Thursday, March 31, 2011

Boo Boo Bunny to the Rescue!

Abby received an adorable Boo Boo Bunny (BBB) as a "welcome to the world" gift and we've finally been putting it to use.  She realizes when she falls she may have a boo boo and clearly shows us. We can tell the difference between a fake cry and a real cry and if a real cry ensues, we're quick with a cuddle, kiss, and trip to get BBB.

With a mess like this, how can one NOT get hurt?
Most recently she stepped on the knob of a puzzle piece.  I snagged her in a tight hug and asked if she needed the BBB.  She immediately stopped crying, begged to get down, and ran to the freezer.


Oh, yes, she knows exactly where it is. 



She always kisses the BBB before it kisses her. 
  

If you recall, she stepped on a puzzle piece....so why is the BBB kissing her knee?  Well, she had a fall while we were playing and it's the only Boo Boo she can actually see.  :-)  I kiss her knee at every diaper change when she points to it and says, "Boo Boo!"  She giggles so I know it no longer hurts her.  She even tries to grab her knee and kiss it herself. 


The lovely BBB

You'll notice the BBB has a slight tinge of pink over it's left eye...yes, that is traces of blood from her first real tumble.  One that sent her tooth in her lip.  Let's hope this Boo Boo Bunny holds up over the next, oh, twenty years.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dare to Think Spring

This weather is brutal.  It's cold, biting, depressing and down right ridiculous.  I'm a summer lover and really look forward to March because I'm certain spring is (should be) in the air.  The green comes back, being outside is the thing to do, and flowers begin to bloom.  This March?  Ridiculous. 

As Abby and I ran our Monday morning errands, a stop a Sam's Club had me exited to get home.  I found gorgeous gerbera daisies in hot pink that screamed spring and I HAD to have them.  Arranging them was quick and immediately brought a smile to my face.  In the midst of Old Man Winter's slow departure, this was a sweet reminder spring is just around the corner.  At least I hope so. 

 


Happy Spring!  What are the signs of Spring in your life?

Maine Maple Sunday

We traveled up to Sidney, Maine to visit the Bacon Family Farm for Maine Maple Sunday 2011.  Abby's first sugar shack field trip was cold, windy, and resulted in a long, long, long line.  We waited to move for about 10 minutes before I opted to sneak in the exit to purchase syrup.  The exit was clearly marked with "entrance the OTHER way" and I had Abby with me as an excuse to cut in line.  After a quick peek the hold up was the wait for the maple cotton candy.  Oh, how I really wanted one of those, but the the cold won and we paid for the syrup and maple whoopie pie.  At least I, err, Abby got the whoopie pie.  This particular farm had a few cows but no other animals to check out.  The sugar shack was beautiful inside and it was clear they've done some renovations recently. 

please don't take my whoopie





   
I said, "don't take my whoopie!"






We'll most likely go to a different farm next year, especially one that has animals, peacocks, and mini horses (Coopers Farm in Windham).  We happen to know one of the mini-owners who would probably give us a great tour!

We finished the day at Uncle Bob's 60th birthday party just down the road and had a lovely time with aunts, uncles, cousins and second cousins. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Feeding the Birds

We fill our days with as many things as we can to keep sane and busy.  'Cause you know, Abby is a doer like her momma.  If we don't go places we stay home and go stir crazy.  The weather is not helping the cause.  This week we went to the park to feed the birds.  With the chill in the air and birds squawking we made it all of 15 minutes.  Hopefully when the weather warms ups we'll actually be able to enjoy the process.

Throwing chunks of bread!

Mama, this is so not cool....

 What will next week bring???

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"Slow Down School Zone"

I have never been more excited to see that sign in my life.  For most of us it signals slow down, schools getting out, busses are going to slow you down, hahaha you got screwed it's going to take forever to get where you're going...Well, today, my blogging friends, it meant the end of my first 5K.

Abby's fun run

Yes, that's right a whole 3.1 miles of tortuous running.  Six weeks ago Tim and I signed up for the Race 2 the Point, a family friendly 5K that benefited the Blue Point School's PTA.   We had been wanting to get into race action for awhile and with a bathing-suit wearing vacation on the horizon, we thought this was a good place to start.    I had been running on the treadmill at the gym, even hit the pavement a couple of days it got above 40 degrees.  Race day was a balmy 34 degrees, windy, biting cold and hilly.   What the hell was I thinking?

Pre Race


Luckily, I had the support of some fabulous gal friends and Tim who were also running and of course Mimi and Abby were waiting not-so-patiently at the school (Abby wasn't all that excited to be there).

L-R Nolan, Annie, Me, Sarah, and Eli, sleeping (Where was Erin???) Post Race

Let me describe the race map for you:   Start. Climb a few hundred yards, down hill through mile 1.5.  Uphill through 3.0 miles. Down hill .1 mile.  Yup, uphill the last mile or so.  Luckily it was a gradual incline and not too crazy.  The worst part?  THERE WAS A HEAD WIND!  I can't make this up.  In my first official race, I'm climbing this monstrous hill the size of Kathadin, and the wind is pushing me backwards.  Whatever. 

Let's talk about the runners:  A few hundred peeps of all ages under 14-senior age, walkers, runners, avid athletes, beginners, they really ran the whole gamut.  It was actually perfect for my first race because I sure as heck didn't finish first, but I absolutely didn't finish last.  BTW, the winner of the under girls under 14 finished in 24 minutes and change.  Holy shnikes batman. 

Let's talk about the race:  The race was a down and back - which means at the halfway point, you turned around and ran the same way you came.  So, what this really means is that 1/4 of the way into the race the leader passed me going the opposite direction.  In fact, he lapped me three times.  He did two 5k's in the time it took me to do one.  Humbling.  At least I think it was him - the flashy orange sneakers were hard to miss.  I could have been delirious.  Tim gave me a high five on his return trip and my gal pals gave me a rousing "go- get 'em" as well.  Running in a race certainly has its advantages - you never get bored and there's always someone or something to cheer you on.  Kind of like that 'School Zone' Sign.  I knew I was close to finishing when that came into view.  The mental calculations of finishing very soon started to kick in and my stride picked up.  Passing a few runners and sprinting into the finish.

Man, was I ever glad to see that sign.  I will never, ever look at the blinking sign ever again in hostility or abhorrence.  To me, it's a true sign of accomplishment.

Post Race

Just about the cross the finish line!


All in all, it was a fantastic race.  Despite the hills and the cold, I felt good.  IT felt good.  Great vibes, water, pizza, bagels and snacks at the end, and a good workout.  Done by noon. 

My personal goal was to finish the race and to run the entire thing.  I did both and even beat the time I not-so-secretly had in my head of 36 minutes, crossing the line at 35:52.  A bit faster than a bottle of Heinz.  Tim also finished prior to his finish-by time of 30 minutes at 29:30.  With the hills and wind, I'd say this was a rousing success! 

I would absolutely do it again - only if it's at a school and they have the "Slow Down School Zone" signs.  No slowing down for me though,  I'll be sprinting!

***Special thanks goes out to Tim, MiMi, Abby, Sarah, Annie, and Erin for being my cheerleaders!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kitchen Disaster #1

As I'm sure there will be plenty more, this post is fittingly titled #1.  While I continue to be a SAHM, I have to be on my toes and plan activities to do with Abby.  And really reserve nap time for my own quiet time.  She's really good at helping with chores such as folding the clothes (unfolding while I fold), vacuuming (standing on top of the vacuum), tidying up her play area (dumps totes of toys after I fill them).  Oh the list goes on and on, but I digress.

After nap, I planned on making some fabulous banana muffins.  Now, this has been in the works for several days as I eyed three ripened bananas and refused Tim his morning fruit (don't worry, he had an apple) so I would have enough.

During nap, I got all the ingredients ready.  Measuring cups, bowls, preheated the oven and as Abby stirred I was excited to share the afternoon's project.  She got up quietly and lazily, eating a quick snack of grapes and water.  We got to work quickly and I snapped her into her booster so she wouldn't go anywhere.  'Cause she has a nasty habit of being the Tasmanian Devil sometimes....

I showed her the measuring cups along the way, she laughed at cracking the eggs, and giggled at the beaters.  All that's left is to stir it all together, right?  RIGHT?  That's it?  How hard can that be?

Because it was impossible to help stir from her current position, I unsnapped her from the booster and sat her on the bar with the bowl between her legs (first mistake).  While she sat there, I quickly place the other small bowl in the sink (second mistake). As I pivoted to my right, Abby pushed the bowl filled with yummy banana muffin goodness right off the counter.  The loud shattering of my bowl was crushing.  Not only was it my favorite mixing bowl, the much anticipated banana muffins were stolen from existence.  What a tease....

How the heck was I suppose to clean this up?  Abby's on the counter, shards of bowl everywhere, goopy batter on the floor.  Well, it went something like this.  ""AHHHHHH!!  Abby, stay in the living room! Abby, don't touch that! Abby, I'm sorry I made you cry! Abby, don't put that in your mouth!!! It's okay, sweetie, I'm not mad!  ABBY, don't touch that!"  You get the drift.....I snagged a paper bag, quickly put in the big pieces, swept as much as I could into the corner, used a spatula to pick up the batter, a wet towel to pick everything else up, and rinsed it in a bucket.  Because I certainly can't get shards of glass in the disposal, ya know? 

The banana muffins









After we cleaned up and settled down, Abby came over to be with one of her new felt bananas a friend made for her.  I think it may have been her way of apologizing for the mess.  I'll take it.

Honesty, the only thing that got me through this laughing was knowing I was going to blog about it and share our first kitchen disaster with all of you.  Please tell me yours so we can all laugh together!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Teaching Manners

What values we parents hold dear are usually those taught first to our children, right?  For me, it is important for Abby to be polite and respectful.  Saying please, thank you, Mr. or Mrs. Abby's-friends'-parents'-last-name (no matter if I cringe when a tot calls me Mrs. Proctor).

This past week we've been working on "please".  Of course her vocabulary is limited to a few words, but sign language has been very helpful.

The sign for "please" is made by placing your flat right hand over the center of your chest.  Move your hand in a clockwise motion (from the observer's point of view, use a circular motion towards your left, down, right, and back up) a few times.




Abby has caught on quickly!  She continues to screech and point when she wants something and as soon I ask her to say please she becomes giddy, signs 'please' and waits for what she is asking for.  Generally, we know what she needs.  Up in her high chair, up in her booster seat, a snack, to play in the rice (as she sits on top of the closed bucket), to read a book, etc.

Here she is today:

video

Notice the gate blocking the recyclables and how quickly she smiles when we ask her to say please?  So darn cute.  Her 'cookies' are the Girl Scout Trefoils (shortbreads) and she is only allowed one.  I suppose I could give her the whole sleeve to fatten her up, but then there wouldn't be any for me.  I've already told Tim he is not allowed to eat any more.  We only have five left - what the heck am I suppose to give her when they are gone?  She has gotten very good at saying, "cooooo-kie".  And the please just about kills me.  Go ahead, watch it again.  Adorable.  :-)

You know something catches on when you don't have to initiate it.  Most recently, Abby wanted to get up in her booster to sit at the breakfast bar.  She was in her usual screeching mode and pointing to the chair.   I looked at her, waited, and sure enough she signed, 'please'!  That's my girl!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Our New Church!

Well, it's not really new and we've been going since the beginning of the year AND we got married here.  In fact, the church has been around for a very long time.  We officially made our commitment to be active members of the First Congregational Church of the United Church of Christ in South Portland in worship this past Sunday.  It was a very nice service and we were fortunate enough to have Papa, Gwen and MiMi with us to celebrate.  After coming down with something on Saturday, I wasn't sure I was going to make it.  I pulled through and crashed Sunday afternoon. 






Abby fell fast asleep after a round of Irish verses sung by Gwen














We're really excited about this new venture!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Colors of the Rainbow

Abby and I have started drawing and practicing our colors.  Abby enjoys listening to me say the colors while she grabs any crayon from the jar.  She looks excitedly at me as if she choose the right one.  How can I possibly say no?

The first time we went through the colors she absolutely repeated "blue" and "purple" and she now will randomly say them.  She does have the uncanny habit of repeating a word perfectly and then it gets lost in la-la land.  Some words I thank God she won't repeat ever again (umm, that swear word I accidentally said) and others I know she'll start saying in no time.

And for the record, she can put "purple" to the right crayon!!


Which color did she want?

"Orange??"  Not quite, Abby!
"Purple! That's right!" She even knew it, the smarty pants.

Oh, and  her greasy hair?  Olive oil...she has a crazy spot of cradle cap.  Yes, really. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Children's Museum

Abby and I finally made our first trip to the Portland Children's Museum today.  We met our new friends from swim class who also treated us with free passes - thanks Ella and Promiss!  Being the first time we'd gone, we weren't sure what to expect, but boy was it fun!  The space was divided into lots of play areas like a grocery store, gas station, fire truck, vet office, farm, and our favorite, the toddler park.  Promiss and Abby had a blast running circles around each other and in and out of all the fun obstacles.  Both were exhausted when leaving (yes!).  Here are some fabulous pics!

curious




pensive



excited!


too sexy for you



I should have named this post "Abby's emotions in 90 minutes". For internet safety, I chose not to post pictures of Ella and Promiss, but I promise, they do exist! :-) 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

It's Sunday Funday!

With the fabulous Spring Forward time change, I wasn't sure how Abby was going to fare.  I suppose I was assuming she'd naturally wake up when she usually does. Huh.  Well, we were up and at 'em at 6am old time, 7am real time.  She's a smart cookie - already getting up "on time".

She's recovered nicely from the fevers and I think had some residual symptoms of a small rash and lots of green gunk coming from her nose.  These ickies prevented her from attending a beautiful baby shower for our Vermont friends who recently adopted a baby.  Fortunately, our friend Chris offered to hang out with Abby while Katie and I attended the gathering.  I completely and totally trusted Chris with our kiddo, even though he's never changed a diaper.  In fact, thinking about Abby's energy level, I was more worried for him.  :-)  They both survived.

Sunday Funday!

BUSTED!  Again....









She thinks she is so funny! Well, she is...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

They didn't lie

Our friends in Vermont were not exaggerating when they said they got three feet of snow. It's a little ridiculous. But, we're here! A little work for Tim, R&R for Abby and I, and meeting our new Vermont family addition, Alina! Thank goodness Abby is back to normal. She's proved her healthy self by running around with Honey and Hershey, the crazy puppies where we are staying. I'd post pictures of the snow, but it's just too depressing.

Monday, March 7, 2011

104.9

That was Abby's temperature at 9:15pm last night.  I don't think I've ever been really this scared for her. A runny nose?  Crappy, but she'll be fine.  A fall?  No bumps or bruises?  She's fine.  A tantrum?  She's totally fine. 

We had already called the doctor earlier in the day and the nurse went through the protocol questions.  No rash, not tugging at the ears, eating and drinking, etc. She said she's probably fighting something and may have a temperature up to 105 for the next couple of days.  Holy shnikes batman.....

I'd post a picture of the sickie, but she may not appreciate that later in life.  She definitely looks like she's sick. The upside is that she is super snuggly, cuddly and will sit for more than 10 minutes.  I'm anxious to get my Abby back and for now will spoil her with cuddles.  Rough, I know, but someone has to do it.

Happy Monday, blog friends!  Say a little prayer Abby gets well fast - we're hopefully traveling to Vermont this weekend for a very special event!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

We've Struck Gold!

Literally!  Tim is addicted to the TV show Alaskan Gold Rush and finding a bit of gold ourselves was rather entertaining.  We had an unexpected weekend home after weather canceled a trip to the Cape and we decided to tackle the house's list of things-to-do.  I stuck Tim on cleaning out the bathroom sink as its been draining slow since we've moved in.  Amongst all the gunk he found a gold chain necklace and gold ring!  Our find was a bit less labor intensive compared to the gold diggers on the show - thank God!  We're planning on selling/pawning it (Pawn Stars, anyone?) and running away with the money.  Or go out to dinner since it's restaurant week in Portland. 

We all look for the hidden money bags when we buy a house, so don't forget to look in the sink!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Be Not Afraid

As March begins and spring inches its way closer, the days are longer and the light is brighter. This year we vowed to seek a church family to become a part of.  Living in Cape Elizabeth, the closest First Congregational Church near us is actually the one we were married in.  So we went.  And we haven't stopped. Starting something new can be scary, but the seventy five minutes of peace, quiet, reflection, music, love, and acceptance are some of the best minutes of my week.

This church feels like home.  We were welcomed on the very first day and have enjoyed each and every one of the pastors' sermons.  I appreciate that a woman is the associate pastor, that EVERYONE (no matter race or sexual orientation)  is welcome to worship, that many young families are members, that the children are a major part of worship, and that every service I leave renewed.

What do we do with Abby you ask?  Well, the church does provide child care but since we're in the middle of nap time she's not a big fan. Abby spent a few weeks with us in the sanctuary, is generally quiet, but we still need to watch her. That past couple of weeks, MiMi has had the pleasure of Abby's presence.  Until Abby is on a one nap a day routine, she'll probably stay with MiMi.  I will enjoy the time when we can participate in the Children's Time and maybe even Joyful Noise - the children's choir.

I seem to get weepy on most Sundays.  I have no idea why - is the unconditional love of the words?  The music?  This past week was no exception when we began singing the hymn, "Be Not Afraid", a hymn sung at Tim's Mom's funeral.  I was extra weepy this week and even Tim needed to leave to get tissues. 

The message of worship was to not worry about tomorrow, just take care of today's concerns.  The pastor's way of words was captive, humorous, and reflective.  As I struggle with finding a new career and thinking about the future, the message was especially poignant.  Take it all one day at a time, enjoy Abby, and be not afraid, for God is with us.