Thursday, October 31, 2013

31 Days - The End

Where have I been? It's amazing what people visiting, colds for the entire family, and scheduling my prospectus defense for November 1st has done to the end of the month.

We spent a lot of time outside this week to make up for staying home from story time and play group due to the aforementioned colds. Yesterday I pulled out the paints for a change of pace. (Of course, painting ended with her dumping out the water bowl and being sent to time out, but it was fun until that point.) Today was rainy, but Piper-girl had fun making a cocoon of sheets on the couch. I'm convinced that blanket fort building is instinctual in all children.

As for where I'll be after this? Well, Piper-girl and I still have a lot of time on our hands.

Friday, October 25, 2013

31 Days - Gardening

Fall weather has arrived with a vengeance! We had low enough temperatures that many of the plants in the vegetable garden died, so I decided to clear out one of the garden beds to prep it for winter. I spent all summer trying to prevent Piper-girl from pulling plants out of the garden, so it was nice to be able to say, "Pull out any plants that you want, today." She definitely enjoyed herself. And, yes, wearing a pair of Mommy's gardening gloves was absolutely necessary.

I had a scare while outside: I was picking peas and Piper-girl went to the other side of the yard to get one her basket that was on the ground just within my sight. I looked down to pick a few peas, looked up again, and she was gone! I ran around the side of the house and didn't see her. I circled the house a couple of times, ran onto the path behind the house to see if she was there, and looked in the trees, all while calling her name. I was running around the house again when she came out smiling from behind the car. When I asked her what she was doing, she said, "Dirt!" Apparently it was quite an interesting patch of dirt, such that she completely ignored my frantic yelling. We had a talk about where she is allowed to go and how she has to make sure that she can see me when she walks away from me. I learned to keep her on a shorter leash in the backyard.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

31 Days - Sick Toddler

No picture, no story. My blogging time tonight has been taken up by a slightly sick toddler. She woke up coughing, and coughing up junk almost always leads to worse outcomes for her. Lots of cuddles, some nursing, and hopefully back to bed soon.

Tomorrow you'll get to see a happy toddler playing in dirt, but I'm going to bed as soon as I get her settled back down to sleep.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

31 Days - Play Dough

We did it - we made play dough. I wasn't planning on making play dough yesterday, but the promised playground trip got rained out, so I had to come up with something to make up for that.

I used a recipe that uses vinegar instead of cream of tarter since I don't have any cream of tarter on hand. I was originally planning on making play dough some evening after Piper-girl had gone to bed and then pulling it out the next day to play. But, this was in impromptu experiment, so Piper-girl got to help make the play dough as well. Amazingly, she listened and followed directions! No burns! Of course, it helped that I had my hands on hers while she was stirring the play dough in the pot, giving her some additional stability.

We waited until the play dough cooled down enough to touch and then started smooshing it. The texture was a bit off, but I'm not sure if it was due to the recipe or to not letting it cool first. We'll have to get the play dough out again to see if there are any differences once it's completely cool.

It wasn't a trip to the playground, but I think that I managed to salvage the afternoon at least somewhat.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

31 Days - Birthday Cookies

Yesterday was so full of activity that I completely forgot about blogging when the end of the day rolled around. I'm going to consider that a good thing.

The day was filled with laundry and dishes and stories and, I'm sure, many other things of little importance to this story. Interspersed throughout the mundane activities were the steps to making a surprise treat for Daddy's birthday - sugar cookies!

Piper-girl poured and Piper-girl scraped and Piper-girl helped cut out the cookies.

Since Monday is the day that Daddy gets home from work right before bedtime, Piper-girl got to have a cookie for her afternoon snack.

She greeted Daddy at the door just like we practiced: "Appa Birbay, Da-die! Da-Die old!"

Happy 30th birthday, husband!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

31 Days - Hot Chocolate

Chocolate is my manna. Hot chocolate? Manna in liquid form. And since I don't drink coffee, or tea, and very little soda, it's my only source of a caffeinated beverage. Though I'm pretty sure the sugar has more impact than the caffeine.

When I was in college, I consumed copious amounts of Swiss Miss (and, under my influence, so did my roommates). Sometime during grad school I switched to cocoa and sugar or honey in milk. Right now my preferred proportions are a tablespoon of cocoa, a tablespoon of sugar/honey/maple syrup*, and a full mug (my Mt. Washington cup - approximately 12 fluid ounces) of milk. Cooking on the stove is preferred, but the microwave will do if necessary.

[*I haven't tried the maple syrup yet, though one of my college roommates would use it when she made cocoa this way. I'm guessing that a tablespoon would work.]

Is it any surprise that Piper-girl loves hot chocolate too? I dilute hers half-and-half with milk, because she doesn't need that much sugar. And it means that I don't have to share as much of my hot chocolate with her. I picked up some mini marshmallows while grocery shopping last week, so we've been enjoying "mah-yallow" in our hot chocolate this weekend.

And, yes, giving a two-year-old an open cup of hot chocolate while she was wearing a white shirt was a mistake. Once she was finished her hot chocolate, I immediately put the shirt into the sink to soak with some Oxiclean.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

31 Days - Baking Cookies

Repeat after me: it will get easier, it will get easier, it will get easier.

It will get easier, right?

Please tell me that putting in the effort now will yield my own little sous chef by the time she's four, making all of my patience worthwhile. Because baking cookies with a two-year-old definitely requires patience. And situational awareness to make sure that all fingers and tongues are clear before turning on the mixer. Yes, when I told her that she couldn't touch the beater with her fingers, she leaned forward and tried to lick it ... while it was still on the mixer.

 I'm being good ... you only told me that I couldn't touch the beater.

Being the taste tester is a very important job. 

I approve! 

Om nom nom!

Friday, October 18, 2013

31-Days - Oo-Oo Monh-monh

Sometimes I need to pull out the big guns while the husband is at work. It might be because I desperately need to get work done, or it might be because we are exhausted and need a break from each other. On this day, a few weeks ago, we were very tired. We had done all sorts of things together that day, yet the afternoon still wasn't over. I decided to have a special treat and I popped some popcorn and turned on Sesame Street.

I think it's fitting that Piper-girl's favorite character is Cookie Monster (Oo-oo Monh-monh, as she says). Yep, that describes her personality quite well. I'm not certain, but I think that her second-favorite character is Ernie's rubber ducky.

Often the television will only keep her occupied for ten or twenty minutes, but she lasted almost a full episode on this occasion. Though I'm glad I took the pictures when I did, because not five minutes later she stripped completely naked. It's tough keeping clothing on a two-year-old.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

31 Days - Playing in Leaves

What can I say? Jumping in piles of leaves is fun at any age.

Mommy, put down the camera and play with me!

*We're not having typical fall temperatures - ideally, one would be wearing long sleeves and an additional layer when playing in the leaves.

**Note to self: play with camera settings more, particularly with focus options. Some of those leaves are in really great focus! The toddler, not so much.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I love you, too

It was such a trying day today. Piper-girl slept horribly last night, getting up at least four separate times after midnight. As a result, both she and I were very grumpy and prone to temper tantrums all day. I had a research group meeting this afternoon (during which time a fellow grad student watches Piper-girl), and we had to go grocery shopping afterward. Liberal application of the standard cookie bribe* made grocery shopping tolerable.

[*Atkins Farms has an amazing bakery, and it's our last grocery stop. If Piper-girl listens and follows directions well during grocery shopping, she gets a cookie that she can eat when we get home (or after supper if it's too close to suppertime). Mommy always gets a doughnut.]

The trip home from the grocery store gave Piper-girl a 15-minute nap, which was probably worse than no nap at all. Commence wailing, mostly on her part, subsiding only when I convinced her to eat by offering her half of my bean fajita instead of making her one of her own. We split two bean fajitas for supper - whatever works.

Bath time was good. There were a few temper tantrums after Daddy got home, but eventually Piper-girl's mood evened out.

I heard the two of them talking together when he was putting her to bed. Then Piper-girl came out and said, "Ya you, Mama."

"Oh, sweetie, I love you too."

"Ya you, too, Mama."

Today was a good day.