Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Baby's First Ponytail

I don't care what you say, I think this is one of the cutest milestones, ever. So there.
(You'd never actually guess that underneath that sweet face and little blond head, she's planning the best way to somersault off of the couch and take down an entire rack of books with her, would you? And yet...I'd stake my fortune on her planning just exactly that at any moment of the day...)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Double Standards

I think it's only fair to note that my mother, she of the 'don't put anything on your walls' rule of my childhood (unless that wall was the inside of your closet door, or when I lucked into the room with the biggest closet after we moved right before I went into high school, the walls of the closet itself), bought two packs of princess decals for Brigid to, you know, PUT ON HER WALLS.

I'm starting to think that being a grandparent is just one long exercise in thinking up fun ways to pay your kid back for being such a turd as she was making her way through the obnoxiously grouchy and pain-in-the-butt-y teen years.

Well played, MOM. Well played...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I believe the word you're looking for is 'ornery'?

Yesterday, shortly after Steve and I got home from work, I went looking for Caitlin and found her elbow deep in toilet water, because if the bathroom door is open, Caitlin is drawn to the toilet like kids are always drawn to that one thing in any room that you want to keep them away from the most. And if the toilet seat is up? So much the better.

I have to physically pull her out of the dog's water bowl on a daily basis. If I turn my head for five seconds after I feed the dogs, I have to fish dog food out of her mouth, because she's decided to join them in a snack. If you happen to leave your phone lying around, she will find it, chew on it, then chuck it across the room, grinning like a fool. She will also look you directly in the eye, pull her pacifier out of her mouth, drop it on the ground of whatever public place we are at, then smile evilly at you.

You would think that it would be impossible for an adorable little one-year old to have an evil smile, but you would be wrong. I am not exaggerating in the least bit when I tell you that you can see exactly what she is thinking when she does something she knows she's not supposed to do, and what she is thinking is 'SUCK IT, MOM AND DAD. HA! I WIN.'

She directs that same look at me when she's fussing about something, and Steve picks her up to comfort her.

If you tell her not to do something, or make a move towards her to stop her from grabbing at something, or try to pick her up before she attempts to crawl face first down the stairs? She does it faster. She grabs it faster. She crawls faster.


If I didn't already drink, she would be the one to drive me to it, I think. As it is, my wishlist from here until she is 35 will consist of gift certificates to Wine World, ok? Please shop accordingly.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ponies for Everyone!

Once a week or so, Brigid informs me that it is, in fact, her night to put both herself and Caitlin to bed.

She always says it like she's expecting me to fight her on it, but I think she'd be absolutely shocked to find out just how much I wish that this was a possibility. Think of what I'd be able to do with those two hours of free time if she took over the bedtime process...

Maybe I wouldn't have two weeks of clean laundry, waiting to be folded (which I did, until I finally managed to get around to it last night, because I was tired of digging my undergarments out of the laundry basket...). Or, maybe I could vacuum, so it wouldn't look like my dogs rolled in the grass in the backyard, then brought enough of it in with them to coat the entire first floor with a heavy layer of dust (which they did, on both counts...). Maybe I could finally watch enough of my DVR'd television shows that the DVR would stop randomly deleting things before I got around to seeing them, due to a lack of space (damn that DVR...).

Or maybe I could just go to bed at a decent hour?

Instead, Brigid's offer is just a tease of what could be, or what is to come, when my children are a little more self-sufficient. In the meantime, I GUESS I can continue to rock my babies to sleep, and read them bedtime books, and cuddle with them for as long as they'll let me, and sniff their clean heads when they're looking the other way, since if one four-year old in particular were to catch me sniffing her hair, she'd roll her eyes at me and say, 'Mooooommy. You're too close!'

Not that I heard that from her last night when I was putting her to bed, or anything. I'm just guessing that's how it would go...

But on the nights when Brigid decides she's in charge of Caitlin? I get to see her help me dry the baby off, get her dressed, brush her hair.
And really, that's SO much better than clearing the DVR or living with dust-free floors, I think. Now, is it better than getting more sleep? Eh.

Maybe that's a tie...

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Because my mother-in-law's sweet, many-years-old golden retriever, Nikki, passed away in early November, she asked Santa for a new puppy for Christmas this year.

Everyone, meet Emma, the cutest Christmas present, ever:
Is there anything cuter than babies or puppies? Um, maybe only babies and puppies...TOGETHER!!
(Ok, FINE. She's not really a baby. I still maintain that this is the cutest thing in the world.)

If we didn't already have two full grown dogs at home, I'd totally get this kid a brand new puppy of her own.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Couch naps really ARE the best naps...

Brigid's sleep schedule has been incredibly off track since the holidays, meaning that most of our days end in a screaming match with her, wherein we try to convince the darling child standing in front of us, in the throes of the meltdown because we dared to suggest she might be tired, that she is, in fact, tired, and that's what happens to be driving the meltdown in the first place.

It's been...fun.

Ever since she's gone back to school, however, I've been hoping that the extra activity and structured schedule would smooth out some of the bedtime bumps we've been facing, but, uh...
...that doesn't seem to be the case? Because she just ends up asleep on the couch, two hours before her actual bedtime? Which does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to make the process of putting her to bed any easier?

It's no wonder, really, that the grey in my hair has increased by a thousand percent since that kid was born, I swear.

(Please note that Caitlin is doing her best to hug her sister in this picture, only after I'd told her she wasn't allowed to do her best to wake her sister up by pulling her hair thirty seconds earlier...)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Further proof I'll probably never really know what I'm doing...

Caitlin's sleep has been a little...let's say uneven...lately. She's never really been a sleep-straight-through-the-night baby, but, I don't know. I guess I thought she would have outgrown that by now. Unfortunately, the more I talk to people who have raised children, the more I realize she might not outgrow that until she's something like 15, but still. I dream of the days when I can sleep through the night without at least one shriek-fueled wake-up call to disturb me.

In the meantime, I try to comfort myself with the thought that babies do grow up, most of the time quicker than you actually want them to. And eventually, Caitlin will change her sleep habits. And until she does, at least I get to cuddle her while she falls asleep, which is something she would NEVER allow when she's fully awake, as she must be free during all waking hours to wander the house and destroy each and every thing she can get her hands on. And even when she does wake up at 2am, it's usually just because her pacifier has fallen out of the crib, and giving that back to her sends her immediately back to sleep.

But these last few weeks? Well. We've had PROBLEMS here in Georgia these last few weeks.

There has been screaming. And hours long middle-of-the-night comfort sessions. And just general unhappiness when it comes to the sleeping time. Lately, we've been trying to let her cry it out to a certain extent, checking on her when she starts to cry, returning her pacifier to the crib, then leaving her to fall back asleep on her own without ever taking her out of the crib. And it's been working. For the most part, anyway. But two nights ago? I got less than three hours of sleep, total, because she REFUSED to put herself back to sleep, and the angry screaming come from her room was reaching epic proportions, and I caved in getting her out of the crib to rock her back to sleep.

It turns out, she wasn't opposed to sleeping, she was just opposed to sleeping anywhere but on my lap, as I found out when she woke up again an hour after I'd gone back to bed, trying to act like she was up for the day. At 12:30 in the morning. I finally managed to get her back to sleep as we were closing in on 3am, and while my alarm goes off at 4:30 in the morning, Caitlin seemed to be sleeping just fine at that point.

Last night, she was inconsolable. Again. She fought bedtime with a fierceness that was bizarre, even for her. She wouldn't calm down, even when I was holding her. I could not get her to quit crying and squirming long enough to notice how tired she actually was. And then I remembered...

Right around the beginning of January, I'd noticed it looked like a molar was pushing through on the left side of Caitlin's gums. And it looked like there was a matching lump on the right side that would be a tooth soon, too. And maybe there were a couple coming in on the bottom, as well. And apparently I am incapable of putting two and two together, a week later.

Because when I stuck my finger in her mouth to check her gums, you would have thought I was pulling off her fingernails or something. She screamed until she couldn't breathe, throwing her head back and arching as far away from me as she could get. Of course she's pissed off. Of course she doesn't want to sleep. She has molars cutting through on both sides of her mouth. She is miserable. Poor baby.

A dose of Tylenol and twenty minutes later, the poor kid had quit screaming and was fast asleep in my arms.

Parenting is ridiculous.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Don't let the pictures fool you, because this doesn't happen very often...

I call this series A Study of Sleeping Babies...
These girls, man. They have my heart. Completely.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Thanks For Playing, 2013...

I had promised myself last year, after we faked a midnight countdown at 11pm, because Steve and I were the exhausted parents of a one-month old, and there was no way either one of us wanted to stay up until midnight, no matter how much Brigid wanted to do so herself, that I would make more of an effort to fully celebrate the end of 2013.

With my parents and sister in town, having a few more people at our house gave us a built-in excuse to buy champagne and noisemakers and sparkling cider. We made a ton of food and celebrated with fancy crackers/poppers/whatever you call those things you pull apart with a bang that have a toy and a crown and a cheesy joke inside of them. Brigid wore a tiara, because you should always welcome in the new year in something sparkly.
And then my family decided that if everyone else in the vicinity was going to set off fireworks and shotguns and who knows what else was making all of that racket at 12:30am on New Year's Day, they were going to shoot the bb gun into the ground off of the back porch. So they did.
(I mean, WHAT ELSE would you wear to an impromptu backyard shooting session, right? Rainboots, a nightgown, and a pink fluffy jacket. NAILED IT!)

Thursday, January 2, 2014


It's been almost a week since Christmas, and between my crazy end-of-the-year schedule at work, and the general insanity that is the holiday season, I never quite got around to documenting the day like I should.

BUT! Let it be known, the event did happen, and it was amazing. Brigid was just the absolute best part of the day (or days, I guess I should say, as we did Christmas Eve with Steve's parents and Christmas morning on our own, then Christmas with my parents right before New Year's Eve), running around, opening everyone's presents for them, and exclaiming how 'adowable' everything was that she opened for herself. She got everything on her list, plus a bunch of things that weren't, because, I don't know...Christmas shopping for the kid all throughout the year means you forget what you bought for her back in March, until you've already purchased the whole of the Toys R Us inventory in December. Or something like that.

Plus...grandparents. The kid gets some stuff from her grandparents.

Anyway, Brigid's by-far-greatest-gift-of-her-entire-life was a Flutterbye Fairy, which I had never even heard of until she picked it out of the Target catalog, but which she opened while shrieking 'Oh, I've been WAITING for one of these!', after she'd already called what the package was just by picking it up.

'I know what THIS is! I bet it's my FAIRY!'

Santa's elf needs to do a better job of camouflaging what's under the wrapping paper, obviously.

Not that I can fault Santa too much, though, because he really had to go out of his way to find this one for Brigid, since Steve and I waited until the last minute to finish our Christmas shopping and couldn't find it in any of the stores around us, ourselves. It seems, when it comes to Brigid's Christmas happiness, Santa's Amazon Prime membership comes in handy, along with his ability to pay a slight premium to whatever person bought up several of these fairies to resell to the general public. I think he'd think the premium was totally worth it, though, if he could hear Brigid tell people about how real her fairy is, because she can fly.

Caitlin, however, didn't get much out of Christmas beyond an appreciation for the deliciousness of Christmas wrapping paper, so I guess it's a good thing Brigid has enough excitement for both of them.

It was exhausting and messy and chaotic, and I can't stop talking about how I'm glad it's all over and ready I am to de-Christmas-fy the house, but if I'm being completely honest? I can't wait to start planning next year.