Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Adorableness

Tired baby.
After our weekly lesson at Romp n' Roll the little one was tired and needed a nap. She had woken up early, then went to play, and she was tired.

She refused to lay in her crib without crying and telling me that she wasn't tired and daddy gave in. I got her out of the crib and brought her into the living room.

Where she promptly crawled into the box and fell asleep.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Today Is About ME, Daddy!

This is what happens when I tried to take a photo of Laura opening one of her presents on Christmas day. I thought Lois was down the hallway, about as far away as you can get in our house. Looks like I was very, very wrong both in that assumption and in trying to take a picture that didn't involve her.

BOO! (I feel like this is the scene right before she crawls out of the screen in some Korean horror film.)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Update - Her Favorite Present (For Now)

This is how she spent most of the day.
Christmas was a real hit.

I would post photos of present opening but they would be of me and Laura opening the presents while Lois wanders around the house, completely uninterested in whatever it was we were doing with the boxes and wrapping paper.

There are also pictures of her playing with the wrapping paper, as all young children (and big kids too - *ahem* LAURA) are wont to do but those aren't really that interesting either. Instead, let me show you her current favorite toy:
Even in the box she just kept playing with it all day. All. Day.
This is the Leapfrog "My Own LeapTop," which Lois hasn't stopped playing with since Christmas - excepting when she is sleeping or eating.

Grandpa and Grandma gifted her with this toy (along with a bunch of other stuff) and she absolutely loves it.

There's a keyboard and screen: If she types one of the letter buttons it will tell her what letter it is, what noise it makes, and an animal that starts with that letter*.

Shh. She's working!
There are other settings too but she hasn't quite figured out how to get those to work. She will, eventually, but right now we get to hear that "A is for Alligator" and "S is the first letter in Scout's name" and all the other letters. Over and over and over and over.

And over.

I love that it makes her happy, regardless of the fact that her mother and I are starting to hear it in our sleep. I love that she sits with it like we sit with our laptops, fingers poised to type. It's awesome.

It's a picture of the picture that I got made from a picture.
For now it's her favorite toy. Tomorrow her favorite toy will be something else. The next day something else. She sure did get a lot of Christmas presents from mommy, daddy, friends and family, so I doubt she'll run out of favorites any time soon!

And almost every single one makes noise. Lots and lots of noise.

How much are ear plugs?


*"Ox." Apparently the animal that starts with an "x" is "Ox."

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

But It's Not Even Christmas Yet!

Her favorite toy ever: Shipping paper.
It's five days until Christmas.

The living room is dominated a large tree with roughly seventy bajillion wrapped presents under it and the table we have put in front of it to block the little baby from unwrapping her presents and ours a few days early.

What's left of the living room is flooded by leftover shipping paper from Amazon. We would get rid of it but the both the cats and the baby find it to be the best thing since forever.

Operation Nobody Gets Into the House is a success.
The entryway into the house is dominated by boxes piled high, ready to go out to the truck and be brought down for recycling. In the meantime I'm trying to find out if the little one is afraid of the dark or of enclosed spaces by taking large boxes and throwing them over the top of her. Thus far I'm pretty sure she's not afraid of the dark or tight spaces but is starting to wonder what the hell is wrong with her daddy.

We'll get this stuff out of the house today, no problem, but it's crazy to think that it's not even Christmas yet and we're already overrun by boxes, crinkly paper, and new toys.

Lois, of course, is loving every minute of it. The piles of boxes are new things for her to climb (even if they fall over on her) and the shipping paper/wrapping paper from the presents we opened during Grammy and Poppy's visit are just the best things ever!

Seriously; she spent an hour the other day just walking on the crinkly paper.

I'm pretty sure we used to have a dining room table.
But honestly, I can't wait for Christmas, regardless of the mess the house will become. I'm sure the bright and sparkly wrapping paper will be everywhere and boxes will be piled even higher than they are now. Toys both new and old will dot the landscape of our house like small inter-continental ballistic missiles. Feet will be injured when we step on stray Lego or Mega Bloks. The mess will be absolutely epic, sure.

But the fun? That will be legendary.

Friday Picture Post!

It's our Merry Christmoose.
I'd like to start a new tradition for the blog of posting up pictures every Friday. I mean, I know I post pictures every other time I put up a new post but Friday would be mainly just for pictures.

Since most of the people I talk to say they only come here for the baby's cuteness, I don't think anyone will mind.

Here are a few pictures from this week. Enjoy!

She's a bit of a gamer, right up until she starts eating the controller.

She really loves the YBike.

The controller is a constant fight that she wins far too often!

Poppy and Grammy were here for a visit this week.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Present Presents Presently!

Both her and the Y-Bike are smiling!
Much as we had Second Thanksgiving so that we could have friends and family over for a large meal and good times, Grammy Pammy had Second Hanukkah and had us over for a great dinner and a bit of a present exchange.

One of the presents that Lois received was Pewi Ybike, a cool walking-toy that she can either push around (which helps her with her stability) or sit on and push herself around with her feet.

She loves it.

I'm waiting for her to use it to surf, honestly.
Right after I put it all together (which only took me an hour longer than the instructions say it should have, during which time I only swore five or twenty times) she started pulling it around the house. It wasn't until after I put her on it that she really started loving it, getting on it, scooting around for five or six feet, and then getting off to pull it for a while. Repeat ad infinity.

Sure, she's fallen off it a few times and cries for a second but when I ask her if the floor is okay she stops crying and immediately looks at the floor to check. She even patted it once where she landed on it.

Seriously, she's adorable like that.

I see a lot of parents at the baby gym who rush over when their child takes a (small) tumble, swooping in, picking them up, and hugging them close as they cry and I'm not saying they're doing it wrong but I don't know if I could do that every single time. Lois falls. She takes tumbles. She even goes boom sometimes.

And that's okay! I used to have a heart-attack when it happened, worried she had seriously hurt herself, even if the fall was just onto her own butt from a standing position. If I reacted to every fall as these parents do I'd shorten my OWN life!

Let's pretend she wasn't actively falling as I snapped this picture.
For now, I'll ask her if the floor that she landed on, the wall that she hit on her way down, and the myriad other things she bumps into are okay. If she doesn't check them and stop crying I'll know she needs a little more love.

Maybe it's the right thing to do, maybe it's not. Parenting is kind of a crap-shoot that way, isn't it? Maybe there's a better way to handle falls that I haven't heard of.

In the meantime, she'll be patting the floor better while daddy surreptitiously looks her over for any cuts, bruises, or bloody noses. No blood, no worries. Right?

Right?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

I Win.

Well, you can all give up. Yep, just give up. I win. There's no competition anymore and you're all just competing for second place.

Because parenting a child is a competition, right?

Here's the thing: My daughter, at 16 months old, led me to her room today, knocked on her door to let me know that's where she wanted to go; after I opened the door she walked over to her crib and knocked on that, looked up at me, stuck her thumb in her mouth and waited patiently.
Adorableness
I picked her up, put her down, and she promptly started her nap time.

My daughter put herself down for a nap.

I win.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Taking The Picture

Lois being adorable.
"Stay still, honey!" The outfit was too cute to not get a photo of it, if only she'd cooperate.

"Sweetie, 'stay still' doesn't mean come running at daddy. Now, move back into this position and stay right there, okay?" Everyone will love this shot once I can get it.

And she followed me back to where I was going to take the picture. Okay. This is going to be tough.

"Lois, listen closely: Just stand right here for the next five seconds and then you can come running to daddy. Sound good?" She's doing it! Come on, camera! Wait, no, stop charging the flash and just take the photo!

Damn it.

"You're right, little girl, that WAS more than five seconds. Good job standing still! Want to do it one more time? Just one more time for dad? No? Okay. That's fair." Rassin'-frassin' camera.

Half an hour of trying later:

"Okay honey, let's try this one more time." Well, she's blurry and washed out by the flash but she's smiling and you can see the whole outfit.

"Good photo! All done!"

Saturday, December 7, 2013

(Evil) Baby Genius

Merry Christmoose.
"No touch!" A cry heard often around our house as Lois goes to grab the Christmas tree, the lights, or the bulbs. It normally doesn't really help and she needs to be forcibly moved away from the tree but verbally backing it up is the best thing to do; maybe it'll get through to her.

Except.

Today she slipped between the impromptu barrier to get to the tree again. She looked at me and then back at the tree, grabbing an ornament from the bottom branches.

Little stinker and her mommy.
She looked back at the ornamental bulb and started yelling, "No! No touch! No eat! No!" She wagged her finger at it once or twice, and then went to grab another bulb, all-the-while yelling "No!"

What I'm not sure is whether that means she gets it, or that she thinks the Christmas tree and its bulbs are called "No."

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

'Tis The Season!

Now with 100% less Praying Mantises
Here you see our beautiful Christmas tree with the first officially wrapped present of the season! Our awesome Australian friend Julia (who, if she were closer, would probably kidnap our daughter or visit a whole lot and be called "Aunt Julia"*) picked out a gift from Lois' gift list and sent it our way with a sweet little note.

That sweet little note lets me know exactly what the decidedly noisy present will be when the little one opens it on the 25th.

Thank you, Aunt Julia. Thank you so much.** I'm sure she won't drive us nuts with the noise before New Year's Day. It'll probably take at least one or two more weeks.

Lois is a lucky little girl to have admirers, family, and friends who go out of their way to make sure that she has an awesome life. Parents too, for that matter.***


One thing she doesn't have? A father who knows how to wrap gifts:

I've got this. I've got this. I've got this.
Nailed it.
I would pay someone to professionally wrap all my presents but nobody would believe that I did it. This way any present I wrap has "personality." (Hopefully anyway because they sure don't have "looks!")

*Both. Probably both.
**Read that both sincerely AND sarcastically. I maintain that it can be both at once.
***I'm totally allowed to toot my own horn once every decade.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Father Failed

Socks? Those are an appetizer.
I made this blog thinking about all the times I was sure to screw up, all the mistakes I'd be sure to make. I've made quite a few, believe me, and I've shared more than one or two here and there.

And then yesterday I had to share something on Facebook before I shared it here because I needed to be comforted by other parents.

I needed comforting mostly because I was sure that I had just allowed my daughter to sneak herself into the bathroom, look around for a bit, and then sneak back out.
"I was brushing my teeth!"
She snuck back out into the living room, happily munching on the brush end of our toilet brush.

I had cleaned the toilet just the day before; I know what has been on that brush. To say I was grossed out would be understating it a bit.

I fought back the rising bile, quietly took the brush and put it back into the bathroom, which I made sure was closed behind me when I left it.

I washed out her mouth as best I could. No bleach or anything of course, but the thought occurred to me.
Taking her bow.
I shared this on Facebook, pleading with people there to make me feel like a better parent.

They succeeded.

Oh, how they succeeded.

It made me think about why I have this blog and here's the conclusion I came to:

I have this blog because I like sharing my experiences with the world. I also have it because I want new parents to see somewhere in black and white how badly other parents screw up.

I want them all to know: We all screw up. We screw up big and we screw up bad. We all do. Not a one of us parents without screwing up in a relatively big way now and then.

Other parents let me spell that out again:

You will screw up.

I will screw up again.

We all do it and we'll do it again and again and again.

So shall it be because so it is.

Take this as a comforting truth.

And then, when you screw up, tell me the story so that I can assure you I've done worse. You tell me your stories, I'll tell you mine.


"Wait. That brush was WHERE before I chewed on it?!"

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Giftmas!

FEET!    (This picture has nothing to do with anything.)

In case you were looking to spoil our child this Christmas and were wondering if we made a wish list for Lois:

Monday, November 25, 2013

Wee Little Sick One

Blergh.
The poor little girl is sick. At every sneeze he has snot coming out of her nose roughly the size of her entire face.

It's not a pretty sight, let me tell you.

She cried most of last night; waking when she couldn't breathe properly, crying for an hour or so until she found a position in which she could sleep, only to wake in another hour or so when the snot became too much to bare once again.

Her mother and I? Also sick.

The next picture is AFTER the sneeze. You're welcome.
Our household is not the happiest and healthiest of places today. Nobody slept well, nobody can breathe properly, and nobody knows how to make a sick baby happy since there are no medicines for someone her weight and nothing to be done.

The poor girl.

There's an interesting dichotomy that happens with the sick baby at night though:


"I'm not sic. I ken breeb jus fine, dabby."

Thought One: "She's crying. I should go soothe her so that she can go to sleep."

Thought Two: "She has stopped crying. What if it's because she can't breathe anymore?!"

If you give in to the fear from thought two you need to fully expect to wake the baby up and be thinking thought one all over again.

Ah, the vicious cycle starts again, as she just woke from her nap.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

See If You Can Spot The Moment

Somewhere between here...
 We went to Romp n' Roll today and Lois and I were the only ones there. She had free run of the place and I was glad for the opportunity to take my camera out and get a few pictures!*

Now personally I don't know how many times I could keep coming back to the same place with the same things, over and over again, playing with them with the enthusiasm of, well, of a one-year-old with new toys, but she loves it. We even went twice today!


...and here.
 At some point though, during this second trip, I may have done something that made me feel a bit like a bad dad. Take a moment, look at the pictures, and you tell me what it was I did.

Did you look?

Yeah. I may have been so busy snapping photos that I wasn't there to catch my daughter when she slipped and rolled down the blue tumbling wedge.

See, well, the thing is, um, oops? I swear I'm a good dad.

Okay, well, maybe I should have put down the camera, stepped up, and helped her down the wedge.
She was yelling "Whee!" at this point.

Granted, part of the issue was that instead of crawling down it like she normally does, or pushing herself down it backwards, she decided that she was going to just run flat-out as though it was flat land.

It didn't work very well.

Now obviously she's fine. No tears, and not even the quiver of a lip. She got back up and was running around the gym in seconds.



"Oooh, I'm telling mommy!"



I still shouldn't have laughed when it all happened, no matter how funny the flailing arms and flying feet were, which may have been my actual failure.

*I tend to avoid pulling out my camera when other children are there. It just gives off the wrong vibe and I've gotten some odd looks.

Caution: Adorableness Ahead

"I'm trying to watch TV, daddy."

"Cheesy eggs are good for my hair, daddy."

Sleepy time with daddy.

"I'm NOT TIRED, daddy!"

"Okay, I smiled pretty, now get me out of the baby prison, daddy!"

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I Swear That I Really Am A Good Dad

Let's ignore that she was crying and my reaction was to grab the camera.
Why is my daughter falling backward onto her butt, wrapped in a jacket, tears in her eyes?

Well, she couldn't remove her coat.

Her mommy said "Come here, honey, and I'll help you get that off."

Her daddy said "Come on, little girl. I'll help you take it off, just come over to me."

She cried more and kept waving her arm around ineffectually.

Of course I grabbed my camera, thinking of the fame of "Reasons My Son Is Crying." I snapped two pictures and on the third she threw herself backwards just as the flash was going off.

I swear, I'm a good dad. I swear I am.

I mean, it's hours and hours later and she's not still wearing the coat. Or crying. That has to count for something?

EDIT: Laura read this and summed it up, laughing. "I swear I'm a good dad; here's a picture of my crying daughter falling on her ass!"

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Must Read

I highly suggesting going here and reading a strip that made me cry happy tears because of how true it is. Don't come back until you've done that.

I started out laughing at the fact that parenthood changes the parent's sense of time because it's true. My day is not full of hours, it is full of "times." Nap, breakfast, lunch, dinner, Romp 'n Roll, play, story, snack, learning, bed. All a bunch of "times" that sometimes happen "on time" and sometimes not so much.

And the strip just gets better from there, even more true. Who would have thought that I would put "lettuce" into the "dangerous food" category? Or that some members of the household would have to mend their habits so that the toilet cover is never up, where a little someone might try to play with (or crawl into) the water?

I don't think there's a single thing I disagree with that he says in the comic.

If you didn't read it already like I told you to before you read this, first off you follow directions badly, but secondly GO READ THE COMIC.

Thank you.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Not Yet!

I decided to check on the little one when I heard her crying at the end of a too-short nap. I turned the corner into her room and there she was:

One leg dangling out of her crib, her arms levering her to go all the way over.

Now allow me to cry out the lament of all parents everywhere:

"She's too little!"

"It's too early!"



"I'M NOT READY!"


Monday, November 11, 2013

Lazy Baby!

She doesn't comb her own hair.
The other morning I made Lois a cheese omelette for breakfast. I cut it into small pieces, put her highchair in the doorway to the kitchen where I could see her/she could see me, and I went about my business of cleaning up the kitchen.

When I next turned to see how she was doing I noticed that she had heard eggs were good for her hair and had decided to smear some in hers.

She added the cheese for good measure.

*A fight I won on principle since she still has the socks ON.
After a midday bath and an argument on how to properly wear socks*, she lazed about a bit more, doing absolutely nothing to clean up the mess she had made on her high chair when she flipped her plate and smashed her cheese into the table.

That's okay though; she continued her job of being absolutely adorable. I have to admit that she's quite good at that job. It's almost like it comes naturally to her.



What? I'm comfortable, daddy.

Laura and I left later on, leaving the little one with grandma and grandpa who agreed to watch her for us overnight while we enjoyed a rare night out to ourselves. We were very grateful, especially when we were actually able to sleep all night, even sleeping in past 7 AM.

Grandma, grandpa, and Lois unfortunately, were not quite as lucky. Unfortunately Lois didn't go to sleep on time for grandma and grandpa, then woke up in the middle of the night for an hour or so and then even woke up earlier than normal.

Here she is, insisting she is not tired at all.
The poor girl was exhausted the next day from keeping grandma and grandpa awake all night!

It's amazing how off-kilter a day can be for a toddler who is off their sleep. I think that the next day was the grumpiest I have ever seen the little one and that's even including the days that she got shots at the doctor's office.

She's back into her schedule though; one night wasn't too bad and she went right back to her usual nap time today, as well as her usual bed time last night. 
Her and Rompy enjoying some quality TV.
She even let us sleep in a little bit as she caught up on the lack of sleep.

She's so cute though, even when she's in a bad mood. As she starts to throw a bit of a fit I begin singing the Alphabet Song and she immediately stops wailing, turning to watch me do the ASL signs for each letter, then dancing slightly side-to-side when I get to the ever-favorite "L, M, N, O, P."

Forgetting why she was upset she goes out and finds a new reason to get upset, then the process repeats itself but this time with "Old MacDonald" and her trying to sing the "E-I-E-I-O," which sounds vaguely like a hooting monkey, in the most adorable way possible.

Lois really is a good kid. I mean, my attempts to teach her to load the dishwasher properly have amounted to nothing so far, and her inability to operate the vacuum cleaner can be a bit frustrating but she does "cute" very well. I think it's a fair trade at this point. Later, though?

Later she'll have to learn how to dust. Because I hate dusting. That's why you have kids, right? To do the chores you hate?