Sunday, March 30, 2008

Springtime, Ariel, & 'Kee-Cats'

So, I realize I am a little late with the Easter pics, Papa, & Yaya. First, we went to an Easter egg hunt, and left right before the hunt. There were way too many kids for Stella's taste, and it was a two hour 'activity'. Needless to say, Stella lasted about an hour. Once it became crowded, She was outta there:

Then, Easter came. It was fairly uneventful. Stella got to taste jelly beans for the first time, and she got an Ariel (Little Mermaid) doll that goes with us everywhere.

So, after church, Stella was so tired, and in no mood for pictures, yet, Glenn had to get a couple of cranky pics for posterity:

On my desk at work I have last year's Easter photo of our little family. It makes me smile, because Stella was so ticked at me dressing her in an Easter dress last year, that we couldn't get the kid to crack a smile to save our lives. So, here are pictures from Easter of 2007, and Easter of 2008, respectively:

Stella's 'thing' right now is to hunt for the neighborhood 'Kee-Cat' every time we step foot out the door. Even if we are headed somewhere, we had better take a few minutes to hunt down the object of harassment, so that Stella can stand over the poor creature, meowing at the top of her lungs (in case it is unsure of the sound it should make), until the cat just gets up and finds another hiding place. Stella, however, has not learned to take a hint. She sees this as an opportunity to practice her chasing skills, all the while calling out, "Kee-Cat, where are you? Kee-Cat, come here!" If nothing else, it does provide some much needed comic relief for me, after a sometimes long day at work.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Aw, Man....A Toddler!

Strong-willed. Independent. A bit stubborn. TANTRUMS. Sweet. Affectionate. Always moving. If it isn’t her idea, she doesn’t want much to do with it.

These are just a few of the descriptors for Stella these days. She is definitely going through that phase of separating herself, psychologically, from Mom and Dad. I gotta be honest. It really wears on me sometimes (mostly when I haven’t had much sleep). At the same time, I just wanna squeeze her, and shower kisses all over her face. What to do? Right now, we are not only trying to establish boundaries with Stella, but also learning to choose our battles. I didn’t think we would have to start this so soon, and yet, if we don’t, I think it will be more difficult for us to do this, later on.

Yeah, I think one kid is enough for right now. I do have to say, though, that Stella is still a pretty darn easy kid.


Bog = frog
Bippo = hippo
Bippo = Rhinoceros
Hey Babe! = mom
Steya = Stella
No? = no
Kee-cat = kitty cat
Poop = Pooh (Winnie the)
Pooter = computer

So darn cute!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ashland, Oregon

Roadtrip: a journey via automobile, sometimes unplanned or impromptu; a journey involving sporting game(s) away from home.

Games? There were none unless you count ‘Entertain the Toddler for Four to Six Hours So We Don’t All Go Insane’, a game.

I have a sister who lives in Ashland Oregon. She is going to school there, and getting ready to graduate as a drama major. Carly’s a smart, fun, beautiful girl that I hadn’t seen in almost ten years (long story), so it was time. Stella got to meet yet another Auntie, and Glenn met yet another of my siblings. Typically a six hour drive, it took us around seven, as we had to let Stella out to run off some energy for a while. We stayed with some dear family friends, whose home Stella found to be quite entertaining. Ashland was beautiful, and we all had fun, though I am sure Little Miss doesn’t care to see the inside of the car for a while. Some snippets from Stella while we were up there: "Hey, Babe!" (She heard Glenn calling me - she followed me around the house calling me at the top of her lungs), "Keeee-Cat" (trying to get the stuffed cats to come to her), "No?" (typical response when asked about most anything). Stella was a great sport, though a bit homesick. She was on cloud nine, once we walked back in the door to our place. So, here are just a few of the pics from our little trip…

PS - Here's to no more bink (until the next one comes along, someday) - Woo-Hoo!!!
Carly and Stella outside the Children's Science Museum
Impossible to get a shot where everyone is looking at the camera.
Snacking on Cheerios
Mugging for the camera

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Part 2.

Part 2 of the ‘Poop?’ story: This may have lost its’ luster, since it has been a little while since I posted the first part of this story, but I am going to continue it anyway. And, just for the record, I promise to try and use the word ‘poop’ in moderation. Since we are on the cusp of potty training, the word comes up a lot around our place, and, unfortunately for those who dislike the word, trickles into the blog.
OK, so there is Glenn sitting on the pot, with Stella in the doorway, watching, as she again questions, “Poop?”. “Yes”, comes the response, “daddy needs to poop.” With a clear answer to her question, Stella proceeds to tell Glenn to “Push!” and promptly follows this with a grunt – “Hhnngh!” Now, just to provide a little background, for a few months, we were having a hard time regulating Stella’s system. As a result, she developed an aversion to pooping, and so began clenching her little cheeks in protest to the inevitable need to go no. 2. We began the task of trying to convince Stella that is was alright to do this, and that we would help her. Without thinking, we would encourage her to “push” so she could be done with it. Little did we know that word would come back to haunt us in the same context with which we used it on Stella. Allow me to clarify, however, that we never once followed this encouragement with any sort of grunting sound. It was never anything we joked about with Stella, as, for quite a while, this was a dreaded and very uncomfortable task she was faced with each day. So, there you go. While it may not seem as humorous with the background included, I assure you that it had me on the floor of the hallway, in a fit of laughter, that brought tears from Glenn as well as me.

Bye-Bye Bink, Cont'd

Day 5 and all goes well. It definitely takes Stella longer to fall asleep, but she sleeps through the night, and seems to be in better spirits the last day or so. More to come, I'm sure. I just know she is going to find a long lost bink under a bed, or something....

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bye-Bye, Bink-Bink!

You know those scenes in movies and cartoons where the main character is struggling with their conscience, in the form of Angel vs. Devil? The conversation usually consists of a volley of arguments from either side. I want you to just imagine, if you will, the following scene: I am on my hands and knees searching for the one remaining pacifier we had (we have gone through about 30 of them over the last 20 months or so), for the seemingly hundredth time. At this point, what went on in my head was a conversation like this: Me: “This is absolutely ridiculous! I shouldn’t be so panicked about finding the bink, to get this girl to sleep!” Angel: “Maybe it’s time to wean Miss Stella off of the bink. Devil: “Do you really want to endure the torture of taking her off the bink right now?” Me: “No, not really.” Angel: “It will just get harder the longer you wait.” Me: “That’s true. OK. That’s it. I am not doing this anymore. Off the bink we go.” By ‘we’ I also meant me and Glenn. I have occasionally wondered aloud if we are more dependent on the darn thing, than Stella. This was last Saturday night. It is now Tuesday. So far so good. Stella is a bit clingy, a little whiney, and wants nothing to do with Glenn, when I am around. Other than that, she is doing just great. Last night, as I am trying to get her to sleep, sans bink, she begins to fuss, and try to escape the king fu grip I have around her, so she’ll stay in the rocker with me. After a few minutes of this (she seemed to be gaining strength from this, not losing it), I start singing the opening number from Hairspray. This got her attention, if only for a few moments. Then, I suggested we say a little prayer. To digress, I just have to confess that we don’t say a regular family prayer. We bless our meals, but, other than that, we are never together to say one. And, frankly, things seem to change so much around our place that it has been challenging, to say the least, to get into much of a routine. Whenever I think about it, Stella and I say our prayers together at night. OK, to get back to last night, As soon as a prayer was mentioned, Stella settled into my arms, as she folded hers. It was very sweet. We blessed anyone and everyone we could think of. I drew it out for as long as I could, because she was so attentive, and still. Once the prayer was over, Stella began inquiring about everyone who was mentioned in our little prayer, her friends, and family. She started to go down the list, and asked “Gramma nigh-night?” “Yes,” I responded, “Gramma’s going nigh-night. “ We went down the entire list in a similar fashion: Grampa, Tio, Alika (friend), Jakey (friend), Dad, Mel, Nay-Nay, Mom, Zack, Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Tacee (Tracy – Hairspray), Belle (Beauty and the Beast), Uncle Scotty, Ya-Ya, Papa, and so on. Once she made it through the list, she went through it again, and again. After the fourth time: “Shhh… Stella needs to go nigh-night….” was the most intelligent thing I could come up with, in response to Stella’s half hour long string of chatter at 10:30 last night. She talked non-stop for almost 40 minutes. I couldn’t get a peep in edge-wise. It was quite funny and sweet, but I was exhausted, and just needed the little monkey to fall asleep. Now that I think about it, I wonder if that was Stella’s way of saying her own little bedtime prayer. If so, then I just need to learn a bit more patience, no matter how tired I may be.

Monday, March 3, 2008


Not much to say here, as I think the pics say it all...

Chalk, Bubbles, Soup, and Womanhood

OK, I would be doing the moment an injustice, if I didn’t post this. Also, Glenn will probably kill me, as I may be stepping out of bounds with this one. So, if this post has been removed at some date in the near future, you will know why. If it hasn’t, then Glenn doesn’t read the family blog as regularly as he professes. Anything that has me literally on the ground laughing until the tears come, deserves to be shared, I think.
Sunday night (last night). Glenn is slowly recovering from the flu he has had for the last several days. Lucky for us, Stella has already had this particular strain, and has passed it onto her Dear Daddy. So, dinner is done, and Glenn’s tummy starts to rumble. At that cue, he heads to the bathroom. Upon seeing Dad leave the room, Stella proceeds to follow. As she watches him turn into the bathroom, she questions, ”Poop?” With a sigh, and a slight grin, Glenn responds, “Yes.” OK, that’s about as far as I can go. There is more to this story, but it may not come across in the spirit, with which it was enjoyed, if I try and go any further. So there. I guess I won’t be doing this story justice, after all. Sorry, folks. Feel free to call and ask me about it later, though.
This past weekend we (Stella and I) exercised our skills at chalk graffiti, blowing bubbles, climbing up and down slides, making a get well card for Glenn, along with some homemade chicken soup, and just had a blast! I was able to give Glenn a break, and let him hang in bed for a couple of days, while I got some one on one time with the girly.
I did have a warm-fuzzy moment, though. I am in the kitchen trying to start some soup for Glenn, while making lunch for me and Little Miss. Grandma recently bought a small two-step stool for our apt. Stella loves to climb up on it and watch what is going on in the kitchen, or help with the dishes. As I am trying to get some food made (we were so hungry) Stella keeps motioning for me to hold her (she does this by stretching out both her arms, until they are perfectly straight, and doing the little ‘come here’ wave with her fingers). Finally, I pull out the step stool. Initially Stella stands on the top step, holding onto the little rail, and wants to play in the sink. In the end, she ended up sitting on the stool; Converse still on, with dirt and chalk smears all over her pants, and snacking on tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil, while babbling very important happenings. I am sure I was able to make out a few words – Elmo, Grover, baby, doggy, and pasta, among others. The reason that little moment stands out, is because I suddenly had this vision of the two of us hanging out in the kitchen in the somewhat distant future. I look forward to the both of us pouring our hearts out to each other, as mother and daughter, all the while cooking up some scrumptious something or other, and giggling like girlfriends. I love having a daughter, and look forward to those moments that make me proud to be a woman, with all it encompasses, but more specifically, to raise a strong young woman, and hopefully instill some of that same pride in Stella.