Friday, November 23, 2007

Learning from the Master

This year, Katie and I thought it would be fun to have my mom teach us to make her famous pies. We had so much fun baking and playing around. I can't believe we actually got a pie baked with all the goofing off we did!

My mom is the greatest. She can cook, sew, and decorate circles around Martha Stewart. Her apple pies look like they came from the cover of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Speaking of pies, I want to share this funny story about my Nana and mom. We retell this story every time my mom bakes a pie, and it just gets funnier and funnier.

When I was in high school, my mom went back to work after being a stay-at-home mom my entire life. My nana was very displeased with her decision and, in true "Nana fashion" did not keep this feeling to herself. She thought my mother belonged in the kitchen with cookies ready for us when we got off the bus every day. My mom found a job she really wanted and went back to work, despite how Nana felt about it.

On the first Thanksgiving after going back to work, my mom asked my aunt to make the pies. (My mom figured she would be too busy to prepare the dinner AND make pies.) My aunt baked the pies, brought them to our house, and placed them on the counter.

Nana walked in and began investigating the spread my mother had prepared for dinner. Very loudly she said, "Debbie, things around here haven't been the same ever since you went back to work. Look, even your pies have gone downhill." My aunt was laughing hysterically, knowing Nana had NO IDEA that she (my aunt) had actually made the pies. Good thing she had a sense of Nana really is a character.

Monday, November 19, 2007

More names......

A while back I published a list of names that are MINE, MINE, and all MINE just in case I ever have another baby........really, just in case. I am amending the list to include the following names I have recently decided are the coolest boy names on the planet.

Griffin - when I told John I liked this name for a boy, he asked if we would name our other children Snape and Dumbledore. He is such a comedian.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Beauty and Brains!

Here is a picture I took yesterday of our little fashionista in the jeans I made for her. She was a hit at the library for story time. All the moms just had to know WHERE I got the adorable jeans. Maybe I should sell them on ebay! ha

Megan and I were in the computer room a few days ago and she was looking at her picture on my screen saver. For the first time ever... when I asked, "Where's Megan?" she pointed to the picture instead of pointing to herself! Wow! Then yesterday, I was taking pictures of her and she ran over to look at the image on the camera after I took the picture. It was as if she thought to herself, "I can do better than that!" She ran back over to the fireplace and gave me the cutest little grin and actually POSED for the picture. Then she immediately ran over to see it. Satisfied, I presume, she ran off to find something to climb. She has really learned a lot lately and has been coming up with new tricks every day.

It reminds me of a time about 6 months ago. Katie and Justin were at my parents' house showing off Colin's skills for everyone. They would say, "Colin, what does a cow say?" When he said "MOO" everyone rejoiced like he had just ridden a unicycle or something. John and I felt a little inadequate since, at the time, Megan just sat there silently eating with no tricks to show off. John quickly devised a clever plan to get Megan some accolades. He said, "Megan, what does a snail say?" .........insert long silent pause here ................ "Yea everyone, Megan knows what a snail says." My mom seemed confused and said, "John, a snail doesn't say anything," realizing what she was saying mid-sentence. Ha, ha, ha, ha..........our kid can do tricks too!

Only now she REALLY can do tricks! I thought I would list some of them for you. I'm probably going to miss a few, but here are the highlights............

Words She Can Say:

momma, dadda, dog, cat, duck, baba, TRACTOR (seriously), cookie, up, down, yes, no, help, ouch, ball, banana, mine, tickle

Completely Embarrassing but Hysterical Things She Does:

*Tries to run away from me in public and when I grab her, she yells "OUCH and HELP"

*Passes gas (LOUDLY) but only at the library; no one would ever guess a baby would make a sound like that so I'm sure I get the blame.....thanks Megan

Objects She Can Identify in Books:

firetruck, bus, tractor, wheels, cow, sheep, dog, cat, book, ball, slide, bug, caterpillar, butterfly, bubbles, flag, boy, girl, fork, spoon, cup

Physical Tricks She Can Do:

clap hands, snap fingers, tap toes

Can Point To Her:

head, belly button, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth, tongue, hair, elbow, toes, foot, fingers

Other Cool, Brilliant Stuff She Does:

*Plays mommy with her doll, wheels her around in a doll stroller, and feeds her a pretend bottle

*Kisses and hugs her stuffed animals (us too!)

*Twirls around in a circle when she is dancing; sometimes she gets dizzy and falls over

*Begins dancing and swaying whenever she hears music. One day when we were getting ice cream , a car drove by playing loud music and Megan started dancing right there on the sidewalk. A lady pointed and said, "Look at that baby dancing. How cute!"

*Calls tangerines "ball" and asks for one every time I open the refrigerator

*Follows verbal directions like "clean up your toys, put this in the garbage, put your shoes away" unless she is feeling particularly DEFIANT and refuses.........we're working on that

*Pretends to cook with her own pot and wooden spoon while Mommy is making dinner

*Can wash herself in the tub (we catch the places she misses)

*She opens up her books and act out the story without anyone reading it to her (In one of her books, the words say "I love your top side, I love your bottom side. I love your inside. I love your outside........" When she picks up this book, she starts patting herself on the head and then on the butt.........We have read it to her a million times and now she knows what the words say even if we are not reading it aloud. It is the cutest thing I've ever seen. There is even a part that says, "I love your giggles" and she says, "tickle, tickle, tickle." Beauty......and BRAINS!

*Climbed up on the couch dragging her blanket, book, and sippy cup. Once she had all three and herself on the couch, she pulled the blanket up over her legs and started reading like an adult. Cute!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Walk on the Wild Side

This morning as I was feeding Megan whole grain, organic oatmeal with flaxseed, I started wondering if I was depriving her of the really fun things in life. You know, the "fun with wild abandon" that I used to be famous for. Seriously, a few short years ago my life was literally an episode of Cops - complete with high speed car chases, drug busts, stake outs, etc. I used to call it "fighting crime and suppressing evil." It was fun - a crazy kind of fun that makes your heart pound and your mouth dry. It was the kind of fun only a true adrenaline junkie could ever understand. I was young - I was reckless- I was daring and brave. Now here I am watching Good Morning America in my jammies wondering if the tree bark I'm feeding Megan has too much sugar in it. WHOA! Wake up call needed here, and fast! There must be some kind of middle ground between the crime fighter I used to be and the scrapbooking, Weight Watcher member I've turned into.

Soooooo, after breakfast I threw Megan in the car (you know, the one with 108 airbags and the dynamic crash prevention system) and we went in search of some real fun.

We swung higher than ever before,

rode wild beasts,

....... kissed a few strangers,

played a few games of peek-a-boo

and, GASP, ate french fries and chicken nuggets for the first time!

While we were driving home from our "wild, girl's day out" I looked at Maggie Moo sleeping in the back seat. Yes, my life is very different now but I really wouldn't have it any other way. The "White Castle at 3 o'clock in the morning" me has been replaced by the "organic, whole grain oatmeal with flaxseed" me. I didn't plan just happened. I became a mom, and I love every minute of it.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

She Is My Practice Child

I finally took Megan to "playcare" last week for the very first time. (For those of you who do not know, playcare is daycare by the hour for stay-at-home moms. Basically, you fill out paperwork and pay a registration fee. After that, you can leave your child for short periods of time and you pay by the hour.)

Anyway, I've known about the place for many, many months but I have been too afraid to take Megan there. After several recent debacles at the grocery store, I finally decided to try it out. John has been working all kinds of crazy hours and I haven't been able to get my shopping done. Let me digress her for a moment and say I really needed groceries, and I can't stress that enough. I fed Megan from the trash can last week. Seriously, folks. I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast one day and only had one end of the bread left. I threw it in the trash thinking, "What could I do with only one hind end of bread??" Later in the day, I couldn't find a thing to feed Megan for lunch. I remembered the end of bread in the trash and.......oh my gosh, I fed my kid from the trash can!!! In my defense, it was still in the plastic bag and wasn't buried too deep. I really can't believe I'm telling you all this. I guess confession is good for the soul.

Anyway, getting back to my story........I really needed groceries. I bit the bullet, filled out the paperwork, and took Megan to playcare. I had a lump in my throat but felt very comforted by the wonderful and friendly staff. They asked me what I wanted them to do if she cried for me after I left. Did I want them to try to comfort her for 5, 10, 15 minutes or longer even and then call me? "OH NO", I said. "If she cries for me, call me right away. I'll turn around and come get her." I checked my ringer on my cell phone to make sure the volume was at maximum.....ok, I checked it about 4 times. Alright, alright, I checked it more than 4 times. Then we walked into her classroom. I thought I would have to stay and play with her for a while and sneak out once she was occupied. Boy, was I wrong! She walked in like she owned the place and didn't even look back. The teacher looked at me and said, "Wow, I guess you don't need to stay after all. She's o.k!" With tears in my eyes I thought, "Well, I'm not o.k!" I reviewed with the teacher my list of instructions a few more times. As I walked toward the door, I stopped and turned around. I thought, "She's just too little to leave her. They won't take care of her like I will. No one will ever take care of her as good as her momma does." Then I remembered how empty my pantry was, I forced myself to get a grip, and I turned around to head to the store. (I think I might have checked the volume on my phone one or two more times before leaving.)

After racing through the store I went back to get her. She was still playing fine and they said she didn't cry once while I was gone. Everything was going great until I grabbed her diaper bag from the top of the long counter in the classroom. Stuck to the magnet on the top flap of the bag was a sharp knife. I took the knife in my hand and showed it to the teacher. She told me it must have been up on the counter waiting to be washed and somehow got stuck to my bag.

WHAT?? WHAT?? You had a sharp knife laying on a counter in the room with MY BABY??? It could have been knocked off the counter. My baby could have reached up and grabbed it. The knife could have fallen off my bag if I hadn't noticed it. There were BABIES crawling around on the floor!! I could have not noticed the knife and brought it home with me. Megan could have found it and put it in her eyes or her mouth! Why in the world would a playcare have a knife that sharp in a classroom with BABIES?? To make a long story short (well, ok, shorter) I cancelled my appointment for the following day and expressed my disgust with their safety practices. I thought to myself, "I knew I should not have trusted other people with my precious, sweet Megan Kate. NEVER AGAIN!"

About two days later, John yells from the next room........."Hey Lisa. Have you seen the small, sharp knife??" My heart instantly sank and I realized that knife, THE KNIFE, was ours! It stuck to the diaper bag on MY OWN counter and I brought it in to playcare. I had been the one to endanger all the little babies at playcare. I had pointed my giant finger of blame at THEM, and they were speechless. (They were probably wondering where the heck the knife came from!)

Now the only question that remains.......should I ask them for our knife back?? ha, ha. Really, I try so hard to be the perfect mother. All I can say is that she is my PRACTICE CHILD. Maybe I'll get this mommy thing right with the next one.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Day at the Science Museum

This past Saturday, John and I took Megan to COSI. My sister Katie and her son Colin joined us. Megan and Colin enjoyed playing on the Bob the Builder exhibit and in the special discovery zone for kids. Megan even rescued a turtle! Seriously. We were observing a turtle climbing on a log when he fell off and rolled upside down. When he was struggling and couldn't roll over, Megan began squeeking and pointing. An employee came over and helped the turtle. Who knows how long that poor turtle would have been upside down if it hadn't been for our little heroine. ha, ha After the rescue, we got ambitious and took her to the exhibit on Mendelian Genetics. We tried to teach her about DNA and nucleotides but she wasn't interested at all!

Here Megan is learning about a vortex and the elliptical shape a penny makes as it moves toward the center. Actually, she is just watching as daddy throws away all his change.

Megan and the little turtle she saved!