Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Covering February Birthdays

I thought I would close February out with a few birthday shout-outs.



First on my list is Melanie and Christi. We met at the University of Arkansas when we pledged Kappa Delta together way back when. We roomed together in the sorority house and enjoyed many ups and a few terrible downs. We are now thirty-somethings but can still act like 18 year-olds when we get together. I had to post some photos from the time period to commemorate the occassions. I had to post the ridiculous photo so I could preserve the memory that we were NOT as cool as we thought. I have no recollection as to what we were doing or why but our faces are priceless. Hope you both had happy birthdays. And, for the record, they are both older than me-Ha!


Next is my sister Deanna who celebrates her birthday on Groundhog's Day. For the record, she is older than me too.


And finally, my father celebrated his birthday too. Chloe hopes PaPaw had a happy birthday.


Friday, February 23, 2007

No Potato Peels


Note to self: do NOT put potato peels down the disposal!

While making dinner last week I discarded some potato peels down our kitchen disposal. It did occur to me at the time that maybe I shouldn’t put them down the sink. But, what the heck! Dinner was good but the flood in our basement wasn't nor was the water that ran back up the kitchen drain when the dishwasher ran. After a failed attempt at clearing the clog with Drain-o and another flooding of the basement, the professionals were called in.

It's been over a week now and the situation is just about resolved. I have never been so happy to be able to wash dishes. As you can see from the photo, Chloe certainly didn't mind that we couldn't cook or wash dishes as she enjoys her spaghetti and breadstick from Olive Garden to go.

We now have a hole in our basement wall and our kitchen has been re-plumbed. Was all of this caused by the potato peels? Not exactly. The peels were just the added touch to completely clog our drain and draw attention to the fact that our kitchen was plumbed incorrectly.

After presenting the large plumbing bill (that ended in the word "thousand") I got a nice lecture from our two plumbers along with a list of items you don't put down the disposal (peels, celery, coffee grinds, egg shells, carrot peels, apple peels, etc.). I was then treated to a description of the items they pulled from our drain - a massive amount of potato peels and hair. Hair!? I don't shed enough to clog a drain! After questioning the hair I was then told that there was "tons and tons of hair". Great, someone is shedding and now I have to go and buy a hair trap for our bathroom drains!

This news was all presented to me after I returned home from visiting my primary care physician. I got two shots, a pneumonia and tetanus, and two referrals for a dermatologist and an allergist and a diagnosis of carpel tunnel. I now have to add to the shopping list a wrist guard. Nerd alert!

After the plumbers cleaned up and cleared out (they get to return next week to sheetrock after the basement has dried out) Chloe ripped off her diaper and pulled up her pants sans underwear. She then peed all over herself and the rug. I discovered that Chloe wanted the diaper off because in 1 hour she had filled her diaper to the max. She apparently held it all day until we went to the doctor and I put her in a diaper (because I didn’t want to have to get up and leave during my physical to take her to pee). Her diaper weighed like 5 lbs. Overall she is doing well with the potty training. I think I have the problem. I’m not ready for her to leave diapers.

So now after these events I am thinking about my Chinese New Year horoscope. As an Ox on the Chinese zodiac I am supposed to have 8 bad months and 4 good months in the Year of the Pig. So, now I know that after this month I can decrease the bad months by one! Bring on the good months!!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Our Brilliant Child

I am happy to report that potty training is going well. Chloe is taking herself off to use the potty. Of course, she has an incentive, gummy bears. She likes to negotiate on how many gummy bears a pee-pee is worth. She usually starts out at 4 but always settles for 2.

She really is quite smart and brilliant, and I am not saying that just because I am her mother. She knows that if she goes potty that she will get gummy bears. So, today she is trying to maximize her gummy bears by not doing all her business at one time. She will go potty, get her gummy bears, eat them and then go back to the potty and repeat the process. So, we have been on the potty virtually all day. I realized that she is not completing her business on the potty but holding some back so that she will get more rewards in the end. Clever girl. So, I have had to change the rules and call her bluff. If there is not much in the potty then it is only 1 gummy bear. This change in the rules has allowed us some time off of the potty this afternoon.

I am hoping that Chloe will get better and better each day. I know she will, it just seems like a long process. Last night, Chloe told me that she wanted her diapers back because she didn't want to be a BIG girl anymore. But, so far so good. She is using the potty regularly (of course, a little too regularly in hopes of maximizing her gummy bear consumption).

On another note, I ran down to the basement this afternoon to check on something and left Chloe playing in the living room. When I came back upstairs, I found her with the dust pan and sweeper cleaning. She made a little mess with some rice earlier and I guess she felt compelled to clean it up. I certainly didn't. I have actually had people comment that I must be a neat freak because Chloe is one and she must have gotten it from me. NO she didn't. I just want to set it straight that I don't have my 2 year old cleaning up the house. This is something she enojys doing. I'm really shocked that she knows how since I am her mother.

Anyway, when I saw her sweeping I laughed because she would sweep and as she stood up she would dump all the contents of the dustbin out. I grabbed the camera and was lucky to capture her cleaning technique. I attempted to post the video but the file is just too large to download. I tried editing it in Adobe but the file came out even larger. I guess I have learned that I should use the video camera to record video and not my digital camera. The file is enormouse, too large for You Tube or Google Video to handle. Too bad because it was darling.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Gong Xi Fa Cai!


Gong Xi Fa Cai!, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Happy Chinese New Year--The Year of the Pig!!!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Snow-thrower Matt


Snow-thrower Matt, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Matt clearing off the sidewalks after our recent snowfall. We finally got to use the snow-thrower!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snow Day

Finally! It's here! SNOW!!!Matt and I got such a kick out of the 11 o'clock news last night. The news had all the reporters out on the streets reporting that everything was ok. Of course it was ok, it hadn't started snowing yet!!! They were trying their best to create a story that just wasn't there. They had reporters standing in the middle of NYC roads trying their best to slip and show that it could ice. They interviewed drivers in their cars who basically said the roads were ok. There was NO story. It was really pathetic and we had to laugh because when we lived in Dallas everyone joked and said that northerners must get a kick out of the behavior and news reports that occur during Dallas' rare snow and sleet. I can go on record as saying northerners (or at least those from the tri-state area) cannot make fun of anyone for being a spaz during a threatened snow. Be it Dallas or NYC, the reporting was the same.

Alas, the snow and sleet arrived, so the news finally has a story to report--there is precipatation on the roads to slip on. We woke this morning to find a dusting of snow with sleet falling. The sleet remained for most of the morning but the big, pillowy snowflakes started coming down in the afternoon. I managed to get one shot in early this morning. Since Chloe and I are on the recovery side of our viruses, I didn't want to take her out to play. Besides, we started full-force potty training today so I didn't want her to have an accident while we were playing in the snow. She enjoyed looking out the glass door and the windows. Chloe wasn't too eager to go outside as the noise of the snow throwers and crews salting and scraping the roads scared her.

Snow!


Snow!, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe checking out Daddy as he attemptd to warm up the car and de-ice it for our short journey to the train station.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Chloe and I have been snowed in for Valentine's Day. I guess it was lucky that all of our Valentine's Day parties were yesterday.

Chloe wore a cute little ensemble I put together. She looked so darling. I included a photo of her ensemble below.

In the morning we went to Mommy & Me. Our school photos were before class and some of the moms misunderstood the time and missed the group photo. We decided to take another group photo when we all arrived to class. We had a Valentine's Day party in class and Chloe's cute outfit got covered in pink icing from the cupcakes. The kids all exchanged Valentine's cards and there was much excitement over candy.

We were home long enough to eat lunch and clean up Chloe's outfit before we headed out to pre-school. It was "Red Day" at pre-school and I was the co-oping mom for the class. We had more cupcakes and played games. The kids were so cute when we played pin the nose on Mrs. Valentine. I grabbed the camera to take some shots.

Chloe had a great time celebrating Valentine's with all of her friends. She got almost as much candy as Halloween!

Valentine's outfit


Valentine's outfit, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe getting ready to party.

M&M group


M&M group, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

A group shot of our Mommy & Me group. Some of the moms were late in getting to our school pictures before class so we took a group photo with our digital cameras.

Pre-school party


preschool party, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

The 2nd party of the day--At Chloe's pre-school we played pin the nose on Mrs. Valentine.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Mini-BeBe

There is a clothing store frequented by Chloe's BeBe and while I do get catalogs and mailings for this clothing store, I wouldn't shop there for myself. It's just not my style. It's a great style for my mom (Chloe's BeBe). I hate to offend anyone out there who loves this store and is MY age but, I only see "Baby Boomer" women in the store which is why I am surprised to learn that they are carrying toddler and children's clothing for girls. I just didn't imagine this store venturing into this market. I can't wait to get their next mailer to see how they market their children's clothing. I keep imagining shots of toddlers on a ship's deck modeling the wrinkle-free, mix and match travel wear with matching bangles and geometric necklaces because that kind of stuff is important to toddlers and mother's of toddlers.

Of course, since BeBe is a frequent shopper of this merchant she was probably the first to actually buy something from their new children's line. Chloe is sporting it in the photo below. I called her mini-BeBe all day in her wrinkle-free cotton shirt and comfortable cotton pants. I guess the era of mother-daughter outfits is out and the era of grandmother-granddaughter outfits is in. And hey, I'm not complaining if BeBe is buying because it's a bit pricey and surprisingly well-made.

Through the power of Photoshop and Aunt Deanna we can now imagine together:

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Chinese New Year Party

We attended an FCC celebration for Chinese New Year today. About 150 people came to the lunch. An attempt was taken to get a group photo of all the children. It was like herding cats but we were able to get a few shots in.

Group Photo


Group Photo, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

A group photo shot of the children.

Chloe & Mommy


Chloe & Mommy, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe "hamming" it up for a photo opportunity with Mommy.

Friday, February 09, 2007

No Escape

My mind is a bit hazy as I am writing this under the influence of Sudafed. Apparently I didn't escape the wrath of the virus making Chloe ill. We are trapped indoors attempting to recover full health though it seems unlikely for a few days. Chloe is now napping. I attempted to get in a nap too but I can't handle the crazy Sudafed/sickness-induced dreams so I opted to blog instead.

Up to this point Chloe and I have been indoors since Tuesday afternoon, except for the visit to the pediatrician yesterday. So, Chloe and I have been playing. She kepts demanding to watch Barney and Diego but I can only deal with so much. I thought we should use this as an educational opportunity and not just "turn on, tune in and drop out" in front of the mind-numbing TV. I have Sudafed for that. So, I am trying to teach her to recognize letters in the alphabet. Apparently Chloe sees this not as an opportunity to learn but as an opportunity to torture her dear Mother and she's not to ill for the challenge.

Right now everything is the letter K, which is alright. When she was learning her colors we thought she was color-blind as she declared everything to be green. This is just the way she learns. She knows K is a letter of the alphabet and she is going to stick with it as an answer. It has to be right eventually.

For Christmas, I bought her an alphabet train floor puzzle. She loves to play with it. The first time we attempted to put it together, it took 3 days. I kept singing the ABC song and telling her the letter. It didn't seem to be of any relevance to Chloe as she believed the J should go after the P. When the puzzle pieces didn't fit she would yell, "It doesn't fit!" and throw the piece on the floor and start into some drama. After she recovered from the tantrum, she would go and pick up the J puzzle piece and attempt to make the J go after the P again. We must have repeated this 20 times. Eventhough I was a teacher, this was more than I could take and while Chloe was attempting to fit the J and the P together, the puzzle got put together by yours truly. It was simply more than I could handle. Well, she decided to get out the puzzle yesterday. I had hoped that she had forgotten about it as I didn't think I could handle the drama and sing the ABC's to her another 45 times. See, I do try to get her to sing them but she just says, "You sing them, Mommy!". So, as she dragged out the puzzle and threw the pieces on the floor I decided I needed to dust the bookshelf. After completing one shelf, I noticed that no tantrum had been thrown yet, so I turned to see what Chloe was doing. I am not exaggerating when I say that in a matter of minutes she had already put the puzzle together through the letter L. I was stunned and have come to the awareness that she enjoys seeing me suffer and that she really does know her ABC's but loves to see my expression when I hold up the letter A and ask her what letter it is only to be told by her that it is the letter K.

She also has a little laptop that teaches computer skills, counting and the alphabet. Up to this point all she likes to do with it is press the volume button on it because it makes an annoying monkey screech, which she enjoys. As I had a throbbing sinus headache and a sore throat and the feeling that I could snatch the laptop and hurl it across the room, I thought it best to actually show her how to use the computer to learn. So we played some games together and discovered that the little laptop will also play music. Chloe loves to dance and as the 1st song started playing this required dancing. Luckily I had the camera beside me to record the moment.



Well, I hear the little footsteps of the Chloester upstairs, that means my time goofing off on the computer has come to a close. I think I will give up on teaching the ABCs for today and opt to read to her or have her put stickers all over my sweatshirt as she really enjoys both.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Musical Tutu's and Sometimes I Get the Creeps

We returned from the doctor's office today to find a big package at our front door. The package couldn't have come at a better time since Chloe is suffering from a virus that has caused her to have a hacking cough.

The package was from BeBe and inside was a bounty of goodies for Chloe. BeBe sent Chloe her collection of Beanie Babies, a Valentine's shirt, a monkey with hearts, stickers and a Valentine's Etch a Sketch. In the the box was Chloe's favorite item, a musical tutu that plays "Swan Lake". Chloe has been dancing around the house in her tutu trying to figure out where the music is coming from.

Our doctor told us this virus has been making it's rounds. Matt woke up ill this morning and just as I began to wonder how I escaped the virus my throat started hurting.

It seems as if we will be staying indoors for the next couple of days and canceling all playgroups and pre-school activities. That will give me time to hunt down the poltergeist that is inhabiting our home. I don't believe in such things but over the last 2 days we have had some occurences that have given me the creeps. It started two nights ago when I was putting Chloe to bed. We were reading a book and I suddenly heard talking downstairs. I stopped reading and walked to the top of our stairs to listen. It was Chloe's puppy dog going through it's "Let's sing and play games" routine. I thought maybe our crazy dog had hit it and turned it on but then I turned to see the dog laying on the bed in our room, upstairs. The stupid toy would not shut up. It kept going through its entire song and game repetoire for 10 minutes. It was creepy, especially since there was no one downstairs to press it's foot to turn it on.

During Chloe's bath last night the biggest fly I have ever seen came into the bathroom and flew around. I managed to rid ourselves of the fly after it landed on the hallway light, but found it bizarre that a giant fly could survive in weather with highs of 25 degrees. Then later in the night I put our dog outside. I went to let her back in and noticed the basement light was on (which it wasn't when I put the dog out). I asked Matt if he had turned on the light in the basement and he said he hadn't.

Then today our telephone has decided to randomly start dialing during phone conversations. I tried to make a phone call this afternoon but there was no dial tone only the sound of a fax machine. I went to turn off our fax machine to see that it was not connected to the phone line.

I am certain that there are reasonable and scientific explanations for all of these occurences but with them all together in a matter of days, it gives me the creeps.

tutu


tutu, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe dancing in the musical tutu sent by BeBe.

Monkey Love


Monkey Love, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe with her monkey, Harts.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Winter Luau

Our Newcomer's group had a winter luau at a local kids play facility on Saturday. Chloe had a fantastic time. She had her face painted and got a balloon made to look like a fishing pole with a fish on the end. The balloon-maker was a one man show. He was quite a joke teller and balloon artist. We waited in line 40 minutes to get our balloon.

The biggest highlight was the indoor activity center. It was a massive structure with slides, tunnels, tight ropes, nets, etc. Chloe insisted on having Mommy come with her. I was totally worn out being led by our 2.5 year old neighbor through the maze and having Chloe hold on to me. I was a little too big for the activity center.

At the end of the day Chloe had a nice nap. It was great to get some physical activity in as the weather has now turned frigid. It was 9 degrees this morning. It is supposed to "warm up" into the teens this afternoon but the wind chill will still be in the negatives. Looks like we will be staying in and calling it laundry day. It will keep me warm running up and down the stairs.

Balloon Art


Balloon Art, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe holding her balloon fishing reel with her balloon fish on the end.

Another Look


Another Look, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

You can kind of see the fish (or his eyes) in this photo. It really was darling.

Climbing Through the Maze


Climbing Through the Maze, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

There I am in the maze, being led through by Chloe and our neighbor.

Face Painting


Face Painting, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

Chloe getting her face painted.

Butterfly


Butterfly, originally uploaded by pookie2shoes.

The finished product.

 
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