Thursday, July 23, 2009

Almost there

In the weeks before Kylie was born, I remember thinking that I should enjoy the last days of just Karen and I. But all I really wanted was to start the next phase of my life. To have my sweet baby in my arms. Because Kylie was already with me; she just wasn't born yet.

I feel that way again. I feel as if I should be soaking in these last days in Portland Oregon. A state I have so dearly and passionately loved. I can't begin to express how much I have loved living here. But it also feels like I'm already a Virginian; I just haven't moved yet.

The house is all packed except for Kylie's things. We've kept all of her stuff out and available in order to keep a low impact on her. Karen will pack Kylie's stuff on Saturday as Kylie and I fly to Tennessee to be with family.

The house is all packed except for my computer. I've got to do that last backup before I put the Mac away for over a week.

The house is all packed except for saying those last good-byes. I'm ready. Let's go please.

Karen grabbed the camera during a little romp with me and Kylie. Kylie was climbing my back and climbing the wall. There was a huge amount of light pouring through our family room. These pictures are straight out of the camera. I love them just like this.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Laugh so hard

In an effort to NOT say things in front of Kylie that I shouldn't, I started saying, "mon Dieu". Kylie will whip out that particular phrase at the funniest moments. For example, the other day I was trying to get Kylie cleaned up from going to the potty. She had some toilet paper...ummm....stuck. She exclaimed, "Paper stuck Mommy. Mon Dieu!"

Just yesterday, all three of us were hanging out in the family room. I was laughing because Kylie has started grabbing her leg up high while dancing.

I told Karen that Kylie looked like Will Smith at the start of the end scene of "Hitch" where he's dancing. I proceeded to get up and show her.

Kylie fell out laughing. I've never heard her laugh so hard. So I danced that way some more. Which made everyone laugh harder. We were all crying and holding our bellies from laughing. Such a precious time. Moments like that with Karen and Kylie make me so very happy. I can't even quantify it.

Kylie's recent pirate faces also make me giggle.

We went to visit Munchkin Playground this weekend when the temperatures soared into the mid 90's and it was too hot for the playground. Kylie loves that place. There was a younger boy playing there too. Kylie was in one of her hoarder moods where she wanted to hide all the toys. She went to the boy and smiled winningly at him. "I love you boy" she said and then snatched the toy out of his hand. Of course I asked her to give it back and she did. She put all the toys back like a good girl. But she alternated between saying, "I love you boy" and "Go away. Be quiet" to him. Hmmm....a sign of things to come?

Here's a few more pictures from the weekend:

Here she is shouting, "I love you sun!"

My favorite.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Photo Thursday 7/16

Our neighbor was working on his upstairs deck yesterday. Kylie flirted with him through the windows. Love the belly sticking out on this one.

Kylie is singing and dancing more and more. The other day, she spun around with her hand ribbons calling herself a butterfly.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pink lady, swim class and potty progress

I'll start this post with a "pink lady" picture of Kylie.

Reminds me of Grease and Grease 2:

Doesn't Kylie just scream "pink lady" in that picture? I can't decide if she looks more like Stephanie or Frenchie. But now I'm making myself feel old.

Today, Kylie had her weekly swim class. And let me tell you...she is doing awesome. Back in April, when we first started this swim class, Kylie would sometimes cry or resist some of the activities.

But now she participates joyfully and never cries. In the thirty minute class, she
  • goes under the water and back up 10 or more times.
  • She can stay under 4 seconds and is completely relaxed both under the water and when she submerges.
  • She's progressed from a cheek-to-cheek backfloat to a backfloat where I'm supporting her away from my body and holding her shoulder blades.
  • And today she kept her swim goggles on for the entire class.
    Mostly, she just loves swim class. She eats like a horse after class and I can count on a lovely 2 hour nap afterwards.

    The class lessons have also filtered into her life at home. When she's washing her hands in the sink, she plays with a toy crocodile. She says, "Ready, Go!" to her crocodile before she submerges him. And then she says, "Back to the wall, back to safety" which is a mantra we use all the time in swim class.

    When she plays in the bathtub she has her Bathtub Barbie do sit dives, jump in and u-turns. She says, "Elbow, elbow, belly, knee, knee" all the time (which is what we say to kiddos as we help them get themselves out of the water to sit on the side of the pool.)

    With regards to potty progress, I'm really pleased. However, Kylie is (excuse me here) an outdoor pooper or a sleeper pooper. I swear that kid will wait until she's playing outside (with a pull-up diaper) before she will go. It doesn't matter what time of day we play outside. That's when she goes. Do you think it's the fresh air, the running around, the chirping birds? Who knows? But it seems that we will be at the playground for five minutes or less before I'm walking her back to the car for a diaper change.

    She wears underpants when she is at home. She wears a pull-up diaper when we go somewhere. But she's really good about going to the potty when we are at the store or Gymboree or various places.

    I've stopped counting how many times she goes to the potty each day. But all in all, she goes through about 3 diapers a day. One is for her nap (half the time it is dry when I go to her. She's great about going to the potty after her nap and then putting on her underpants on for the afternoon). One is her pull-up if we go somewhere. And one is for nighttime. The rest of the time, my big girl is using the potty.

    About every other day, she'll remember, "Hey. I used to get stickers for going to the potty." She'll ask for some stickers and then make up for all the times she went and didn't want a sticker. So her arms look like this:

    Here's one more recent picture to finish up this post.
  • Saturday, July 11, 2009


    As of today, we are 13 days from our move. Here's our plan: Kylie and I will fly to TN. Karen's brother Teddy will fly from TN to Portland. He is kind enough to drive a big,ole uhaul truck across the country filled to the brim with all our stuff. Karen will accompany him by driving our car across the country. 2900 miles folks! I'll meet them in VA after dropping Kylie off with her Nanny & Grandpa in TN. Then we'll unpack, go get Kylie and bring her to Virginia. Whew!

    We really need to sell our Portland home so please keep praying for us.

    This morning, I was able to knit an entire row on my blanket while Kylie was playing next to me. A milestone! I've been really looking forward to this day. Before now, she's not tolerated it or I've been on-the-go after her, keeping her out of trouble. But I was able to sit and knit and talk with her. Awesome!

    Of course it might have helped that Kylie had some new furniture to play with. We moved our tv stand into the family room. I'm trying to sell the stand on Craigslist. But Kylie has had a field day filling it with every bit of her toy food. She loves to prepare "snacks" for us and her toys.

    We were worried that Kylie was coming down with a cold. But now we are pretty sure that she has a runny nose and fever due to a molar tooth coming in.

    As a rule, I take my picture-of-the-day of Kylie sometime before 4:00. But my collection wouldn't be complete without some early evening shots. Here is Kylie unwinding before her bath. She completely relaxes in her Momma Karen's arms.

    Getting dry after her bath. Her nose is a little puffy because she had to cry just a bit when she had to get out of the tub. A sure sign that she's ready for bed are the nighttime tears. Doesn't she look cute all tucked in her big towel?

    And here are a few more recent shots:

    Thursday, July 09, 2009

    Ballerina video

    Here's a 25 second clip of Kylie dancing. She's pretty subdued here. Normally she's running, flapping her arms more and spinning faster but this will give you a sense of her free-form wonderfulness. I particularly like the part where she bends over and then launches herself up and how she calls herself a ballerina. Enjoy!

    Wednesday, July 08, 2009

    Bug nightmare and more

    The plans for our move are coming together. Yet it seems the more we book and arrange for things, the more questions arise. We're all just pushing on the best we can.

    There's nothing like a little reality check to put things in perspective. Last night, I was sitting at my computer downstairs and Karen was sitting at hers upstairs when we heard Kylie cry out. "Mommy! Momma!" she yelled. We both ran to her room in a flash. "Bug! Get it off!" she was saying through her tears when we got to her. There wasn't a bug. Just a toddler nightmare.

    We made a Kylie sandwich, Karen holding her and me wrapping my arms around both of them as we whispered and stroked her to calm her. We all stood there and rocked together for a moment and then we felt the tension leave her body. In those few heartbeats, all that existed was us. And I was reminded that all that matters is our family. Not where we live or how we get there. Just us. It was a good reminder.

    Here's a few pictures.
    She had something sticky on her fingers. We had swim class yesterday so Kylie has the after-swim class look to her hair. I just had her hair cut a bit ago but dang if those bangs aren't almost to her eyes again.

    She's dancing around the family room. I've got to get a video of her dancing. It is so free-form and fabulous.

    This is an every day occurrence. Kylie sits in her toychest calling it a bathtub. She takes off her socks and throws them over the side of her "tub". Then she either pretends to wash my hands or her stuffed animals. I also like this picture because you can see all the toys scattered all over the floor--another daily occurrence.

    And this one is sweet because all folded up into her squat, Kylie looks almost as small as that little toy bus.

    Here's the scrapbook page I finished last night.
    Second birthday

    Monday, July 06, 2009

    Lollipops and Craigslist

    On Friday, we were sitting in the drive-through at Dutch Brothers Coffee and the barista asked if Kylie wanted a lollipop. She loved it and proclaimed it, "Delicious!" She loves this new word. Everything has been "delicious" lately. This was her first ever lollipop. She was still eating it when we got home. I flapped around her like a nervous hen, convinced that she would bite it off and choke on it. But she did great!

    Karen flew to Virginia last week and found us a home. We'll be leasing a house for a year. This will give us a chance to learn the area before we purchase a home. Plus, we have our Oregon home to sell first. While she was away house-hunting, I was busy packing and selling furniture on Craigslist.

    I love Craigslist. What an awesome site. I've used it many times over the past few years. But, the process of selling your stuff can be a little frustrating. This past week, I put up between 15-20 ads to sell some furniture, kid toys, etc. I've had people who've said they are on their way to buy something and they don't show up and don't call. And man oh man! I have had some stupid phone calls. The phone calls surrounding selling our sage green couch were the worst.

    Caller: The couch is sage green?
    Me: Yes
    Caller: "Are you sure?
    Me: Deep sigh and think to myself, "Really? You are asking me if I'm sure about the color of my couch?"
    But I take another deep breath and say, "Yep, I'm sure the couch in my family room that I'm looking at right now is sage green."

    Caller: "Does it look like it does in the photo?"
    Me: Think to myself, "Are you familiar with what a photograph is?" But I answer, "Yes, it looks like it does in the photo".
    Caller: Do you have the dimensions?
    Me: Are you looking at the ad now?
    Caller: Yes
    Me: If you look at the top of the ad you will see the dimensions.

    Caller: Do you have a truck to bring the couch to me?
    Me: No sir. When I wrote "cash and carry on the ad" I meant that you will need to pick up the couch from my house yourself.
    Caller: Do you take checks?
    Me: No sir. When I wrote "cash" on the ad, I meant cash.

    Deep sigh. It makes me wonder about the survival of the human race.

    Kylie is handling the shuffling and packing really well. I got her a Berenstain Bear book about moving. It's a little too wordy for her so I made up my own story about how the Bears are moving to Virginia. I think it helps her a bit.

    Thanks to all of you for your comments and good thoughts. It really helps me!

    Here are a few recent scrapbook pages:
    What are you thinking?


    Dance Elmo

    Thursday, July 02, 2009

    Thanks, a question and Kylie stuff

    WOW! Thanks to everyone who posted a comment about our move. I'll admit that I waver between feeling excited and feeling anxious and overwhelmed about moving to VA. "Announcing" it on the blog made the move news very real. For the past two days, every time I started to get shaky about it, up would pop another blog comment from you. You support me more than you know, so thank you.

    Question: I have 10 or more Melissa & Doug puzzles like the one pictured below. Back in the Winter, Kylie stopped showing any interest in them. I put them away for a while. In April, I pulled them back out but she ignored them. So my question is: "Should I hold on to these puzzles because she may get interested in them again or let them go because she's grown past them?" Developmentally, I just don't know what to expect. I'm leaning towards selling them or giving them away. What do you think?

    One of Kylie's new things is to reach over an pat my arm and ask, "You okay Mommy?". Kids are so intuitive. She was all about the hugs yesterday. Hugging me and hugging her stuffed animals.

    Her other new thing is to ask 20+ times a day, "How you doin?". I'll say, "I'm doing great Kylie. How are you doin'?" and she'll say, "I'm great too".

    She's playing with phrases like, "I'm too big. I'm too little. It's too hot. It's too cold." But she purposefully mixes them up. I'll say something like: "Kylie, do you want some raisins". She'll reply with, "I'm too little Mommy." And then she'll just smirk/smile at me as if to say, "Let's see what you make of that!"

    She's likes to play the "favorite" game.
    I'll say, "Kylie, what is your favorite color?"
    She'll reply, "Green!"
    I'll ask, "What's your favorite letter?"
    She consistently says, "M!"
    Then she'll hold up one tiny finger and say, "My one favorite thing is....(she'll pause for effect letting me think she'll say Mommy or Momma) and then say, "Little Einsteins" and then laugh. This cracks her up every time.

    You might remember that Kylie was nervous about bugs. I saw this Match-a-Bug kit and had to get it. It's been a big hit. Kylie and I have enjoyed putting these big, plastic bugs on the windowsills and on this matching board. I like that she can really study and handle the bug replicas. As an added benefit, she's not been freaked out about bugs. Hurray!

    Here are a few more pictures of the munchkin.
    She colored this crown herself. From this coloring book.