Monthly Archives: September 2010

“Across the street and down the hill…

To Nanna and Dudad’s we go!!”

This is the scene before last night’s event:
Chloe Mae, mommy, daddy and the dogs are all playing in the backyard.  Chloe walks to the gate, points and grunts – a sure sign that she wants to go to the front yard to play.  (There are all kinds of great things to play with in the front yard like a swing, rocks and acorns.)  Daddy decides to go inside to check on dinner and he takes the dogs with him.  So mommy and Chloe head out to the front yard alone.

This is when “The Event” occurs:
Mommy is walking a little ahead of Chloe and stops next to the swing.  She asks Chloe, “Would you like to swing now??”  Chloe ignores mommy and keeps walking down the driveway.  Mommy starts to go after her, afraid she’ll walk right into the street, to ask Chloe where she’s going.  Again, Chloe ignores mommy and keeps walking – now down the sidewalk.  Since Chloe seems to know exactly where she’s going, mommy decides just to follow her to see where she’s headed.

As they approach the first intersection, Chloe is still going strong – not a single stick, leaf or rock has managed to distract her from her mission.  Mommy stops Chloe and tells her she needs to look both ways for cars and then hold mommy’s hand while they cross the street.  Chloe grudgingly holds mommy’s hand so she can continue on her journey.  A few houses later, they start down a big hill.  Mommy tries to convince Chloe to hold her hand, because it’s a pretty big hill, but Chloe is sure she doesn’t need any help and can do it all by herself.  Then mommy tries to just keep her hand in front of Chloe, so she’s ready to catch her if she falls.  Chloe stops to reiterate her point that she’s a big girl.  She looks up at mommy, glares, yells and swats her hand away.  Luckily, mommy and Chloe make it to the bottom of the hill in one piece.  Chloe makes a left, crossing another street, and starts saying “Nanna, Nanna!!”  

That’s right folks.  My 16-month old daughter knew the way and walked 1/4 mile to Nanna and Dudad’s house – and it was all her idea!!

A recreation of last night's events...

Unfortunately, as we rounded a small curve before their house, I saw that there were no vehicles in the driveway.  Nanna and Dudad were not home.  **Cue doomsday music…**  Chloe didn’t believe me and didn’t understand why I wouldn’t let her go in and play with them.  I swiped her up and carried my crying, screaming toddler back home, up the big hill (I’m pretty sure it was even bigger on the way back up!!) trying to calm her by promising a trip back to Nanna and Dudad’s after dinner.  I was crossing my fingers that they would be home later in the evening, because as I learned by our trip down there, I have a smart little girl on my hands who remembers everything.  No more making promises we can’t keep!!

We arrived home, explained our adventure to dad, and called Nanna.  She was just leaving work and would be home soon.  *whew!!*  We ate dinner and headed down to Nanna and Dudad’s – with Chloe taking a wagon ride this time – and Chloe got her fix.  

Now that I know she knows the way, we’ll have to make sure Chloe doesn’t crawl out of her crib in the middle of the night and head down.  She can reach the doorknobs now and is trying to figure out how to work them…

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Travel White Noise Machine Giveaway – Yes Please!!

Emily at The Adventures of Miss Mommy is hosting a giveway for a Sound Oasis Travel Sound Therapy Machine.  It’s a travel version of a white noise machine.  We have white noise on the clock in Chloe’s room and it goes on every time she sleeps.  It’s great to block out the noises of the rest of the house, our dogs and even noises outside the house like traffic of thunder.  Whenever we’ve travelled, we’ve struggled to find a white noise source.  (When we went to Colorado last fall, we assumed they’d have an alarm clock we could tune to a non-existent radio station to get the static-y noise, but they didn’t.  So we had to go buy one.  Lesson learned – never assume you’ll find something at your destination!!)

If you want a chance at winning this, check out Emily’s giveaway here!

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Cinnamon Streusel Muffins

Chloe Mae had a sleepover at Nanna and Dudad’s last night.  Breakfasts are usually a race to get some food in Chloe before she starves to death – seriously, she’s always soooo hungry:-)  So, I decided to take advantage of my child free morning to make some muffins for breakfast.  I was in the mood for a streusel-y muffin, so I pulled up Food.com and searched for ‘streusel muffin.’  The first recipe I peeked at was for Cinnamon Streusel Muffins.  It called for whole wheat flour and egg whites only.  What a stroke of luck that I happened upon a healther recipe for a delicious streusel muffin!! 

After we had the muffins ready, it was time the make the topping.  The recipe for streusel made no sense to me – how can you make streusel with melted butter and no thickening agent like flour??  We ended up looking at a few other recipes and using this crumb topping recipe.

The muffins turned out great and were quite delicious!!

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Our Little Pantomime

This girl is amazing and makes my jaw drop at least once a day, if not more.  Lately we have discovered how observant Chloe Mae is.  She is constantly mimicking our actions, with no prompting from us.  Here are a few examples from just today:

  • Chloe’s sitter thanked her daughter for scratching her back when she was touching her back.  Chloe walked over and actually started rubbing/scratching the sitter’s back.  When the sitter said, ‘Thank you’ Chloe Mae said something that sounded an awful lot like, ‘You’re welcome.’  We have never taught her to scratch someone’s back, but Aaron and I occasionally do it to eachother when we’re on the floor playing with Chloe.   And we’re still working on saying thank you with Chloe and haven’t begun to tackle you’re welcome.  But we do always say you’re welcome to her if she says thank you.  She just knows it comes after thank you!!
  • After her bath tonight, I sat her on the counter so I could comb her hair.  My wedding ring and another ring were sitting on the edge of the counter, because I’d taken them off after I put her in the tub.  She grabbed my rings, and right as I was about to ask her to put them down, she not only put them down, but she put them on the lip of our countertop where I put my rings overnight.  I know I have never shown her that – she just knew they went there!!
  • Then we were downstairs playing with her kitchen.  She took the potato out of the basket, put it in the microwave and closed the door.  Then she pressed a few buttons (to put in the time) waited a bit, took it out and started ‘eating’ it.  How smart is this kid?!?  She knows exactly how it works.

To someone other than her mom, this might not seem like much.  You might be reading this thinking, “So what??”  I feel like I can’t put into words how significant these little things really seem to me.  I mean, this isn’t just her playing with a toy microwave.  This is her paying attention to her world and figuring out how things work, so she can someday function in this world without me.  Although that’s far away.  Really, really far away….right??

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Good-bye garbage, hello recycling!

This is our garbage can before our garbage was picked up for the last time.  “Goodbye stinky garbage can!” 

What are we going to do with our trash, you ask??  Well, we’ve been composting our food scraps for a few months now, so that has reduced our garbage output slightly.  Recently, we found out that our garbage collector was starting a recycling program, and a huge portion of our trash is recyclable, so we decided to go for it.  We shouldn’t have a lot of trash left, but what we do, we’ll take to the Resource Recovery Plant ourselves every few months.

Now, we have a fancy new recycling can.  It’s a lot easier than most recycling programs I’ve heard about.  Any recyclables that are accepted – paper, cardboard, tin, plastic, etc… – can all just be dumped into the bin.  We don’t have to sort anything! 

I’m hoping that not having standard garbage pick-up will actually help us to really think about the trash we are producing to see  if there are ways we can continue to reduce.  While it is true that 75% of the trash in Ames is burned, that still leaves 25% going to a landfill.  Not to mention that burning cardboard boxes doesn’t actually mean that we have to cut down any fewer trees…

The main thing that I’ve noticed in our trash in the last week is food packaging, so figuring out ways to buy more things in bulk and portioning them out ourselves is next on my to-do-list for reducing our garbage output.  Let me know if you have any great ideas!!

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We love our sitter and straws are tricky!!

We’ve been through some ups and downs with our childcare in recent months.  We knew we needed to leave Childserve for a few different reasons, but it wasn’t an easy move, because we did love Chloe’s caregivers there.  After checking out a lot of different in-home sitters, we decided on someone we thought would be great.  After 1 week, we weren’t happy with the change and knew we needed to make another change.  Lucky for us, we had a great alternative present itself.

Chloe now spends her days just a few blocks from our house with a little girl her age, her mommy, Katy, and now a newborn little boy.  They spend lots of time playing outside, going on walks, take field trips to the store and library and have friends over to play. 

One of my favorite things is that Katy shares our views on feeding Chloe Mae healthy meals and snacks.  Truth be told, she might do an even better job of feeding Chloe healthy, balanced meals, because Chloe has sort of a ‘monkey-see-monkey-do’ attitude at mealtime and is more likely to eat something if another little one her age is eating it.  There’s also a lot of variety in the foods she eats.  Today they had fruit smoothies at lunch.  Below are two pictures of Chloe Mae concentrating oh-so-hard on drinking from a straw and not tipping her cup back.

Visit Jill at Diaper Diaries for more Things I Love Thursday.

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Sleep Update #73

I feel like I’ve written more posts about Chloe’s sleep habits, or lack thereof, more than anything over the last 16 months.  I suppose it makes sense, since she’s spent about half her life sleeping at this point, but I’m still waiting for the day when I don’t have to worry or think about it so much!!

We made it through yet another rough patch and now I think we’re at the best spot we’ve ever been in terms of Chloe’s sleep.  But, whether I want to or not, I can’t help but compare Chloe’s habits with other children her age and Google is always “helpful” in finding out what we should be experiencing.  According to the information I found, Chloe should be getting 13.75 hours of sleep per day – 11.25 overnight and 2 naps totalling 2.5 hours.  Some days this seems pretty darn close to what she does.  Typically we put her down at 7:30PM and she wakes up about 6:30AM, so she’s getting about 11 hours overnight.  She takes a 1 hour nap in the morning and a 1.5-2 hour nap in the afternoon.

But….(you had to know that was coming!) there are many nights when we put her down at 7:30, but at 8PM we can still see her rolling around and hear her talking to herself in her crib, so she’s not actually asleep until after 8PM**.  And almost every night she wakes up at least once, usually more, crying.  Generally the crying only lasts a few seconds, and then she’s out again, but it’s still enough to wake us up and doesn’t lead me to believe that she’s getting very restful sleep.  Then there are times like last Sunday night when she cries for 30 seconds or so, is quiet for a couple minutes, cries for another minute or so, is quiet, etc… for an hour or more.  That’s rough on everyone.

A couple of times a week during her afternoon nap, she wakes up after a half hour, but if we let her cry for 5-10 minutes (the sad, whimpery cry) then she’ll go back to sleep for another 1-1.5 hours, so I know she needs the sleep.  Other times she sleeps for over 2 hours straight through without a peep.  And there are a days when her total nap time tops 3.5 hours after 11 hours at night.

I just wish I had all the answers.  Why is she still waking up crying??  How much napping is too much napping??  Will there ever be a night when I can sleep all night through without hearing her and wondering what’s wrong??

**It’s 8:20 as I finish this post and I can see Chloe rolling around on the monitor and I just saw her beady little eyes on the night vision.  I suppose I should be thankful that she’s not crying…

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