Friday, October 31, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nice weekend

We had a great time this weekend. Saturday morning breakfast was a success. We had a good turnout, lots of cute kiddos in costume, some good food, and mimosas and bloody marys to top it off.

Let's see... We had Roan the giraffe, Audrey the puppy dog, Camilla the lady bug, Isis the fairy princess, Morgan the hula girl, Brady as Yoda, and Morgan's friend who came as Buzz Lightyear (he refused to go by his real name all morning!) That morning when I was getting Roan dressed she refused to get into her costume. She just wanted to carry it all over the house and hug the stuffed giraffe head. But once Audrey showed up in her puppy dog suit, Roan suddenly wanted to get her costume on. Ah, the power of peer pressure!

Once we had our fill we headed down to Tennyson. Of course all the toddlers wanted to walk, which put us at an absolutely glacial pace. It took us a while, but we had fun. We stopped in and got a piece of candy at every shop. Roan got her one piece for the day - a lollipop - and was content for the most part just to get to hold the rest of the candy. Truth be told, I hear that Aunt Jen slipped her a second piece when we weren't looking, but that's not too bad. And she hasn't asked for any more candy since Saturday. More for Mom and Dad!

Here are just a handful of pictures, but you can see the rest (plus a couple videos) here:

On Sunday we headed downtown with Scott, Molly, Audrey, Jen and Micah to hear Obama speak. I say "hear" rather than "see" because the crowd was so huge we never got a look at him. It was really amazing to see so many people gathered together all excited about the same thing. And really neat to see how diverse the crowd was. They say there's a good chance Colorado may go blue this time around - that would be neat. So far in all of my voting life my vote has never contributed to my candidate's electoral count.

Arwen and I voted early this year by mail in ballot. What a great idea! I highly recommend it. It was so nice to be able to peruse all of the ballot issues when we had time, rather than scrambling to the polls on their schedule. No lines, no crowds, no waiting. Then when we were done we just carried them over to the polling place and turned them in. Easy peasie.

Roan is of course far too young to appreciate the finer points of political discourse this election year. But she can say "Obama!" with plenty of gusto. And she looked so cute in "piggy tails" as she calls them for the first time that day.

She and Audrey had a lot of fun that day. It was an adventure just getting there - with a walk over the Millenium Bridge and a short but very crowded bus ride. Then they spent all morning running around on the capitol grounds staying warm in the sunny but chilly weather. After it was over, on our walk back to the car Roan took a little cat nap in her backpack to recharge.

The good times keep rolling with our little angel. She has been so much fun lately. Sunday I took her shopping for some winter clothes. I wasn't sure how she would feel about being dragged around from one store to the next all afternoon, but she kept saying "We shop Roan clooooothes," and "go shopping!" so I think she enjoyed it. And she took it pretty well when I didn't buy her a toy at every store we went into (she of course found something she had to have at every stop).

She continues to amaze us with all she does. Her latest trick is singing. She can sing most of the words to Twinkle, Twinkle, a few of the words to The Wheels on the Bus, and she can make it most of the way through the alphabet song. There is just nothing like hearing that little cherub voice try to sing. Here's a video. You kind of have to strain your ears to make out what letter she's trying to say but it's not bad for an 18 month old. ;)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Little Angel

The roller coaster ride of toddler-dom has taken an upswing the last few days. Roan has been as sweet as can be, so happy all the time, even an outright giggle box. She has been particularly sweet and loving, overflowing with hugs and kisses. The other morning as I was helping her brush her teeth in the mirror, she put her arms around my neck and said "My Mama, my mama." So sweet.

This morning she picked out her clothes - her red corduroy dress with hearts on it. She's just about outgrown it but she loves it so much I hate to pack it away just yet. She was so cute I had to snap a couple of pictures.

I better get myself to bed. Tomorrow is a big day. We've invited a bunch of friends over for Saturday Morning Breakfast followed by the Tennyson Trick or Treat Street. All the kiddos are coming over in costume. Can't wait!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I've been doing a lot of belly aching and not a lot of picture taking lately. Here are some cute ones of Roan with her friends Scarlett and Isis last week when we all went to the park on a gorgeous Fall day.

Sippy cup friends

Holding hands with Scarlett

They had a blast riding this 3-seated bouncy toy together.

And for the latest Terrible Twos update, last night Roan again refused to put on jammies. We tried everying and finally had to put her to bed in just a diaper - which she later took off. And we had to listen to her cry herself to sleep. I hate this! It just stinks being unable to comfort her. We found her this morning asleep, naked, bum in the air, curled up on her blankie, soaked in pee. So cute and yet so gross.

Friday, October 17, 2008

More fun

Thanks everyone for your words of encouragement and support. That has helped, as well as keeping things in perspective: At least we don't have twins!

I read an interesting article in one of those (usually not so helpful) parenting magazines that talked about how kids tend to be "easy" around their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th birthdays but "difficult" around their half birthdays. They quoted some psychologist's theory that was a little over my head - something about vacillating emotionally from secure and confident to insecurity over new abilities/changes/expectations.

Interestingly Roan is right around 1-1/2 and also lately she has been showing much more interest in potty training. (She kind of took a breather from it for a while.) Who knows, maybe she's getting ready to get serious about potty training - or some other new skill - and that comes with some additional clinginess and unpredictable emotions.

In any case we've just been rolling with it - what else can ya do right? And generally she is just the sweetest most fun inventive adorable person. It's just that 10% of the time when you're thinking How in the heck am I gonna handle THIS one?

Like this morning when she refused to let me put her diaper on or get her dressed for a half hour even though we were late getting out the door to daycare. I just gave her some space, let her run around naked, used the time to get myself ready, and used eating breakfast as a motivator to get her to comply: We can eat as soon as you get dressed. Let me know when you're ready.

Even though I would consider this morning a success - I stayed calm and collected, the situation never escalated into a big temper tantrum and eventually she got dressed happily - you can't help but second guess yourself. Should I have "gotten tough" with her to demonstrate that sometimes she has to do what Mommy says? Am I letting her "get away with too much" by waiting it out and trying to convince her to make the right decision herself? Maybe so. But I have to admit, this approach seems to result in a less frustrated Mom and a happier toddler, even if it does take longer.

Last Thursday night proved more of a challenge. Arwen and I decided to be brave and test out another evening without Mommy. I went to Knit Night, less for the knitting than as another opportunity to see if we can make some progress on this front. Arwen said she did great all evening and they had a ton of fun, which was easy to see by the mess in the house when I got back. But right at bedtime she had another episode - not I want my Mommy, thankfully - but No diaper! No no no no no!

He tried to be patient and wait it out, but it was getting past her bedtime. He didn't want to force her into a diaper and jammies so finally resorted to putting her into her crib buck naked and crying. There was no consoling her. Not long after I got home and we decided to be brave and go in there together. And we found she had made us a big surprise: she took a giant dump in her bed. Poor thing, she wasn't happy about it at all. She was crying saying, "Roan poop bed, poop bed." We told her it was alright and tried to explain (in toddler-ease) that one of the benefits of wearing a diaper is avoiding these kind of unfortunate situations. She seemed to understand. Before long she was back to her sweet happy self.

I wish I could say the trauma of this incident had a positive lasting impact on Roan's recent attitude toward diapers, but that does not appear to be the case. Lately she never wants her diaper changed to begin with, and even once you get her down and cleaned up then she doesn't want the new diaper on. She'll say she wants to go on the potty but either won't actually sit down on it or gets up and down 10 times without doing any business. Whoever said parenting requires a lot of patience was right!

The picture up top is Roan and me with our friend Doug, who recently visited us for his first week with our company. He will be holding down the Houston office now that the Big Boss has moved to Denver. Below are pictures of our new front door. It's been quite a process. It took a whole day to get the raw door hung. Then another week before we picked out a stain to apply. We stained it a dark brown (not pictured) and it took the better part of two days to dry. Now we still have four coats of varnish ahead of us! But it has already made a huge difference in the look of the house.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Hmm... maybe *this* is what they meant

... by "terrible twos." Boy I tell ya, tonight was a doozie. It started off nice enough. We picked up Roan from daycare and decided to stop off at the park on the way home. She had fun on the slide with a family of 6 kids (ages 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8... how do those parents do it?!?!).

When we got home she set about eating dinner with enthusiasm: mixed veggies, chicken and blueberries. Tuesday has been our night for running club, but now that days are getting shorter and colder, we're switching to a new schedule. Arwen and I thought we'd try taking turns on Roan duty while the other hits the gym.

I made it to a weightlifting class just a few minutes late; it was great to be back in the gym after too many months off. I was home an hour later, walking in the door with a spring in my step. Arwen greeted me at the door with a wild look in his eye and exasperation in his voice. In the short time I'd been gone all hell had broken loose.

After playing happily with Daddy for a little while, Roan fell to pieces over something small and had spent a full 45 minutes kicking and screaming for Mama on the floor by the front door. Arwen swears he's never seen anything like it. She was crying and screaming with such intensity that she was wheezing, coughing and having trouble breathing. She was absolutely inconsolable, and Arwen was very near that point himself by the time I got home.

As soon as I walked in the door she was happy again... for a little while. Before long it was time for bed though and I saw for myself a little what Arwen was talking about. One moment she was happy and playful and the next she was completely freaking out about the pajama bottoms I put on her. I mean she totally lost it. Wailing, shrieking, snot coming out both nostrils. At first I tried to comfort her with some snuggles, but there was just no calming her. I left the room for a little while, then came back in and waited it out. Eventually, still in tears she brought over a different pair of pajamas and when I offered to help put those on her instead she was placated.

We managed to get through the bedtime routine uneventfully but as soon as I put her in bed the real crying began. We had already decided not to indulge in a bunch of back and forth picking her up and putting her back to bed; we have to be clear with her that when it's bedtime, that's it.

She made it quite clear, however, that that was not it. She proceeded to cry and scream for an hour. Then after about half an hour of quiet, just when we had poured ourselves a beer and breathed a sigh of relief she started up again. And this time it wasn't just crying. She started saying things. Like "help." And "down." And "dada hold you." It was soooo sad. We were nearly fit to be tied by this point.

The thing is, we would love to be able to go in her room, give her a hug and fill her with enough happiness and security to drift off to sleep with a big ol smile on her face. But we keep getting bit on the ass on that, excuse my french. Every time we walk in there it seems to just prolong the suffering and make it more likely that she'll wake up crying again.

So we steeled ourselves with alcohol and toughed it out tonight. All I can say is, I hope we all have a good night of sleep.

In any case here is a video of our, ahem, little angel, just goofing around in the mirror.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Happy 18 Months!

Roan is 18 months today. Yay! She has changed so much over the last six months, it is incredible. She shows more and more personality every day. This is how I would describe my daughter:
  • loving
  • smart
  • curious
  • strong
  • friendly
  • happy
  • enthusiastic
  • beautiful
  • caring
  • strong willed
  • independent

Here are some things I enjoy watching her do:

  • draw and draw and draw in the bathtub with tub crayons
  • pull all of her blankets out of her drawer and put all her babies "night night"
  • hug and kiss her daddy, Aunt Jen and GaGa
  • hold hands with her friends
  • hide under a blanket or a towel, then reveal herself exlaiming proudly, "boo!"
  • share her toys unprompted with friends
  • climb on top of Arwen and say "hop pop!"
  • run to her teachers and friends at daycare and say casually "bye mommy!"
  • "help" mom and dad in the garden with her very own shovel
  • climb up to take a look out the front window and mumble endlessly to herself about what she sees
  • tell herself what sound like fantastically imagined stories late at night and first thing in the morning when she's alone in her crib
  • wander off confidently to explore a new place or new people
  • run to me, grab my legs and say "hold you MaMa!"
  • hear her say unpromted "love you Mama" and "love you Dawee"
  • swing in the hammock with me pointing out every plane and bird that flies overhead
  • run into our room each morning to say "morning Dawee!"

You can view more pictures by clicking here: