy's pillow where she eventually fell asleep.

I'm a little bothered by my beating my sleepy child to dreamland, but even more overcome by the cuteness.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Monsters in the Bedroom Window

That's right, we've got monsters.

On Friday while the bath was running, Gaz pulled Mark and I into the bedroom and declared that there were monsters in there. We asked her to show us and she took us to the window, where she animatedly shouted "monsters!" and "rawr!" over and over and over again. That night when she and I went to bed, she insisted that the tap light be left on while she was drifting off because of the monsters.

Yesterday Mark and Auntie Angeli got out the big hairy spider that Ken gave her at her birthdaychristeningthang and did some monster slaying just before bedtime, and then when Gaz and I went to bed she said I could turn out the light. Progress!

I don't know where the scary-monsters-in-the-bedroom thing came from, but I hope the monster-eating spider keeps working.

In unrelated news, we bought a new car yesterday. All those visits that have been delayed by our unwillingness to drive a seriously bad car to far-off places will be getting scheduled as the calendar permits. :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

I can't believe I forgot to blog!

Guess who used her potty chair last night like a big girl! She sat there for a while before bath time (mostly because she was refusing to get into the tub) and eventually she said "ew! yucky!" and hopped up to reveal the less vile of the things she could have left in the potty. She received many hugs and huzzahs, and in her glee she was most compliant when I picked her up and deposited her in the bathtub while I dealt with the potty.

Oh, my little girl. Not quite so little for a minute there. We'll have to try the potty every night now, and I suppose we'll have to start thinking about buying pull-ups instead of regular diapers.

Never before has a bodily function made me so happy.

Wiggleworms for Everyone!

I feel it is my moral duty to inform those far and wide who might ever need to entertain a child about the Old Town School of Folk Music's Wiggleworms CD. There are one or two songs on there I haven't heard (or don't remember I've heard) but I'm sure they're just as lovely as the old favorites from our class.

If you've got to listen to these songs, you should listen to these versions. I've been getting weekly doses for about 12 weeks, and I still like them. And the Old Town School is a fine organization to support, so give 'em a listen and throw some cash their way. You'll be glad you did. :)

One day I'm going to blog my very favorite kids music records, but I have to track down some Ralph's World first!

Monday, April 2, 2007

Things Said

Gaz: "H?" (pause, as if waiting for an answer) "No, H."

Gaz: (playing with her chatter phone) "Hello, H! Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Yeah! Buh-bye!"

Me: "It's bathtime, are you ready, baby?"
Gaz: "Ready, baby!"

Gaz: rattling doorknob on front door
Me: "Where are you going?"
Gaz: "Beach!"
Me: "You can't go to the beach. It's too cold outside and you're not wearing any pants."
Gaz: looks down with a heavy sigh, then back up at me "Please?"

Oh, and she's 20 months old today! Just four months before the big t-w-o.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Recent Highlights

  • Today Gaz asked to use chopsticks as we were eating our Thai noodle soup. Her skill level, of course, is nonexistent, but she tried and didn't get upset. In the end she let me feed her with my chopsticks.
  • She's stacking everything in sight! Last night she protested sitting in the sitting part of the cart so we let her sit in the basket part where she happily stacked groceries.
  • This morning she named her monkey (which has thus far been known as "Bed Monkey") Max, after a character on Dragon Tales.
  • She also tries to recite rhymes from Dragon Tales, and she really loves Ord.
  • Gaz has rediscovered Proton's tail, much to his chagrin. She likes to hold onto it, sometimes tries to lead him around by it, pretends like she has one of her own (which usually involves much bottom-shaking on her part), goes looking for it when she sees the telltale lump of cat under the blankets when he goes for his daily snooze on the bed, etc.
  • Nap times are in flux yet again. This growing thing is taxing, trying to keep up with how much food and sleep she needs at any given time.
  • Still playing "peeky boo" every chance she can get.
  • "Pretty" comes out "pootee" these days. Insert joke here.
  • The number of things that are coming to bed with us these days is growing: now besides Max, we are routinely joined by a bear ("Blood Bear," the bear she bled all over when she busted her face open in December), her baby doll (still nameless, as Gaz has rejected my suggestion of "Shirley"), and a hand towel. She's really nuts about the hand towel. You should see her try to make it out of bed in the mornings with this collection.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Now, with bangs!

Now, with bangs!
Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl.
Now I hope the days of having snot all over her hair are mostly over.

Mind you, the bedhead makes it look a bit less tidy, but it doesn't look half bad, considering my scissors were more dull than I remembered.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

New Photos, Y'all

Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl.
I've uploaded and labeled more photos, so check 'em out.

Other news: more talking, but I can't keep up with her vocabulary any more. She's apologizing frequently these days, I think because she thinks that she'll get what she wants (regardless of the laws of physics) if she just apologizes. I have no clue where that came from.

I gave Gaz her first sorta haircut today. I have given up on ever getting her to wear barettes to keep her hair out of her face, so I gave her something like bangs, kinda. I'll have to get some pix tomorrow.

Gaz and Proton are fighting over her fairy wings lately. Buncha weird creatures living here these days.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

All About the Words

These days, it's words, words, words. New words, words used in fun new combinations, you name it, Gaz is doing it. We're starting to get more real sentences and words used more appropriately, which is the coolest. Gaz has sucessfully identified emotions in books and her Baby Einstein DVDs ("sad" is pretty easy, and she's always excited to point out happy faces). She's much better about indicating what she wants to eat accurately (not just saying the nonsensical "no," but requesting specific foods). It's all a blur of life getting simultaneously easier and more complicated. But hooray for words!

She still can't say "grandpa" so both grandfathers are "Papa"--Mark's dad is "Papa Pen" because he always has a pen or two in his shirt pocket and my dad is "Papa Dog" because he's got a big fluffy dog at home. Her little brain is the greatest.

Then there's the singing. She really loves "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" and she's started singing along (more with Mark than with me, but she likes to show off for Mama sometimes). She also likes "Ring Around the Rosey," particularly the "ashes, ashes" part. Oh, and the falling down part. Good times.

She looks like a tiny person these days, not just a giant baby. It's cool. One of these days I'll upload more pictures. But first, sleep!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle

(Not the Wiggles!)

We did Wiggleworms twice this week since we had some make-ups to work through. Yesterday was the regular class, and all kids were NUTS! It must have been the very nice weather. Gaz and Bella played and danced and giggled like adorable little maniacs before class started, and then all the hippos went berserk, as the story goes. Everyone was rambunctious, but no one freaked out too much.

Today's class was with Miss Tisa in a much larger room. There was a little boy her age to run around with, and run they did! During class Gaz hovered near Tisa and tried a couple of times to play the guitar and looked like she was about to sit on her lap once or twice. This class was at 11, an hour later than our usual class, and if I ever needed confirmation that the time I picked was the ideal time for her, I got it today. She was a bit more intractable than usual, and lied down on the floor in frustration several times. But otherwise she was fine. She went around to all the adults, patting them on a shoulder as if she was a little hostess checking on her guests. She hugged many of the kids, including one little girl she then accidentally nocked down. But no tears, so all good. She was really insistent that everyone put their shakers away as soon as Tisa got the box out, taking maracas and tambourines from the other kids and throwing them in the box as fast as she could. She really loves bubble time.

Anyway, after lunch there was the inevitable "I'm waaaay too tired" meltdown, so I think we maybe should shoot for an earlier time for the next make-up. I doubt we'll ever find one open at 10:00, so it'll probably end up being an early morning for us to get to a 9:00 class. Not having to deal with Gaz crankiness will be worth it, though.

Monday, March 12, 2007

New Annoying Tricks

Fake crying, complete with hands over the face, full-body heaving "sobs," and, if you're lucky, collapsing in a dramatic heap on the floor. Oh, it's a wonder!

And everything is stinky. Cat? Stinky. Dinner? Stinky. My breast? Stinky. Flowers? Stinky. If it can be sniffed by Gaz, it will surely be pronounced Stinky.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I forgot to mention. . .

Gaz is counting to five now. And this morning she said "dipee" when I was changing her out of her overnight diaper.

And then last night she wanted to practice washing her hands after her bath, so I pulled a chair over to the sink. We also practiced spitting, since one day she will have to move up to floridey toothpaste.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

How Time Has Flown

I can't believe it's been so long since I last blogged. Well, we've been busy, at any rate. And for once, the busyness doesn't include a virus!

Let's see. . . Gaz milestones. . . She can say all kinds of words now, including: please, sorry, thank you, horse, cow, pig, monkey, tall, sheep, and much, much more. You can actually have a conversation with her now. The mind boggles. The cutesy words continue on (especially bocky and yogi), but otherwise her enunciation has greatly improved. Of course, she still needs her translator with her as much as possible (this would be me), but she's pretty good at directing listeners toward what she wants. Like her crayons. She knows where they are and can even open the drawer now, so even if you didn't know she was saying "colors!" you would eventually notice the drawer packed full of crayons and paper of various kinds. She's a smarty.

Stairs are another big leap forward, as she can now walk up them with relative ease, instead of just crawling up them. She's pretty good with a banister or wall to steady herself, and even going downstairs has dramatically improved in the past week. Well, when she's in a mood to cooperate.

Gaz has also learned some fun things like running around while screaming and waving her arms (this is what I do to get her to chase me and now she does it when I say that I'm scared she will fall off of whatever it is she's climbing on), making dinosaur claws and yelling "RAWR!", and staggering after people with her hands held out before her, demanding "BRAINS!" (well, in Gazese it comes out "BAINS!" but that's good enough. She's our little zombie in training.

And now she's dumped all her toys out on the floor when it's ten minutes 'til bathtime, which segues into bedtime. Eeeesh. Back on duty.

Sunday, February 18, 2007


The household is in big trouble now--Gaz has learned to unscrew a variety of lids, seemingly overnight. Yesterday I took my eyes off her for a minute and the next thing I know there's a pile of Mrs. Dash on the dining room floor. She's also been playing with a bottle of saline nose spray (turns out it's quite fun if you spray it when it's not in someone's nose).

She's also figured out zippers, and it's only a matter of time before she starts getting into my purse. What we really need is a house with enough room for endless child-proofed cabinets so we can hide all this stuff she's just figured out.

Friday, February 16, 2007

I can do it myself!

That's today's motto. She fed herself more than half a cup of yogurt (which she calls yogie, by the way) and as we speak she is peeling a clementine after fighting me away from my attempts to do same. It's completely peeled now and halved. All she needed help with was getting off the dining room chair without cracking her skull on the floor. Which she has just now done on the table when she was trying to pick up clementine sections off the floor under said table.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Is offcially "Oton" in Gazese.

She's been a babbler lately. I think she's about to have another vocabulary explosion, but in the meantime she's singing the greatest little nonsense songs.

I love this kid more than I can say.

Monday, February 12, 2007

It's mid-month, so it must be time for another virus

Yes, Gaz and I are sick. Again. But it's much better than last time. January's cold had much more coughing and fevers, not to mention poorer appetites (and let's not forget the sinus infection for me), but this one is just a wee head cold. Minimal coughing, and Gaz at least is chock full of energy.

In between running away from me as I tried to wipe her nose endlessly, she was trying to jump. She's getting pretty close.

Probably won't make it to Wiggleworms this week, but Gaz is making me sing the songs and such all the time now. If only we had bubbles and a whole lot of shakers, she'd be in Wiggleworms heaven without us having to go out into the cold, cold world.

Thursday, February 8, 2007


The latest annoying trick Miss Gaz has unleashed on us is the word "ow!" She says it now all the time, except when it's appropriate. Changing diapers, putting on clothes, buckling her into the car seat. Notably not when she wriggles off a chair at dinner and lands on her face. (She's fine, by the way. Not even a wee little bruise.)

And she doesn't say it once or twice, it's always a long string of OWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWO! at maximum volume. It's embarassing in a parking lot, and I can only imagine how bad it will be in a store or doctor's waiting room or other crowded public place.


Monday, February 5, 2007

Those other cute words

In addition to pocky (pocket), we have bocky (broccoli) and banky (blanket). And she did all that cute-ifying without any baby talk from us, I must say. We talk to her in normal voices, using normal human words because we are word people. This brain sponge period would be completely wasted if we only said things like "wittle," "mawage," or "dweam wiffin a dweam."

I expect she'll figure out R's and L's soon enough. I hope she does before she starts trying to say "clock" or "frog" in public. Oh yeah, she's got a problem with G's too. :-)

Yes, it's that cold.

Indoor Ice
Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl.
Our ourdoor thermometer says it's -7 now, and that's without factoring in that good old Chicago wind.

I've got a doctor's appointment today, but we're driving and bundling up. Somebody send us some non-Arctic air, will ya?

Friday, February 2, 2007

18 months--getting better at the small stuff

Gaz continues to be much more healthy than I am, but a very long day at the doctor's office (involving appointments for myself and Auntie Angeli) should hopefully result in me feeling better sooner. All the better to chase our year-and-a-half-old supergirl around the dining room table!

Yes, today, far too early for me to wake up and annoy Gaz, was the magic 18 month birth anniversary. Hoorah! This new phase of toddlerdom brings us a Gaz who is much more coordinated (she can climb easily onto the dining room chairs now for meals, and just today figured out how to climb onto the bed without any boxes to assist), much more verbal, and much more likely to have a tantrum at any given moment.

The verbal explosion can't even be exactly quantified any more--there are too many words for this addled mind to tack anymore. I do have some highlights, though:
  • Today Gaz counted to three while stacking three blocks. Three often sounds like "fweee!" or "feeee!" but you can tell what she means most of the time, especially since she's so good at saying "two."
  • Gaz has discovered pockets in her clothing (most particularly the big pocket on her pink and red dress/nightgown. She's quite delighted with putting things in her pocket and then sticking her belly out to highlight whatever lump she's hidden away in her dress. Of course, nothing compares to hearing her call this strange clothing feature a "pocky."
  • We've had some two-word sentences lately, the first of which being "butt hurt!" after she threw herself, butt first, onto the hardwood floor. And I thought I would regret teaching her "butt." (I know, I will live to regret that and many other words.)
  • Her understanding of what people say to her is beyond all my expectations. Every time I think I've talked right over her head, she answers appropriately or follows my instructions. There are just as many times, though, when I know she understands what I've said and is choosing to ignore me. But mostly she's helpful, even when it comes to bringing me a diaper--she is back to fighting diaper changes.
  • Every day, sometimes many times in one day, she amazes me with her terrifyingly quick wit. Of course, I can't think of a good example right now. I knew I should have started this earlier today when my brain was more awake.
The tantrums aren't fun, really, but I've gotten as good as possible at reading her body language. Sometimes she needs to be left completely alone for a bit, sometimes she wants me nearby to comfort her when she's ready, and sometimes she just really needs to nurse but is too frustrated to try to communicate that. And sometimes the problem is that I won't let her lift up my shirt in public. We slog through the cranky times as best we can and I try not to take it personally. We'll see how I'm doing with that in six months!

In other news, Wiggleworms is going great. Gaz loves the boys (they're more active, older, and independent than the girls in this group, it seems) and has developed an attachment to Bella's mom. I'm not sure how she feels about Bella, but she's always trying to hold Bella's mom's hand and sit on her lap. Twice in a row now she's also dominated Miss Lisa's lap for the good-bye song, and this last time she tried to keep the other kids from touching Miss Lisa's guitar. And where is her favorite place during class? Right in the middle of the circle, dancing, clapping, and swaying her precious little heart out where all can adore her.

You should see the coloring she's doing now. It's much more focused than what she was doing just two months ago. One of these days I'll scan some pictures. Until then, the pile will just keep growing on the dining room table until it collapses or until Gaz finds it and starts trearing up her art.

Monday, January 29, 2007


Coloring Game
Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl.
It's been a crazy week here, with B-Fest and related houseguests. It's been good, but taxing on all of us. Gaz was a pill all weekend long (and understandably so, considering the wackiness of our days and the amount of time we spent driving) but today she was fabulous. She had a great time with Marissa (houseguest #1, who was with us Wednesday night/Thursday morning) and then with Jennie (houseguest #2, who left just today). I'm a bit worried that Gaz will freak out on me tomorrow, with the dramatic lack of ultracool ladies to chill with. I've got a full day of nothing planned for us as a cushion between the hectic previous week/end and the inevitable madness of trying to get to Wiggleworms on time. (Please let us get there on time this week! And maybe without tantrums!)

Today we braved the cold and somewhere in a memory card in Montana there are pictures of myself and a stroller-bound, sleeping Gaz at the giant shiny coffee bean thing in Millenium Park. It was some very focused, very chilly sightseeing, but since Gaz took that opportunity to nap, it all worked out pretty well.

But there is a new game in our repetoir--a coloring game! First, you draw a bunch of shapes or something on a piece of paper, because Gaz won't color on a blank sheet of paper. Then, when she's gotten into the whole coloring thing, you try to color various areas and she pushes your hand away and she laughs hysterically. It's a riot! It often degenerates into crayon marks on the table and occassional crayons getting thrown in a certain child's excitement, but generally speaking it's a fun game.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Freshly baked photos!

Good Morning, Bagel
Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl.
Now on Flickr! Go! Now!

Today we did indeed make it to Wiggleworms. All the way there, Gaz screamed "GO!" and kicked the back of my seat when we stopped at red lights, and let me tell you there were many red lights.

She also demanded to sit on Miss Lisa's lap at the end of class, and enjoyed being right next to the guitar while it was being played.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Yesterday Gaz put her pants on by herself the right way. All I had to do was lay them out so she could see that there were two legs. She also stood beside me patting my head while I was doubled over coughing up all sorts of mean, nasty things. She's such a sweetie.

Today she fed herself with a big-people spoon, and just now was stabbing me in the leg with the same spoon. She's very happy to say "spoon" and "fork" (which often comes out "foke" but we can tell what she wants). She's learning to cooperate when we say please, and she's learning to say please herself. She can sign "thank you" like a champ, but the words aren't coming out. That will happen soon enough.

I've just been marvelling at how well she fills out her 3T clothes now. She's getting so tall! The drawback of us not going in for an 18 month doctor appointment is that I don't get to have those lovely little baby stats to share. Doing it at home doesn't seem to be all that accurate.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Now that I've reconfigured Flickr

Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl.
I can blog photos again. Sorry for the sad learning curve here. Don't forget to check out the latest Gaz photos. I'll be uploading a bunch of crazy hat pictures soon, too, I imagine.
Gaz is feeling fabulous, if just a touch snotty. I still feel like crap on a crap cracker, but I expect I'll improve. I'm at least well enough to get Miss G to Wiggleworms this week.

Some new Gazness: she's figured out some climbing feats, such as climbing up onto the dining room chairs by herself without splitting her face open (yay!) and climbing up into bed with the help of one of our under-the-bed storage boxes. I showed her the boxes on Thursday, and by Friday she had figured out how to use them for climbing up to get the cat.

But the best thing she can do is tell us that she is happy, which she does now with actual words. She will pull Mark and I together for a big family hug and, grinning from ear to ear, shout "happy!" I'm trying to teach her the sign for happy, but it's getting lost in "please" because they are so close. It's another heartmelter. She knows just how to cap off a week of sickness and cranky.

Whatta gal.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

On the Mend

Gaz and I are both feeling better, but she's still the Moco Monster from the Moon. Because of that and the fact that it's hard to sing songs when I've got this much phlegm in my lungs (still), we took a pass on Wiggleworms today. We'll do a make-up sometime when we're both in top goofing-off form.

We're awash in new words, too many of them to count but I definitely remember her saying "trash!" when she saw me carrying some used tissues to the trash can. We've got new games too, such as the plastic cow game, wherein I say "Cow stands up!" and Gaz rights the plastic cow. She knocks it over when I say "Cow falls down!" I'm sure there are more games, but I'm covered in snot and that tends to be more memorable right now--my battles to keep my clothes clean when I am Gaz's favorite snot rag.

I forgot to blog yesterday, but she built a fine 13-block tower before she was overcome with the urge to destroy all block towers. After that she couldn't hold out for more than five before smashing them, but the initial effort was so impressive I couldn't find it in me to criticize. She probably won't do it again, but oh, what a sight.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Gaz and I continue to mend, but in the meantime I have two tidbits for you:

First, is that thanks to a visit from the completely awesome Grandpa Will, our printer works again. That means that I can get back to work doing mailing labels for the long-overdue Christmas cards and many thank-you notes. Huzzah!

Also, we've got a bunch of new words: butt, walk, and . . . man, there are so many that I can't think of any more through the haze of cold medicine. She's much better at accurately mimicing us, so beware, all who visit.

But now back to our regularly scheduled tantrum for no good reason.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


We had our first class today and it was so much fun! There's singing and wiggling and all sorts of wonderful fun. Gaz threw a wee bit of a tantrum when I had to fight her to give up the maracas at the end of shakers time, but fabulous teacher Lisa was prepared with bubbles. I must try that at home!

Lil' G is sacked out now on the couch. Her little cough is worse when she's sleeping on her back, so the couch is an ideal nap venue. Very easy to prop her up on her side. She's Miss Molly Moodswing still, happy as a lark one second and raging baby the next. I'm looking forward to her feeling better soon!

Monday, January 8, 2007

new things

Gaz can now sign and say "bed" (which often comes out more like "bee") and does so quite often. Usually she wants me to sit on the bed while she opens and closes the door from one side, then the other, but she's using it appropriately, so I won't complain.

She's got another sniffle (coughle, to be precise) but is weathering this one better than the last one. She had a low fever today, but is back to normal now. She starts Wiggleworms this week, so she better be healthy by Wednesday!

Thursday, January 4, 2007


We are having an absolute blast lately. There have been tantrums, of course, but by and large Gaz is wowing us with how much she understands and can do. To wit:

- Today we called her to dinner and she showed up at the table with a spoon in hand, ready to eat! No one told her to bring a spoon, but she did!

- Today I found two Gaz-sized plastic forks and a Gaz-sized plastic spoon in her onesie. She's been picking things up and hording them for later. Why she thought she needed all those implements, I have no idea.

- We were pretending to give shots with her animal hospital play syringe, and she really liked giving me "shots." I said "Ouch! Oh, that's not bad," and then Gaz started saying "nah bah."

- She's also working on "hello" (huh-oh) and "Dipsy" ("Deeesee"). She's got Po pretty well down, but Tinky Winky and Lala apparently sound way too funny for her to try to repeat.

- She helped me sort laundry yesterday, and is really good this week about bringing her socks and/or shoes and/or jacket to one of us when it's time to go someplace.

- Her ability to express what she wants, while still complicated at times, is really improving dramatically. Sometimes it's just pointing, but she's really good as acknowledging when I've hit upon what she wants. I'm amazed every day.

- Her fine motor skills are taking off too, as she's much better about really using the keys for her recently-acquired key toys. I'm very proud of my girl.

- She has a new toy laptop computer (a gift from Auntie Lis) and she LOVES it! Now she can be just like Mama and Dada. If only ours were as sturdy as hers. She's been sitting on it, throwing it, and who knows what else when I'm cooking breakfasts and lunches.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007


I don't know what to say, except I am continually amazed, agog, and so deeply grateful for the love and support of our families. We have experienced such generosity this holiday season, it doesn't feel like "thank you" can suffice to show how much all your gifts mean to us.

Thank you all so much, from the bottom of our hearts! You all mean so much to us, not because you give us gifts, but because you're here for us. Words just cannot sum up my feelings adequately enough.

So to all of you--and you know who you are--our deepest thanks and our prayers that they blessings you bestow on us are returned to you a thousand-fold! (And yes, for some of you that would mean that we're hoping you get a thousand fabulous children's books. ;-) )