Monday, January 31, 2011

Baby's first zoo visit!

I've been very down on Atlanta weather lately.  I mean, I didn't move across several states, away from family, away from friends, just to spend a week snowed in because someone decided that Georgia needed inches and inches of snow.  And granted, the inches of snow we received one time this winter is much more tolerable than the multiple cases of snow that my former addresses have experienced this winter, but I wanted NO snow.  No snow at all.

Enter my surprise weekend of 70 degree and sunny weather.  This weather?  This is more like it, people!

We celebrated by taking Brigid to the zoo for the first time.  And by shelling out the big bucks for the annual zoo pass, which includes free guest passes that my parents will be expected to use when they stop in for their day or two lay-over in Atlanta during spring break.  See, mom and dad?  I can too plan exciting events for your visits!!

In a nutshell?  Brigid laughed at the flamingos, stared down the orangutans, and fell in love with a potbelly pig.  And I avoided the petting zoo like the plague (which it basically is!!!), so as to avoid being the crazy woman spraying hand sanitizer on the animals before Brigid touched them.  Instead, I chose to wait right outside the gate of the pen, with a Wet One at the ready.

I mean, can only expect me to fight the crazy for so long!

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Next Jillian Michaels

So, Brigid may be young, but I'm starting to think that the child has a lot to offer those of us who might be looking to transition to a healthier lifestyle.  I know I'd do well to take some of her advice...

Always eat your vegetables.
The grilled ham and cheese I made her for lunch?  Well, it was tolerated because she was hungry.  The green beans I added as a side?  Holy cats.  You'd think those green beans were made of chocolate or something.  My kid, she loves her fruits and vegetables.  I have absolutely NO idea where she got that.

Stop eating when you're full.
Of course, I wouldn't recommend Brigid's indication of fullness in everyday life, as it basically consists of opening her mouth and letting whatever food may still be in there just fall out, but the general concept is a good one.

Never stop moving.
Well, she is a toddler, so I guess that one is pretty self explanatory.  My favorite, though, is the Brigid dance party that we have every so often.  It involves going to the basement, turning on the stereo, and spinning in circles until we can't walk in a straight line anymore.  Good times.

Get outside, whenever possible.
Oy.  The kid, she likes her outside time.  Try explaining to a 16-month old why she can't go outside when it's 35 and raining.  And if you've managed to do it, I'd love to hear how you managed to make it work. 

Get plenty of rest.
When you're constantly moving, I guess naptime just can't come soon enough.

I don't know about you, but I think we may be on to something here!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Academic Decisions

Steve and I have this friend. She's a preschool teacher who works with special needs children, so she is all up on her child development knowledge. She's also a Jets fan. Which has nothing at all to do with this story, other than the fact that Steve went to watch the Jets-Patriots game with her and her husband a couple of weeks ago, and apparently, over the course of the game, they got to talking about preschools for Brigid. And apparently, Steve and I are waaaay behind in the preschool planning curve.

According to her, we should already have a place picked out. Even though we're not sending Brigid to preschool until she's at least three. And I haven't even exactly agreed to that, yet (because, you know, I have a problem with the whole 'growing up' thing and all...). It seems that we are setting our child up for a lifetime of struggles in the academic world. Starting with preschool.

Anyway, this got Steve to thinking, as he is prone to do when he starts to get bored during the day and is desperate for something to Google. And he started looking into Catholic preschools in our area. And he sent me a price list for one of the prep schools close by. And, based on 2010-2011 tuition fees, we're looking at (at least) $250K for Brigid's schooling, preschool (at two years old) through graduation.



Sorry, kid. That is so not happening.

Guess you'll just have to get by on your looks, instead.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Just a few thoughts...

Hmmmm. I haven't dropped a bunch of bullet points on you lately, have I?

Have you missed them?


Too bad.

- My younger sister got engaged last week! I'm so excited for her! Also, I'm more motivated than ever to lose a little of my extra weight now, because she will be getting married on a beach somewhere, and beach dresses do not hide quite as many problem spots as church dresses. These are the things I think about, people.

- My youngest sister is seventeen today. SEVENTEEN!!!! What the hell, Mary? Would you stop with all of this growing up already? You're making me feel beyond old. Anyway, happy birthday to my favorite sister, ever. Just don't tell Jess, ok?

Side note: Brigid, you could do worse than using Auntie Mary as a model of behavior. Skip over the parts where we couldn't go out to eat when she was younger because she'd get nauseous at the sight/smell of restaurant food, and focus instead on how laid back she is. Once, when we went to visit Auntie Jess in college, we all went to a wine tasting, and Mary just hung out at the table, drinking juice, eating chocolate, and playing Sudoku. I'm going to be expecting that kind of patience from you, too, ok?

- Speaking of Brigid...we seemed to have misplaced one of her bedtime books. I know, right? What kind of parents are we?!?!? Anyway, in a pinch, I had to replace it with Brown Bear, Brown Bear earlier this week, and wouldn't you know? She loved it! So, last night, while Steve was getting her bath ready, Brigid brought the book over to where I was sitting in the rocking chair, made me turn on her table lamp (the one that we use for reading right before bed, after we've turned off the overhead light, even though, at this point, the overhead light was still on. isn't it amazing what becomes associated with what in their minds?), and backed her little butt up to me so I knew she wanted me to pick her up and put her on my lap. Which I did, because she doesn't offer that up very often, and I was not about to miss the opportunity. And we read until bath time. And there is absolutely nothing all that remarkable about that story, but it was just so sweet, and she was so excited to read the book, and she was so focused while I was reading. And I'd like to think that this is a moment I'll remember someday down the road. So, I'm making sure I'll remember.

- It has been cold and rainy and generally nasty in Atlanta the last few days. And my mood has seemingly changed to match the weather, which I don't like at all. So, this morning? I put Jimmy Buffett on the radio, turned the meditation app on my iPhone to ocean sounds, cranked up the heat, and pretended I was on the beach while on my way to work. And it actually worked surprisingly well. I was in a much better mood than I expected by the time I got to the office. Although, I'm pretty sure that my passive aggressive attempts at annoying the driver who had cut me off earlier by getting back around him and matching the speed of the person in the lane next to me, so he was stuck behind both of us may have helped things a little.*

Hey, I'll take what I can get this week.

* Hey, mom?  I didn't do anything dangerous, don't worry. I didn't even mean to get back in front of him, because, let's be honest, nobody likes driving around that guy, so I was perfectly happy to let him go on his merry way. And I didn't even realize that we were 'holding him back' until I saw him switch lanes behind me 8 times, trying to figure out which lane was the best bet to get him out in front. On surface streets. With stop lights. Where he wasn't going to be getting anywhere that much faster than the rest of us, anyway. Once I realized how impatient he was, I took the first opportunity to let him by. And then I proceeded to pull into our parking garage right behind him. Which made me laugh. Way to make time there, buddy...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Let's get this show on the road...

Somebody was in something of a hurry to get to her doctor's appointment last week...

Let's just say, she wasn't quite as happy when she realized what exactly she was in for!

T-shirt & Jeans: Gymboree
Sweater & Hat: Old Navy
Shoes: Baby Gap

Monday, January 24, 2011

What a laugh!

Oh, that girl....she is such a little jokester.

There is this little wooden chair in her room. She sat on the arm of the chair, once, and her dad laughed at her. Now she does it every time we go into her room, just to get a reaction out of us.  To change it up a little, she'll sometimes put a stuffed animal into the chair and sit on top of it, with a wicked little smile on her face, like she knows she's doing something goofy.

There is a certain book that she loves to read before bedtime, and there is one page in particular that has always made me laugh. She has taken to opening the book to that page, looking at me with a little shriek, and giggling like a fool.

Have you seen the AT&T commercial with the four people riding in the car? The guy with AT&T downloads a joke quicker than the other three, then does that wheezy laugh while the other three people are still waiting for their service to complete the download? Brigid can do that laugh. And she does it, every time she thinks she's being funny. Which is all of the time, really.

When I tell her not to touch something? She'll hold her finger a mere centimeter away from whatever object I told her not to touch, and smile sweetly at me until I start to laugh at her.

Surest way to get her to smile? Tell her not to smile.

I am so happy she inherited my sense of humor!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fifteen Month Check-Up

I am absolutely sitting the eighteen month appointment out, because, after this morning, I think I've earned it.

That kid, she is not a fan of this whole doctor thing, at all. She was fine when I got her up this morning. She was fine in the car on the way to the office. She was fine in the waiting room at the office. The minute we hit the exam room?


My poor, sweet, independent child clung to me like I was the only thing standing between her and absolute destruction. The nurse looked at her? Tears. The nurse tried to take her temperature? Screaming. The nurse tried to measure her head? Body flailing.

And it didn't stop for almost an hour.

Even when we were in the room alone, between visits from the nurse and doctor, she would calm down for a few minutes (while doing that heartbreaking hiccup-breathing that always follows a crying fit), before dissolving into tears again for absolutely no reason that I could see.

When the nurse finally came back at the end to give Brigid her shots, I prepared myself for the next level. I held her down, tried to tell her it would be ok, and waited for the screaming to reach the 'I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I HATE YOU I CAN'T BREATHE' point...

...but it never happened!

Of course, she cried through the shots, but she wasn't crying any harder than she had when the doctor was listening to her heart. And as soon as the nurse put the band-aids on her chubby little thighs? Brigid was over the entire experience. I picked her up to put her jeans back on her? She started laughing. Apparently, the anticipation of what was coming was so bad that she worked herself into a frenzy, only to decide at the end that, wasn't so bad.


Anyway, Brigid weighed in at 24lbs 6oz (75th percentile) and was 30 1/2 inches long (50th-60th percentile). Head circumference was 47 1/4 cm (80th percentile). And the doctor said to give it another couple of months on the talking, because her understanding of everything seems fine, she's just not verbalizing anything yet. Which is exactly what all of you told me yesterday (thank you, thank you, thank you for the kind comments/emails!!!). And it's exactly what I've been telling myself. So I'll hold my freak-out in check until our next scheduled visit.

Honestly...I can't imagine where Brigid would be getting the drama trait from...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Just one more thing to make me nuts...

According to most child development websites (or whatever you'd call the sites that Google pulls up when you search 'what age do kids start talking?'), most babies start using actual words between 14-16 months. Meaning, right now, at 15 months and a couple of weeks, Brigid should have a word or two that Steve and I can recognize. But she doesn't.

Ordinarily, this wouldn't bother me, because with every milestone so far, I've pretty much figured she'd get to it when she got to it. And she has. But, when I took her in for her 12-month check-up, the pediatrician asked me if she was trying to repeat any words that she heard, and when I said no, she kind of glossed over it and moved on. And because I am paranoid, I took that to mean we were missing out on something already.

And now, I have her 15-month check-up scheduled for Friday, and I can already see the paperwork I have to fill out asking me to write down any words that Brigid can say, and I can see the pediatrician asking me if she's talking at all, and I can see her looking at me when I say no.

And I can see myself getting flustered and trying to explain how, I swear, one time she said 'nose'! When pointing at her nose! And I think sometimes she says 'stuck' when pulling on the faucet in the bathtub, because that's what I said to show her that it doesn't come off. And she definitely makes something along the lines of a 'vroom vroom' noise when playing with her toy car. That totally counts, right?!?!?

And since we're closing in on the 16-month mark, which is the age that Google says a pediatrician will request additional testing if your child isn't talking yet, I can see ourselves adding developmental doctors to the list of physicians we are familiar with in the Atlanta area. And I really, really, really don't want to have to do that.

In all reality, I don't think there is anything wrong with Brigid. I think she has her own way of getting her point across, and it's worked for her so far, and she just doesn't have any need for words right now. And our pediatrician is not really an alarmist when it comes to developmental milestones. But still...Google starts throwing around words that you don't want to see, and it's hard not to get worked up when you think your child might be falling behind. Already. At just over a year old.

That sound you hear? That's me banging my head against the wall, while telling myself to get over it already. I blame Google. And I blame myself for Googling, when I know I shouldn’t. It makes me ridiculous, even when I know I’m being ridiculous.

Like this parenting stuff wasn't already stressful enough...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

200th Post!

You know, 200 seems like kind of a big number, like I should have something super special to write about how wonderful Brigid is, how fantastic Steve is, how beautiful our life is all together.

Instead, I took the dogs out for a long (for me) run last night, because they have been driving us insane with the their barking insistence on, like, exercise and attention and other such nonsense, and now my hip hurts (because I am apparently old and whatnot), and so I have nothing for you. Besides the hip whining, of course.

I mean, Brigid has at least two new teeth that just came in, and there may actually be as many as three or four new ones in there, but we're terrified to stick our fingers in her mouth. Because, let's be honest, no matter how many teeth she actually has, they are sharp little suckers, and we are not dumb. And, we've been fighting the battle of the never-ending diaper rash, but I'm not entirely sure that's news worthy or anything. And, apparently, we're raising the world's tiniest neat freak, as she can't handle anything being on the floor that shouldn't be on the floor, and I've even seen her pick up my dirty laundry and put it in the hamper (along with my slippers, but I'm not about to start nitpicking on the help...), so there's that.

As for the rest of us? Well, I've spent my time trying to read more than the occasional US Weekly issue and coming up with as many excuses as possible to avoid exercise, despite my best intentions. And Steve has decided he'd like to quit his job and become a picker (or maybe a pawn shop owner), because somebody has spent a little too much time watching the History Channel.

And really, where's the exciting post in that?

So, anyway, happy 200th to me! And, yeah...maybe I'll try harder tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Fashion Show!

This outfit was a Christmas present from our favorite Auntie Jess...and it was too cute not to use for a toddler photo shoot.

I'm not even going to share with you what exactly Brigid was doing under the table, because, believe me, you don't want to know. Let's just say, you'd be shocked at what that kid can make look cute...

I'm posting this as part of a link-up to Kimberly's Trendy Tots Tuesday, because who doesn't like adorable kids in adorable outfits?  Thanks, Kimberly!

Also, ordinarily, if I was posting on my own outfit, I'd do a quick rundown of what I was wearing, and where it was from.  Since this was a gift?  No idea.  I think the skirt and sweater were from Target, though.  And she's not wearing any shoes, because that kid never wears shoes if she can help it.  Or socks, for that matter.  She likes to let those piggies run free.  She's like her dad in that way...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Ol' Blue Eyes

I absolutely love, love, love this kid.

And I have to admit, the lady at the airport years ago?  The one who randomly looked at Steve and I, and said "Honey, no offense, but when you two have kids, I hope that kid gets his eyes.'?

Yeah, she may have had a point...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

And the confinement is over...

The plan?  The plan is to head back to work today.  I think it's safe to say that some of us are more in favor of this plan than others...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


I was thinking about writing an entire post consisting of nothing but  

redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrumredrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum redrum

a la The Shining, because I have been iced into my house since Sunday night.  But I thought that something along those lines might frighten people, even if it does accurately depict my current mental state.  I thought it might be a little more honesty than people are currently looking for from me.  

So I refrained.

And besides, I know it's not a good mental health practice to focus on the negatives in life.  Instead, I am going to accentuate the positives.  Which are, as follows:

1) I have been home to get Brigid up every morning for almost a week.  That's a nice change from the month before, when there were times I went a couple of days without seeing her at all.

2) I've spent quality time working from home, across the kitchen table from my dear husband, who was out of town on business last week.

3) My in-laws came down before the storm started, so my mother-in-law would be available to watch Brigid if Steve and I had to go to work, and she's been on hand to handle the bulk of the baby duties, while Steve and I have been working at the aforementioned kitchen table.

4) Because our office has been closed due to the weather, even the working from home has been slower than normal.  This has left me with plenty of time to accomplish things around the house, with the help of my mother-in-law.  As a result?  The basement playroom is clean and the great toy migration of 2011 has begun.  We are now only one large rug away from being finished, and Brigid will be forever banished to the basement.  I can't wait for my family room to look a little less like a disorganized daycare.

5) We never lost power, we had plenty of food, and we didn't run out of coffee.  

6) I am sufficiently up-to-date on my various PBS shows, including Sesame Street and Curious George.
7) The sun is out, the roads are warming up, and for the love of all that is good, I WILL GET OUT OF THIS HOUSE TOMORROW!  

And that, my friends, is something to be very, very thankful for.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Day!

I feel like I've devoted many more posts to snow this winter than I'd ever expected to, what with living in Georgia and all.  Furthermore, I know I've devoted many more posts to snow this winter than I'd ever wanted to, since I moved south to get away from it all.

And yet, here I am.  Again.

And I'm tired of talking about the damn snow.  So instead, I'm actively mailing this one in today.

Look!  Cute toddler!

And there's a cute toddler with her dad!

And a cute toddler with her mom!

And a cute toddler in the worst excuse for a sled I've ever seen!

And some other pictures from inside, because it was just too cold to spend that much time outside!

Snow sucks, but Brigid is awesome.  Long live the snow day!

Monday, January 10, 2011

I don't care how 'pretty' it is...

This stuff?

This stuff needs to stop, right now.

This, after all, is Atlanta.  Not New York.  Not Boston.  ATLANTA!

And this?

This apparently isn't supposed to stop any time soon.  And in case I haven't mentioned this before, THIS IS HAPPENING IN ATLANTA!!!

I'm sure we'll have ourselves all dug out by July.  See you then...

Friday, January 7, 2011

My heart, it melts...

I want Brigid to love to read as much as I did when I was a kid (and still do, when I can find the time).  I do not want her to follow in her father's footsteps and refuse to do anything more than listen to a book on tape until the age of 30.

So, we're trying to incorporate a new aspect into her bedtime routine, and while it's not going as well as I would like, I do think we're making some progress.

I love my family.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Month That Was - December

December. So that was a month, huh? Let me tell you what I learned this month...

I learned that I am beyond old.

I learned that my kid is a little bit of a brat, but that there is officially a way to bribe her to do things she doesn't necessarily want to do.

I learned that Brigid loves Gingerbread. And Bumble. And Christmas cookies. And snow. So basically, I learned that, with the exception of the snow thing, Brigid is most definitely my kid.

I learned that I am very much over the nanny search. And that the nanny search may be very much over! (Ok, technically I learned that one today when we found out that Steve will be on my four day office schedule now, but that he will have Mondays off instead of Fridays, negating the need for the once a week nanny. But still...yay!)

I learned that when in doubt, take the darn stroller with you when you plan to shop for longer than fifteen minutes at a time. And even then, it's sometimes better to err on the side of caution.

I learned that white Christmases will follow me wherever I go, whether I want them or not. Snow. Twice. In December. In Georgia. I am moving to Miami.

I learned that Christmas is still my favorite holiday, and that it's only going to get better with Brigid around to celebrate it with us. Because kids? At Christmas? Awesome.

And Brigid? Well, Brigid learned to raise her voice to the dogs and push them off of the ottoman when she wants to put her toys there.

It's nice to know I'm teaching her the important things in life.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Breaking of the Bottle

Ok, I know that this was supposed to be done months ago. When we went in for Brigid's twelve-month check-up, the pediatrician asked if Brigid was drinking out of a sippy cup, then recommended that we do away with the bottle entirely, while also transitioning the kid from formula to whole milk. And I tried to heed her advice. Really, I did.

Well, sort of.

I mean, Brigid was not a big fan of the whole milk, at first. And I didn't want to traumatize her by taking away her beloved formula and her beloved bottles, all at the same time.  Come on...that's just cruel. So, I started with whole milk in the bottles. Four a day, six ounces at a time. Once we had her on board with the real milk, I started taking away the bottles, replacing them with sippy cups. First, the 4 o'clock bottle went away. Then, after a few days, the noon bottle was gone. After a few more days, the morning bottle disappeared. Finally, all we were left with was the bedtime bottle.

Now, let me just say that Brigid handled this whole thing like a champ. I'm not even sure she noticed there was a change. She'd sit on the couch, sippy cup in hand, Sesame Street on tv, and drink just as much milk before breakfast as she was drinking when we had her on the bottle. In fact, she may have even liked it better. She could sit up, run around, and still have her milk on hand. It was a win-win!

But the bedtime bottle. Well, that was just a different matter entirely, right? I mean, it was the BEDTIME BOTTLE! She got so excited when she saw it coming! It calmed her down! It made her sleepy! I couldn't deprive her of the bedtime bottle!

So we decided to stick with it a little longer. Just so we could get through the holidays, of course. She'd be hanging out in strange places. She'd be sleeping in strange beds. She'd need her bottle.

And, if I'm being completely honest, I was terrified of disrupting the bedtime routine. For one thing, she was sleeping so well, and I didn't want to do anything to change that. For another, she was sleeping a little too well, if that's possible...the kid did not want to be cuddled at night. The only time I could keep her in my arms was while she was on the bottle. After the bottle was gone, she wanted to be put into her crib and left alone (well, most nights, anyway...). The bottle time was our time.

But this past weekend, with the holidays over, and an extended stretch of Brigid-in-her-own-bed time ahead of us, I knew she was ready. So I prepared myself for the worst and set out to put one more milestone behind us. I expected screaming. I expected tears. I expected crazy toddler tantrums.

I totally should have known better.

She was FINE! In fact, she was BETTER than fine. She actually let me hold her, with her head on my chest so I could smell her clean baby hair, while I rocked her and sang her lullabies. And after I made it through the nightly round of lullabies that I normally sing to her during bottle time, I got up, put her in her crib, and she rolled right over and went to sleep.

It was a little anti-climactic, actually.

This kid. She continues to amaze me with how (and I am terrified to say this, knowing it will all come crashing down on me) easy she's been to raise so far. Yes, she's starting to get attitude. Yes, she's starting to test her boundaries. But most of the time, she is just so laid-back, so easy-going, that I just can't get over it. And I pray every day that she stays that way. Because I don't know how I'd handle it if she didn't...

Note to any future children I might possibly have: There's a good chance that your sister is totally my favorite. I'm sorry, but there's absolutely no way you're living up to the standards she set. I still love you, though. Just maybe not as much...

(I KID, I KID! I will love them all the same, I'm sure...)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas Pictures! Finally!

I took the pictures of Brigid when we had our little family Christmas the weekend before we went to my in-laws' house for the actual holiday.  Steve was responsible for the actual holiday pictures while we were at his parents'.  I finally pulled them up today, and let me tell you...there were more (and better) pictures of the creepy turkey vulture buzzing around his parents' house on Christmas Eve than there were of my sweet little girl.

Way to document the milestones, there, honey.

Anyway, I will spare you the turkey vulture, and I'll just share these with you instead...

(And yes, we did use the same Christmas pajamas for every big Christmas event of the season.  A fact that I'm just realizing now, while uploading these pictures...)

Press the button...

 Watch him start to dance...

And hightail it the hell out of there when he starts to move towards you...
(Don't worry, Mickey has grown on her...there's no hiding anymore.) 

A new baby doll...thanks, dad!

Reading the Nativity story...and trying to teach her the meaning of Christmas right from the start.

Trying to take mommy's temperature...with the Bert thermometer.
(Seriously, Sesame Street has its name on EVERYTHING!) 

So there you have amazing kid, one amazing Christmas.  I hope your holidays were just as great!

Monday, January 3, 2011

What a goof

This kid.  Sometimes, that's all I can say about her. 

She is apparently going through this random, exorcist-sounding screaming phase right now because there was an excess of creepy yelling this weekend.  There is yelling when the dogs are bothering her.  There was yelling when she was in her crib and she didn't want to be anymore.  There was yelling when she wasn't happy with her lunchtime choices.

Actually, there was pretty much yelling for just about anything that she was not 100% on board with.  It was not pleasant.

But then, there's also this...

How do you not just absolutely love that?  Screaming and all...