Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gaz sez, "One day when I'm bigger, but not as big as you and Dad, I'm going to have long, long hair and a long, long dress, and I'm going to sing a perfect song." This will, she says, take place on a stage upon which she has put up a lot of Christmas lights.

We've both been upgraded from "Mommy" and "Daddy" to just Mom and Dad. It seems too soon in some ways, but is perhaps evidence that she is thinking more about the things she says now.

She's also taken to saying "muh" instead of "my," as in, "Mom! There's poop in muh diaper!" It's funny the first five times, but after that just gets kinda weird. Are we the victim of a hillbilly changeling?

Last night she woke up and called for me, "Mom. MOM." Not panicked or whining, just insistent. I went in to check on her and found her sitting up in bed. I reached out for her and she grabbed my arm, held it close to her chest, and relaxed back onto the bed, face-first. I stayed bent over the bed rail (fun!), rubbing her back with my free hand, until she fell back asleep. From that vantage point, I saw that sometime before summoning me, she'd retrieved her sippy cup from the bedside table and had a drink of water. It was not so long ago that it took a lot of work to get her back to sleep if she woke up enough to call for me, and really not so long ago that she would thrash about in bed, crying for her cup of water to be brought to her. Now she remembers where the cup is, and she knows that I'll come, and she doesn't need quite so much to soothe her back down. There will be days when she does need more, but I do appreciate these days of relative ease.

I think 2009 is going to be a good year, full of lots of good new growth. Speaking of which, she's grown another half inch. Not much longer for some of those 4T clothes. And she wants everyone to know that she's "getting this snapping thing." Maybe for next Halloween I'll dress her up as a little Beatnik.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New photos up!

Pretty, pretty pirate
Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl
Lovely new images of life from just before and just after the move.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Monday, December 15, 2008


We have ironed out our technical problems, which are a whole long tale of woe that I won't get into here, and so there will be updateyness more regular now. Also, photos will be uploaded here in a bit. We've got some from our first scouting mission, I think, that still haven't been uploaded, so there are some shots of the new neighborhood in somewhat warmer times.

The weather here, as I'm sure you all know, is not so pleasant. We've got icy steps out the back, and all our lumber from the old place that used to be shelves are now vaguely woodish icicles on the back porch two floors down. But our neighbors there are very generously not using them for frozen firewood. Huzzah!

How's Gaz handling the move? Not quite how I expected. I was waiting for sleep disturbances, because that's historically how she's handled routine disruption in the past (also grumpiness, but I'd always just filed that with the sleep issues). She's sleeping like a rock, but she spends a lot of the day screaming and getting mad at me for various random things. I would not trade this for the night terrors, though. Those have taken years off my life.

Some days, Gaz wants to go outside without coat or even pants:

Me: If you go outside without pants today, you'll freeze your legs right off!
Gaz: Then I will walk around on my blood!

[Insert stern glance at Auntie Aiiiiiieeeee for starting the whole blood thing.]

But pants have prevailed more or less. Gaz even wore the scarf I crocheted for her yesterday. It wasn't even a very scarf-worthy day! I glow! I think this is the first time she's worn something I made from yarn since she was small enough to wear the baby hats on which I ruined my tendons.

But anyway. We are here, we are sorting through boxes and contemplating exciting new shelving arrangements to accomodate all of the box contents. And now we can do some comparison shopping for needful things with the awesome power of the Internet. Most importantly, Gaz can play games on pbskids.org now. We know where our priorities are in this family.

Right now, the Gaz priority is explaining to Mark about proper application of (imaginary) perfume. I still don't know where she gets this stuff.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

we're all still alive

Just technologically impaired at the moment. This will hopefully be corrected on Monday. ::crosses fingers:: We have new address and phone number, so drop us an email somewhere and one of these days we'll actually be able to access it. Or call one of us on a cell phone, because those were not affected by the relocation.

We're mostly moved in, mostly unpacked, and barely sane. Gaz loves her new room and all her "new" toys. She has been ordering me to call various people so that she can tell them endless and surreal knock-knock jokes that she makes up on the spot.

We're all a little worn out and grumpy, so there's not much else to report, except that we've been having a mighty laugh at our governor's expense. Ah, Illinois, where corruption reaches across the aisle! (And that's all the politics you'll get here, so enjoy.)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

the big update

Hello! We've had a lot of stuff going on here, and now we actually have some things nailed down that we can go on the record about.

1. We're moving back up north next month. Yes, that's soon. No, we aren't nearly packed enough yet. Yes, we're working on it (actually, Mark is doing some work on the library as I type). We are gratefully accepting the help of a number of locals, and if anyone wants to send piles of money our way, we wouldn't say no. ;) The new apartment is right by the Chicago River (picturesque!) and there are not one but two parks less than a block away (convenient!). We'll also be just a short bus ride away from Auntie Aiieeee, which is another good and useful thing. The rent is also cheaper, which is a big motivator.

2. Proton, our beloved/reviled feline companion of more than nine years is currently on his way to his new home in Kentucky. My mom came to fetch him, and is taking him to a lovely new home that's way bigger than anything we are likely to own any time soon, with fewer scampering, tail-pulling three-year-olds. He's been progressively more irritable the past year or so, and while this change of venue is definitely increasing his stress in the short term, I hope that he can now live the rest of his kitty life in more comfortable surroundings. The rest of us here are, of course, very sad at his moving (thought I'm not sure why, since he did his level best to destroy everything we own in recent weeks) but it's for his good and ours. Most notably because our new apartment doesn't allow pets. We will still be able to visit him, since we have a built-in excuse to be in Owensboro as long as Uncle Sean and Aunt Hillary reside there. We're hoping to see him again (hopefully settled) when we are in the neighborhood around Christmastime.

Why all this change and why now? Money. Until we can manage to increase our income, we need to trim our spending. After the first of the year I'll be looking for work (freelance and otherwise), which will bring even more change if I end up employed once again out of the home. I'm not looking for work now because 1) we're moving and 2) this might be the last chance we have for a good long while to visit grandparents without screwing up anyone's work schedule and 3) I'd rather look when the seasonal-hiring thing is over for the season. Once we're settled in our new place I'll be in a much better position to find employment that we can all tolerate as well as possible.

There are a lot of issues involved in all this, which I'm not going to get into here, but I hope everyone knows that we are factoring everything into our decisions and doing what is best for our family.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Pictures are up on Flickr. Not sorted or titled or captioned, but they are up.

Must go do things. Update later.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

and now for something completely Gaz

"Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls! Please! Bake me a cake!"

Shouted through an improvised megaphone today while we sat in her room, wrapped in blankets, having "cold time."

Festivities and Frustrations

Sorry there are no pictures up yet. There are technical difficulties. Rest assured that pictures exist, and I'll get them uploaded as soon as I can.

So Halloween has now passed us by, and this is the source of my biggest frustrations. First off, the costume itself did not go well. I had a lot of errors to correct, because I have been extra exhausted lately, which translated into inattention and clumsiness. Another issue is that Gaz has a huge growth spurt to the tune of an inch or so immediately after her birthday, so she ended up a bit too big for the biggest size of the pattern I had from last time. There were problems with the plan I had, too, which is annoying because the whole plan was for this to be easier and less hand-intensive than last time. The long and the short of it is that I spent a whole month and no small amount of frustration and blood and banjo time to make this thing.

After all this, she wore the Mothra costume she insisted on for all of ten minutes on Friday before complaining that it was itchy and made her "a little pink" (which I think means it was hot), so she frantically demanded that I get her out of it. I did get some pictures of the finished costume. I took it with us to the Halloween event we went to up at our old favorite park, but she refused to wear it, even after seeing all the other kids dressed up. She got her bag of treats there, courtesy of Ald. Gene Schulter, and then was totally done with Halloween. She already had a bag of candy, so why would she need to dress up in that itchy old costume and go out in search of more?

I have resolved to not make Halloween costumes anymore. I'll make play clothes and assemble play costumes, and she can just pick from those next year.

Complicating Halloween this year is the passing of Mark's grandpa, whom we call Grandpa Great now that there are a bunch of great-grandchildren in the family. He lived a good, long life (he just turned 95 earlier in October) and died peacefully and without pain. It's not a surprise and he's definitely in a better place now, but it's never fun to say goodbye. I'm going to miss his thrilling tales of working at NASA.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

so much to say

But to start off, here's what Gaz said at dinner when I asked her how she signs "strong" in her own version of sign language: "Strong is when you eat a little monkey and chew it!" Not sure where we get monkey eating from (unless you've been telling her stories about the Navy, Papa Charley!), but she did go to the zoo yesterday with Mark, where she played with a little girl named Emily. Today she went to the park and met a girl named Lucy and they had a great time. We'll have to see if we can connect at the park more often.

Let's see . . . We visited all the grandparents, who are all doing well. Gaz got to visit another funeral home, when my cousin's grandmother died. It was a situation not unlike what we went through with Grandpa in February, which was a little surreal for me, and all the Sawyers remain in our thoughts. Gaz made the best of it, though, and spent most of our visit there running around outside with another little girl. She makes friends everywhere she goes!

We're in the middle of a big Scooby-Doo kick lately. Lately, she's all about watching "Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost," so don't be surprised if she sings one of those abominable Hex Girls songs to you. And speaking of all things Halloweeny, I'm working on another Mothra costume. But like Mothras from the movies, this one will be different! I'm not so much styling it after a particular movie, as I am working on alternatives to the foam wings I made last year. This year, once I get the basic construction done, Gaz will be helping. I'm looking forward to that. She gets a big kick out of anything artsy these days.

Particularly, she loves painting. I tape some paper up on her easel, and in no time she's completed a masterpiece and is demanding more paper. If I can get the scanner working, maybe one of those will become part of the blog here. Today she decorated a pumpkin with googly eyes and yarn hair. She was frustrated with the mouth she drew, but I think it's beautiful, of course. There are pictures, I just need to sort out the hundreds that are on the SD card.

That's it for now. More as I remember things!

Friday, September 26, 2008

shameless mommyness

For any of you reading who are interested in another pursuit close to my heart, you can check out my banjo blog. Now you can bounce back and forth between Gaz's childhood and that of my banjo playing.

I know I am very far behind here, and just as bad with photos. After I catch my breath, I'll be posting a proper update. But really, it's just more of the same, except for when it's not.

Monday, September 15, 2008


Yes, we've finally done it. Only threeish years after getting the necessary documentation, today I took Gaz and her Very Important Papers to the bank and got her a savings account. Those of you who sent checks for her birthday will be happy to know that not only did we finally cash them, they're now actually in her very own account! This has all been on the to-do list for a while, and since it's finally stopped raining, I decided it was high time we get out for that errand. The nice bank men even had a fresh shipment of child-placating stickers, which Gaz immediately stuck to the nice bank mens' desks.

And then we went looking for a bath toy and ended up bringing home a Hello Kitty dollhouse, complete with furniture and Hello Kitty and some of her friends. They've moved all their furniture onto the back lawn and a dump truck, and have been happily eating fish crackers there ever since we got home and got everything unpacked.

Other milestones are in the works, sort of, but still a ways off. After crowing about Gaz's near perfect potty record, we had a relapse and have been oscillating wildly between "we don't need no stinking diapers" and "Mommy, I want to peepee in my diaper." She knows exactly how things work, and has no trouble with using her potty chair or the big potty (with the assistance of the step stool and a little seat of her own), and will even use her potty chair with no prompting, then empty it, clean it out, and put it back together before throwing herself into my arms amid joyous squeals that she did it all by herself! She just doesn't feel like using the potty all the time. And forget about anything of the more involved potty activities. She's sure she doesn't want to do that in a potty.

So we're in a holding pattern. Big girl underpants, with fairies and everything, were not enough to encourage her, so we are back to pull-ups/diapers, with the option for training pants or big-girl underpants being presented often. One of these days she'll make up her mind that it's worth paying attention to, but it clearly has to be her idea. I'm cool with that. Mostly.

She's singing right now, one of her many songs about I have no idea. The joy of nonsense is extra joyful these days now that she's realized that not only can she babble when she speak, she can babble when she sings! It's like living in a foreign soap opera musical with plastic tea sets and other things that hurt when you step on them.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

As the World Whirls

I know, it's been too long! Many things have happened.

  • Birthday! The pictures are up, but I haven't commented. The weather turned out to be as beautiful as the beginning of August could possibly be. We had a break in the temperature and the humidity, and, bestest of all, the neighbors with the aggressive barking dog finally put up the privacy fence they started last year. Woo! A peaceful and lovely time was had by all. Gaz had a great time with the cupcakes and presents, especially, and she scored many awesome gifts, including some that came all the way from Norway and Iceland (courtesy of Grandma Judy and Grandpa Will's recent travels). The only thing we forgot was the enormous pink burro pinata, a last-second request from Gaz that she forgot as soon as she demanded it. It's still sitting in the library, and she likes to go in and take care of it. She does still want to break it, though. Might have to wait until we visit someone who's got a tree on on their property, as we have none.
  • Cooking! She loves helping whenever I'll let her, which must be often. I am getting better at figuring out busy work for her so that she doesn't try to do any helping that involves grabbing a knife. If I cut up veggies in the dining room instead of the kitchen, for instance, then I can distract her by sending her to the fridge for all the other veggies I "forgot." She had the best time making corn tortillas with me the other day because I let her operate the tortilla press. She was so focused, I was very impressed by her attention span. It wasn't quite long enough to last through the whole batch of dough, but it was good. The tortillas were tasty and Gaz was very proud, as well she should be.
  • Art! Another thing I've learned is that if I bring her art easel into the kitchen, she will happily paint pictures while I wash dishes. Usually she wants to "help" with that chore, which of course, makes it take twice as long, and if it's been a few days since I've really been on top of getting the dishes done . . . you see where I'm going with this. The Play-doh Fun Factory also works wonders for getting various things done (except keeping the room with the Play-doh clean).
  • Smartening! As I type this, Gaz is typing words with Daddy on his laptop. They're sounding out words together and finding letters and having a great time. Earlier today she had me making words with alphabet blocks: cat, fat, keep (she insisted we use the K and P), and then chair. Then she added U and P to cat, and we laughed over UPCAT, and then the teachable moment devolved into an orgy of stringing random letters together and making me try to pronounce the five-foot words. She's been doing this for a goodly while now, but today she used more vowels. Progress!
In addition to these things, she's said and sung so many pithy, random, insightful, and hilarious things. I can't remember them, now that I sit down to record them for posterity, but I assure you that you would be mightily impressed by her giant brain and how well she uses it. We still have our RDA of tantrums and frustrations, but considering that just after her second birthday she became a complete monster, this year we're not doing so badly.

More updateyness as I remember things!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

very far behind

I am so far behind, I have no words for my behindness. Except that I am behind.

In the meantime, I have uploaded birthday party pictures and some more recent goofiness, and also updated the link here so that it will go to the new set I just created for Gaz's fourth year.

I swear, I will have update soon.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kid Logic

This morning I was in the bathroom, when I heard a loud banging coming from the dining room. I called out to Gaz, asking her what all the noise was. She came running over to me, and said, "I was just trying to understand Proton. By BANGING!"

"I don't think that's going to work," I replied. It was hard not to laugh.

"But it worked yesterday!" she asserted, and ran back to understand Proton some more, but now with less noise. I'm still not sure what she was doing, but I know she wasn't banging on the cat.

In other news, we're gearing up for her birthday party on Saturday. She's been asking for make-up, of all things, and is convinced that she'll be getting some on her birthday. I'm not sure where the cosmetic mania has come from, but we'll see how long it lasts.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Haircut time

New Hair
Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl
I couldn't stand the tangles anymore, so last night I cut off the oldest bits of hair. Don't worry, I saved them this time, unlike when I first trimmed her bangs.

The bad news is that her hair isn't curling up higher now that it's shorter, so I think she's going to be maybe just wavy to mostly straight-haired. Oh well. It's not like I passed along much other appearance-related DNA. No point being vain now. Besides, she's beautiful.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Thanks, Auntie Aiiieeee

Today at dinner, Gaz was happily eating her pasta when she said, "I eat the pasta and then it turns into blood, right?" I shake my fist at thee, Aiieee!

But it's cool that she's retaining some information about her circulatory system. While discussing knee owies over the weekend, we talked about "why red comes out" when you fall down. I'm sure most of it was over her head, but some of it has to have soaked in by now.

And speaking of things I would rather her not bring up in public, she's been singing quite a lot lately. A current favorite is "Sometimes People Don't Poop All The Time," which, I think, is an ode to constipation. I guess that's one of the side effects of potty training. You have to talk bodily functions so much to get the whole point of the potty across, and then the kids don't always know that it's time to not talk about poop anymore. Joy.

Anyway, we've just gotten back from a trip to Shelbyville, where we visiting Grandma Judy, Grandpa Will, Great-Grandma Wasson, and Grandpa Great. If you can, send some good thoughts to Grandpa Great, as he's just been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. We're all hopeful, since it looks like it's been caught before things get difficult, but still. We worry.

Today we went outside to look for bugs and Gaz spent some time catching ants with one of the neighbor boys. It was hard to drag her back inside. Oh, and she's really pestering us for a bike now that everyone else is out on them these days. I don't even know if she's tall enough. Please, someone tell me that she isn't tall enough!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Gah, it's been a while

I had no intention of being so lackadaisical. Many things have happened, followed by Mark saying, "that's the kind of thing you should be blogging!" and I would say "I will blog!" and then I wouldn't. Because at the end of the day, I'm really tired and into laying on the couch. Read a little or watch a little teevee and then go to bed. Lather, rinse, repeat. In between fits of beating myself up for this, I suggest to myself that maybe this is just one of those times (like August - November last year) when Gaz just completely wears me out to the point that I shouldn't try for too many or too involved extra-curricular activities. But mostly I'm just hard on myself.

Like, I should have blogged about serf (surf?). Gaz has a little pink Disney Princess tea set (which I did actually buy for her myself, because we were desperate for a tea set and there were no others in my price range), and just as soon as we got all the pieces out of their nuclear fallout resistant packaging, she started saying that the cream pitcher was "surf" or "serf," it's hard to get a kid who can't read to spell out the words she makes up. So this goes on for months. "Mommy, would you like some tea and serf (surf)?" is the question I'm always being asked, to which it is my duty to reply, "Yes, that sounds lovely." And then finally, a couple of weeks ago, she comes running up to me with the little pink pitcher, holds it aloft, and yells "SERVING WENCH!" At which point I realize that surf (serf?) was as close as she could get to saying serving wench, and this is a major accomplishment for a complex term like that coming out of her mouth. And also that she picked this up from a What's New, Scooby Doo? cartoon we have on DVD (it's set at a Renaissance Faire, and some guy hands Daphne a pitcher and says, "Serving wench! Take this hence.") and I am both amused that she picked up the most hilarious term from that and embarassed that it's patently obvious to the world how much television she must watch from her ability to quote Scooby Doo. It's still funny, though.

And then yesterday (someone should sound the scatological post alarm now) Nana Cel, Papa Charley, Gaz, and I were in Borders, picking out some new books for Gaz. She was lurking in one corner of the kids' section and we all kinda figured she was probably filling her diaper. So I went to look at a kids' book about Barack Obama, and Agatha suddenly came running up to me shouting "Mommy! I dropped some poop on the floor!" over and over. I calmed her down, sent her off to the bathroom with Nana, and all I can say is thank God I had wipes in my purse. And also thank Gaz that it wasn't as messy as it could have been. Somehow the poop completely missed her clothes, her legs, her shoes . . . everything but the carpet, of course. But it didn't make a mess really, except for it's undeniable presence. Anyway, thank God for wipes. I can't say that enough.

But the best part is that she did all this right next to the potty training books. And it should go without saying that we've had a good laugh or eight since then.

Since the subject has already come up, potty use has dramatically increased. She's generally not peeing in her diapers anymore at all, and is pretty responsive to questions about whether or not she has to pee. Today we got her some training pants with flowers and such all over them to help encourage her to keep up with the potty habits. I have to say, except for the late evening/early morning potty requests, this is all rather effortless. I'm glad I haven't pushed her to get out of diapers. Encourage her progress, yes. Push, no. She's so willful, I suspect it wouldn't have worked anyway.

As we near the third anniversary of Gaz's birth, I can report that she is as tall, blond, silly, and nursey as ever. I've long said I would happily give her three years to breastfeed and after that we'd negotiate. I'm still not feeling the need to negotiate, though. How much she nurses varies so much depending on the weather, travel, owies, etc., it always makes sense when it comes up. So sorry if that weirds you out or you think it's crazy. It's worked fine thus far, and so long as it works for me and Gaz, it'll be part of our lives and I'll probably blog about it from time to time.

Now bathtime nears and we must scrub bug repellant off Gaz. Gotta love that west nile virus.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Tea Party
Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl
Did I mention that photos are uploaded?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Still Here, Still Busy

Just not posting often. A thousand apologies!

We've finally wound down from a crazy bunch of traveling. Since this time last month, we've visited Evansville, Michigan twice, and Joliet, all on back to back weekends. This is our second weekend in a row at home, and we're finally feeling like we've recovered from all the travel. Not that we don't love seeing everyone, but all that time in cars does take its toll on a person. I caught a cold around the first of the month, and it's taken me until just recently to sleep it off. My lollygagging hasn't been entirely due to laziness. ;)

I'm working on uploading a huge quantity of pictures and will update here when that's done. Stay tuned for puzzling evidence.

Let's see . . . Gaz continues to surprise and entertain me. We're doing a lot of singing, and she picks up lyrics really fast. After a few listenings to the Jimmy Driftwood songs "Straighten Out My Laig" and "Down in the Arkansas" she could belt out the choruses perfectly (well, the words, not necessarily the tune), and she's picking up some Elvis Costello and They Might Be Giants, as I've been playing some of that lately. We also do this thing where I'll start to tell her something, and maybe she's not listening, so I'll start singing a little song about what we need to be doing, and she'll answer me in the same tune, and we'll go back and forth like this until one of us (usually me) gets tired of singing. Sometimes it's the difference between arguing over getting out of the house to go to the grocery store and having a happy, pleasant child willingly take off without protest.

Two days in a row we've had good potty mornings. We get up and first thing she and I go to the bathroom, where I've been able to talk her into sitting on her potty. She's got the usual amount of patience for a two-and-a-half-year-old, so getting her to sit down long enough for her to actually go is usually the problem. But she's so excited about being involved in emptying the potty chair into the toilet and flushing that she's slowly starting to come around to the joys of potty use. During the day she still doesn't think much about having to go until after it's already done, so I don't see an end to diapers any time soon, but we're making progress. She's generally dry all night, so this is good too. We're trying to figure out some kind of reward we can do consistently that doesn't involve food or stuff. Maybe trips to the zoo? We're working on that.

The vocabulary is enormous. We have many more thoughtful conversations than we used to, and Gaz is more sensitive now about how she speaks and how she sometimes misspeaks or misunderstands words. I've been admonished several times now "don't laugh when I say that!" because she'll say something that comes out wrong but adorable, and I just can't help myself. I keep trying to explain that sometimes the words come out and the words are funny, not Gaz herself, but she's my little diva. She takes herself pretty seriously.

We've been doing a lot of cooking and cleaning together. Right now she and Mark are vacuuming (she with her little play vacuum), and she is my constant companion for dishwashing and general straightening up. Earlier in the week we made cookies, which was educational for both of us. She learned the dangers of flour (getting it all over herself, in her eyes, etc.), and I learned that she is the exact opposite of attentive. Or she is attentive and keeps doing what I tell her not to do to see if I'll give in. Periodically we'll have these battles of wills, and while that is, I know, a part of her understanding what the boundaries are with me, I just wish she would schedule these for more convenient times. Not when I'm trying to get cookies in the oven without burning myself.

She's having a great time lately going to the library, and now that the weather is getting gradually nicer, we're taking strolls down that way much more often. Each time we go she ends up grabbing a book from nearby the area where I am looking for things, and most recently she picked up a cute little tiny book (entirely without my input!) called On Bullshit. I am sure a couple of great-grandfathers got a big kick out of that. I know I got a kick out of the look on the librarian's face when Agatha relinquished the book so she could scan it in. (It should go without saying that I didn't read the book to her, but she enjoyed reading it to me. "Once upon a time a girl walked down the street. . .")

I'm sure there are a million other things I could (and probably should) relate here, but I'm tapped out. Probably better focus on the uploading.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pix and reviewishness

First things first--new pictures are up on my Flickr site! No more complaining!

Next, I thought I would say something about some recent purchases:

Songs For Wiggleworms: totally worth the money. Nice familiar songs we grew up with, arranged in a pleasant mix of new and traditional styles, coupled with some new songs that are just as fun. No complaints at all. I need to track down the other CDs. It's almost as good as going to a Wiggleworms class.

They Might Be Giants Here Come the 123s: I think I like these songs better than the songs on the ABC's album. Also, this record came packaged with the 123s DVD, which is packed full of adorable videos for most of the songs on the CD. I wonder if the ABCs is packaged with it's DVD partner now, as it wasn't when we got it.

Color Wonder stuff: pre-loaded paint brushes and markers=stinky, but good, fingerpaints=messy but okay, soft sticks=big waste of money. Between the mess of the shavings, the ease with which the soft sticks can be broken/crumbled/jammed into the cap so that they break off, I'm so done with the soft sticks. I have to vacuum daily when those things are out. The Elmer's Go Paints are good, though, although they smell worse than the Crayola paintbrushes.

As for Gaz, I'm sure she's said and done some hilarious things lately, but I'm too tired to remember them right now. Once I get some more sleep, I'll be back on the recounting her latest weirdness. Until then, check out the Flickr pictures, already!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I know I am woefully behind on photo uploading and such. I am not sure when I'll have a chunk of time to update Flickr, but in the meantime, enjoy some baby humor, courtesy of The Onion.

But now Gaz is trying to roller skate on some Mega Blocks. Time for an intervention.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Just when I thought it was safe to post . . . .

Gaz was just in the bathtub. Before the tub fully drained, Mark heard a distinctive noise. "What was that?" he asked, because you never know if it's the sound and the fury, or just the sound.

"I wasn't talking with my butt!"

Again, I don't know where this comes from. Still, I laugh.

Paging Nurse Gaz

This morning Gaz hopped out of bed bright and early, opened the bedroom door, and asked, "Mommy, can you fit through the door?" And then, "Mommy, why are you laughing?"

It's been a crazy week here, as last Friday we met Number One Godmother, Auntie Aiiiieeeee,* at the oral surgeon's office, as she was getting her wisdom teeth extracted. It took forever, but Gaz still somehow managed to remain more or less well behaved. She konked out in the car on the way home after being only slightly disturbed by Aiiiieeeee's strange appearance and inability to talk (and more terrifying--her inability to laugh!).

Thus began Gaz's first time giving up her room to a houseguest since she really started liking the place. I mean, she doesn't sleep there, but she does jump on the bed constantly and her little play kitchen and a random assortment of toys and books are all in there. It was a little strange when Aiiiieeeee needed some post-op nap time and Gaz had to collect whatever toys she might feel like playing with for a while and remove them to the living room. Mark took Gaz to the park for a while and I was able to get the house in order for the rest of the convalescence.

So Aiiiieeeee stayed with us until Monday evening, and Gaz thoroughly enjoyed the extra attention another adult human can provide, as well as getting to play nurse. She patted Aiiiieeeee's knee and wore a very grave, concerned expression while doing so. She offered toys for Aiiiieeeee to sleep with and built her cubes out of Legos and painted her pictures to help her feel better. It was terribly precious, but also terribly taxing on the little one to be so good for so long.

Among other hijinks, which I'm sure I'll remember as soon as I hit the "post" button, Aiiiieeeee and Mark explained to Gaz about heartbeats and the circulatory system. And since we're talking about Gaz here, this lead directly to everyone drinking buckets of pretend blood. How does she think of these things without prompting? I have no idea. But she now knows that her body is full of blood and it moves around. And even now, she sometimes picks up a plate from her play kitchen and sits down to "eat some blood!"

Since Aiiiieeeee's return home, Gaz has been missing her auntie. Tuesday was made of mope until she realized that she could now jump on her bed any time she liked. But generally, she's had a short fuse. The adjustment time after any visit is always full of crankiness, but this has been rougher than average. Part of that might be Auntie Heather's visits on Saturday and Sunday, which contributed to the fun quotient and the post-fun crash. But all in all, Gaz had a great time last weekend, even though Aiiiieeeee felt terrible and the rest of us were a little harried.

Oh yeah, the other really crazy thing she said happened while she was making Auntie Heather run around on Sunday. Gaz stuck her hands into the front of her diaper (she often pretends the front of her diaper is a giant pretend pocket when she's running around mostly naked), then flung her hands out in an expansive gesture and said, "TA-DA! THE COOKIES ARE HERE!" Which is way more entertaining than when she pretends to pull a rabbit (or some other random magic trick type thing) out of her pants.

Today has been a long day of tantrums and art (we just discovered Elmer's 3D paints deeply discounted at Walgreens) and an accidental late nap, so I expect the grumpiness to recur when it gets closer to bedtime (which is coming up all too soon!). But right now she's cavorting and cheerful, so blessings duly counted and sincerely appreciated.

And we all learned a valuable lesson about how hard it is to tell the difference between "I" and "Aiiiieeeee" in casual conversation. I don't think we figured out what to do about it, though, because it's still really cute to hear her use her babyish approximation of "Angeli."

* She's inherited a few more extremely awesome godparents since then, but Aiiiieeeee gets top billing since she actually saw me in labor. :)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

the whys

It has come to pass that now everything Gaz sees in the world must be hit with a few hundred "whys." I don't know what it was about yesterday, but just as it seemed like she was winding down for the evening the whys commenced. About everything.

After about an hour and a half of trying to answer her questions, usually more than once, she went to bed relatively easily and after making shadow puppets with balloons for a few minutes, she drifted off to sleep much more easily than she has in a week.

So the whys are annoying and shall continue to annoy us for a long time, I think, but if it wears out her brain to the point that I don't have to deal with a screaming, thrashing kid who's trying to escape from the bed at bedtime, I'm all for it.

In other news, Gaz now makes her toys talk in funny voices (just like Mommy and Daddy do), and gets upset when she can't draw letters like Mommy does. She calls her H's "crazy" and then mopes. I try to tell her that some two-year-olds don't even know what an H is, but still she mopes. Coloring outside the lines also makes her upset these days.

It's hard being Gaz. Today we have to go replace the chocolate bunny that I thought she'd forgotten about the bottom half of and ate. So we're going to go get a sale chocolate bunny and maybe distract her from the missing bunny bit.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Inquiring Gazes Want to Know

Mark returned home from work and Gaz asked him, "Daddy, did you loose some liquid?" We don't know what she meant by that, but we agree that it's funny.

ETA: Just when I thought it was safe to blog, Gaz, who is now painting at the dining room table, just remarked, "I try really hard to paint, but Daddy keeps bothering me!" (For the record, Daddy was trying to discourage her from getting paint on the table. Our little artist is apparently quite sensitive, not to mention headstrong. Whatta combo.)

Oh, and I just remembered that Saturday when we got in the car to go up to Wisconsin, she asked, "Um . . . Mark, can you turn on the heater?" Which is exactly what Grandma Judy said when she was last a passenger in Ookla. Gotta love that little myna bird.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Zoo and Tea Party

Gaz has just discovered the joy of riding her Scuttle Bug trike over bubble wrap. All she needs is a rousing top-of-the-lungs rendition of the alphabet song to complete her noisiness.

In other news, she was pretty well behaved yesterday, despite much exertion at the zoo (for a friend's birthday) in the morning and at the baby shower (a tea party with all the trimmings!) in Wisconsin in the afternoon. We made a rather late day of it, and even still she wasn't too bad on the drive home. She talked to the one star she could see out of her window. She noticed that it seemed to be traveling our way, and so invited it to come home with us.

Her cat obsession continues, as she spent the entire baby shower trying to con various people into letting the cats out of the bedroom. She compensated by then eating so much icing that she was wired and crazy the rest of the day.

Now for an early dinner, because I imagine today we're going to have a nice, early bedtime.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Tabula Rasa!

Uncle Greg is visiting with us at the moment. Gaz thinks he's the bee's knees, and I think he's done something to her brain.

You see, today they're playing with her MagnaDoodle, and in addition to teaching her to say "tabula rasa" every time she erases the board, he's also drawing pictures for her. Pictures which she is coloring and staying inside the lines. Consistently.

I'm not sure what he did, but shazam! I'm going to have to sit her down with some crayons and a coloring book to see how well she's retaining this new skill.

I am amazed.

Friday, March 7, 2008

To a T and Beyond

Gaz has drawn her first letter, and guess what it was. Letter #2 was an H that really wanted to be an A but couldn't figure out how to be slantier.

But that's not even the hard work. Far beyond the rigors of language acquisition and such, there's the very important business of "Am I in trouble?" and "What did I do now?" It's not easy for a two year old to figure out the differences between what's weird and okay (strumming her ukulele with one hand while using a calculator with the other), weird and unsanitary (licking people), weird and obnoxious (insisting on being held up on the window sill so she can reposition the seasonal window cling decorations in a big pile for the thirtieth time), weird and messy (planting popcorn kernels on the carpet), and weird and encouraged (singing the Mothra song). That's a lot of work.

Mostly, she's weird. Loveably weird, even when we've both got colds that put us in bad moods. Yesterday she made up a shopping list: four salads and an apple. But to get the salads, I had to take that section of 12" cardboard tube, lay it length-wise along my legs, and type on the inside of one end. It wasn't easy for ignorant old mom to figure this out, but somehow we avoided tantrums long enough to get the four salads and put them all in one imaginary bag. Then we got some apples from a cabinet door in the kitchen, and we ate them right away. The salads were forgotten.

Today Pony, Eunice, and Rubber Lizard learned a valuable lesson about apologizing after you knock everyone over. Now it's time for a snack of "being soup." I'll let you know how that goes.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

fresh outta clever titles

Today Gaz exploded out of the bedroom, where she'd been quietly wandering around with the door shut, and announced that she was just like a giant bunny. We haven't even seen Curse of the Were-rabbit lately, but she's got a pretty long memory these days. (Last night, she said she wanted to show the binoculars that Grandma Judy gave her to the boys downstairs, and I'd even forgotten where the binoculars came from.) Anyway, she leaps out of the bedroom and there's that familiar aroma about her. And she says, "I even have a little tail like a bunny!" and turns around to show me the lump in her diaper.

Yes, I know, no one likes a post about poop. But I have to share these stories with someone--I can't embarrass her in front of her future prom dates by myself.

Gaz has also been taking care of Sweetie's brother (that would be the larger baby doll that she got from Grandma Judy and Grandpa Will for Christmas) because he's been crying off and on all day. She comes to me, cradling SB in her arms, saying, "He's crying. I'm taking care of him." She also calls him her brother, and just now, her daughter. But then again, the floor fan is also her sister and best friend.

She's been quietly walking around with the doll, sometimes making him talk with me in a deep voice. But then it was him for him to go to sleep, so she took him into the bedroom, buried him under blankets, and closed the door, so he could fall asleep in the quiet. Very sweet. Then he woke up and had a tummy ache, so he had some tummy medicine and now they're resting on the recliner (she's once again buried his head under her discarded pajamas).

Just another normal-strange day.

And a belated and poorly executed thank you to everyone who sent me their condolences, whether electronically or otherwise. I am sorry I'm thanking youse here, but you know how I am about mailing things. (Those Christmas cards from 06 are still here somewhere. . .)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


There's new photos up on my Flickr site, so head on over! > > > > >

We've had our first family trip to the Field Museum over the weekend, accompanied by Auntie Aiiee, and it went pretty well from a Gaz perspective. She didn't get very fussy and didn't have a tantrum or lift up my shirt or anything like that. She was more well behaved than some children twice her size. She did get completely exhausted, which was due to some bad planning on our part. I didn't even think about bringing the stroller before we left, and we even walked right past it on the way out the door. We know for next time. Mark and I got so worn out carrying her around that the lesson had been burned into our brains: bring the stroller, and if you forget the stroller, rent one as soon as you get to the museum.

Gaz and I are settling back into home life. Unfortunately, that means that we're spending a lot of time looking out of windows and moping about it being too cold/wet/icy/windy to go outside, but it won't be this lousy forever. Speaking of which, I tried explaining "lousy" to Gaz yesterday, but I don't think it stuck. But now she's got another new word to amaze people with at odd moments.

I'm having trouble getting her back on her normal bedtime story schedule, but part of that is my own distraction. We only got to read our new Knuffle Bunny book a couple of times before we left for Evansville, so I hope I can entice the young'un with that this evening.

You know, she still has her moments and we've still got a number of months to go, but could it be that the most terrible part of the terrible twos is behind us? It seems like we're communicating more with words and less with ear-splitting shrieks of frustration. Time will tell.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


We're back home again, and it's time for another milestone. Mark took the gate down while we were out of town. One of the first things Gaz noticed upon our return yesterday was the gate leaning up against the dining room wall, and she was quick to demand its return to the doorway. But what with this and that we didn't get around to it right away and then she forgot that she was upset about it not being in the right place. This morning she started to take it apart and play with it, so I put it back in the pantry where it would be out of the way.

We've officially moved away from the need for gates. Weird. It's very strange to not be bruising my thighs constantly as I go from dining room to hallway. At least it's a comfortable change.

We both miss our E-ville family members, who we'd both gotten used to seeing every day, but we're both happy to be home with Daddy and Proton again. And a huge pile of new spring clothes I have to figure out where to stash. ;)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Aaaaand we're back

As soon as we arrived at Nana and Papa's house, we discovered a problem: Gaz could easily open the bathroom door and the bathroom door didn't lock anymore. The old doorknob was replaced with one that locks quite nicely, but now the door doesn't latch.

Today Papa was in the bathroom when Gaz busted in, ran past him, wedged herself between the toilet and the bathtub, and asked, "Papa, why peepee coming out of you finger?" Poor Papa was doing some elaborate leaning trying to preserve a modicum of privacy and Nana was trying not to laugh so hard that she peed. And dear Gaz kept asking why peepee was coming out of Papa's finger, clearly fascinated by this strange new way to pee, but not so fascinated that she listened to any of the answers we tried to get out between hysterical laughing fits.

I think we're getting back to normal.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Baby's First Funeral

A regularly scheduled visit to the old homestead took a weird turn when my paternal grandfather, whom I've mentioned before here, died. He had been on the decline for a while, but none of us were quite prepared. No one ever is, are they? So that's what our visit has revolved around. I'm really glad we were already here.

Gaz, for her part, has been so amazingly good that I am still amazed. She was much-needed comic relief during the long hours of visitation at the funeral home. She and I camped out in the cry room at the church my grandpa founded for the requiem mass. She really was a trooper. She even came into grandpa's room at the nursing home, after he'd been cleaned up but before the funeral home came to pick him up, and just climbed up into a chair next to me and just sat with us for a while before demanding a trip to see the birds in the lounge area. That just blew my mind that she didn't pay anything any mind.

The only problems we've had have been a sudden need to nap in the afternoons to compensate for the very weird hours we've been keeping, and of course, Gaz getting upset when she sees me cry. Poor kid, she had no idea why Mommy was upset. Things are evening out now and we're getting back to the regular fun of visiting Nana Cel and Papa Charley. The ice storm and rain and snow have made outdoor play impossible, but we're doing well indoors.

One bit of silliness, in the spirit of my silly grandpa: Gaz said that Pugly, my parent's chow/shepherd mix, was stinky and that we should "get a new Pugly that's fresher."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Seven Random Things

To give you an idea of what today has been like so far:

- Gaz enjoys wearing nothing but some pull-ups and sunglasses while running around the dining room table singing "Jingle Bells."

- Gaz says that The Velveteen Rabbit is full of "nothing but bills" when she flips through its pages.

- Gaz has a yellow dump truck named Daddy Truck and a small blue and red garbage truck named Baby Truck, and me giving these trucks voices is more important to her than me scheduling a doctor appointment.

- Gaz says "Every time I ask, you say 'be patient.'"

- Gaz likes chichimilk, but Baby Truck prefers gasoline. Gaz still offers chichimilk to all of her toys, just to be polite I guess.

- Loves teeny tiny mints, but will eventually cave to demands that she eat a meal composed of real food before she can have one.

- Yesterday Gaz ran off with one of my bao, talking to it and cradling it for most of our train ride home from downtown until it was nice and cold, which was when she suddenly decided to eat half of it and give the rest back to me.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

welcome to my nightmare

Gaz was following me around the apartment this morning, as she usually does. I went to set something down in the kitchen, but when I turned around she wasn't there. I thought she was playing in her bedroom, but no, she wasn't there. I called for her and the reply came from down the hall . . .

She was standing on the bathroom vanity, having climbed up there with nothing more than her death-defying nerves and a boost from the toilet. Fortunately I contained my shock well enough that I didn't startle her into a fall.

She's also just figured out how to use her pretty pink Ikea stool to open the top drawer on the entertainment center (the one where we keep her crayons and makers).

Now we are well beyond the stage where we can keep her from doing scary and/or destructive things by simply making them unavailable. Now we have to hope that she listens to the things we tell her. This has worked pretty well so far for the knife drawer, but that doesn't have anything fun in it. I don't know how we're going to deal with the markers yet.

I'm never going to sleep again. Not until she's forty.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Baby Tracks

The sheets we have on Gaz's bed (yes, the bed she never sleeps in) have stripes that are covered with various abstractish flowers. Yesterday she said that these were clearly baby tracks, and so we followed the baby tracks for a while. We never found those mysterious babies, but maybe next time we'll run into one.

We've been watching some of those old Hanna-Barbera Godzilla cartoons (you know, the ones where not only is Godzilla really helpful and nice, he also comes to the rescue at the push of a button, even when his pet people are cruising along the Nile) which we found on DVD. Gaz and I were enjoying some popcorn while we watched one of these cartoons and Gaz happily shouted "Godzilla save the day!" while she rubbed her nose. But she wasn't actually rubbing her nose. She was shoving an unpopped popcorn kernel into her nostril. She let me know there was a problem, fortunately, before she managed to jam her finger in her nose again, so I was able to fix the problem without any trouble or ER visits. Gaz gave me a big hug and declared, "Mommy, you save the day!"

A few mornings ago, Gaz followed me into the kitchen when I went to make my morning coffee. "Mommy, I hungry," she said, so we opened the refrigerator to have a look. I asked if she would like some cheese and held out a piece for her to consider. She threw her arms around my leg and squealed, "Mommy, you my hero! You my favorite color!" So score one for the mommy and the cheese.

The early incarnation of Gaz's storytelling, I understand it, is very popular among our Wisconsin friends. The current version goes something like this: "(Ahem) Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome home! And now I tell you a story. Once upon a time a girl walk down the street. The end!"

A bit o' digital housekeeping now: I just rearranged the Flickr photos, breaking out each of Gaz's years-in-pictures into their own sets. The link to the right >> should take you to her current year, with the pictures arranged newest first, so there's no long loading and scrolling to do to get to the new stuff. A thousand apologies for not doing this a long time ago. Believe me, I have just suffered aplenty in the tendon to get these spiffified. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Gaz to her new cow toy: "Cow, I have something to tell you. Godzilla knock over buildings."

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Snow Angel

Snow Angel
Originally uploaded by georgiegrrrrl
New photos are up!

This update brought to you by old Godzilla cartoons on YouTube.

Happy New Year!

We've got plenty of snow here, which meant that the whole family went out to play in the snow yesterday. Our landlords were awesome enough to let Gaz borrow a sled, so we pulled her around the back yard until we were ready to collapse. There were snow angels and many attempts at snow balls, and Gaz threw every piece of ice she found. I don't know what the ice throwing was about, but she especially likes that. There are pictures, but I haven't done anything with them yet. It was still snowing while we were out and the screen was always getting obscured by new flakes, so I just took a bunch. I'll sort through them today if Gaz cooperates. Now for the New Year's Day hodgepodge:

Mark: We're having Hoppin' John for dinner so we have good luck in the new year.
Gaz: I LOVE Hoppin' John!
Gaz takes a big bite of beans
Gaz: What Hoppin' John mean?

That was dinner. After dinner she was perpetual motion girl, due to a long nap that afternoon. We played with a squeaky bug pull toy that plays music:

"Everything falling down!
Bridge falling down!
Trees falling down!
My fair lady!!!" (Trying to sing "London Bridge")

"Berry chocka, berry chocka. . . That funny word!" (Trying to sing "Frere Jacques")

Last night we were reading "The Poky Little Puppy" she started reciting part of it--over and over and over again and then cackling "I did it! Hehehehehehehehe!". I was not allowed to finish the story, and then she went looking for dragons in the bedroom.

I fell asleep last night while getting yon Gaz to sleep, so I have forgotten the other wacky hijinks I was going to blog about, but I'm sure they were picturesque and memorable. May all your wacky hijinks be picturesque and memorable this new year!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

"Everything falling down!
Bridge falling down!
Trees falling down!
My fair lady!!!" (Trying to sing "London Bridge")

"Berry chocka, berry chocka. . . That funny word!" (Trying to sing "Frere Jacques")

Then tonight we were reading "The Poky Little Puppy" she started reciting part of it--over and over and over again. I was not allowed to finish the story. And now she's looking for dragons in the bedroom.