Scary Christmas

Grace’s advent calendar this year was Playmobil dinosaurs. I think it is from last year or possibly even the year before, but her uncle Shelby tracked one down for her.

She is crazy about dinosaurs and has loved opening her calendar toy every day. Today, the ultimate day of Advent, she got a break-open egg with a baby dino inside.

This afternoon, she and Sam were playing when suddenly Grace came running to me in the kitchen. “Sammy scared mine baby dinosaur!”

I may possibly have taken a Calvin’s Dad tact. “No one can scare a baby dinosaur! It will eat anyone who tries. Go tell Sammy your dinosaur will eat him if he scares it again.”

She ran back over to Sam. “Sammy! DON’T EAT MINE DINOSAUR!”

My Little Monster

Grace has started referring to herself as a Little Monster. She usually corrects anyone who calls her by anything other than Gracie, so this is kind of a big deal. (I do mean anything. The only affectionate name I ever get away with is Baby, and even then she usually clarifies that she is Baby Gracie.)

Yesterday I took a three hour nap in the afternoon. Will and I are both sick, and he’d already napped. I got in bed because I was cold, and the next thing I knew the sun was going down and Grace was climbing in bed with me. “Mama, can I get under the covers and cuddle you?” Well, you do not say no to a request like that. I held up the blanket and she shimmied into my arms and buried her head in my neck. “Mama, I just love you too much.”

So basically, this is the best cold I’ve ever had.

Two Stories

Computer Time, a Sam story

Tuesday afternoon I was sitting in the living room with Grace on my lap, watching Pinocchio. Well, she was watching Pinocchio; I was resting my eyes, trying to fight off a headache.

Sam appeared at my elbow. “Mama, I got an idea.” “Yes?” “I have to play the sheep game!”

The sheep game is Home Sheep Home 2 (he prefers it to the original) on Kongregate. I have the main page of Kongregate bookmarked on my toolbar, but I always just search for the sheep game once I’m at the site.

“I’m sorry, buddy, I can’t help you right now.”

“That all right. I will do it!” And he ran upstairs. “Mama, now you tell me the letters.”

I was a little doubtful, but I spelled out H-O-M-E. Seconds later I heard the music of the game.

Painted Lady, a Grace story

Yesterday, Grace said to me, “Mama, go asleep with me!”

It was mid-afternoon, and she does not take a nap, but I got into bed with her anyway.

PARENTING TIP: never turn down a request for cuddles.

I laid down and she flopped across me, grinning. “Mommy! A DRAGON!” “Yes, baby. That’s my tattoo.” She flopped herself around to look at the other arm. “MOMMY! STARS! One, two, fee!”

I whispered, “I’m going to get a flower there too. And one more star.”

“A FLOWOO?” She was beside herself and jumped out of bed.

Today’s Grace-isms

Grace is funny. Like, hilariously funny. Most of this is due to her sense of humor, but some of it is due to her tiny little toddler voice and mispronunciations.

This morning she said:

Tunnel, you suck!

Or at least that’s what I thought she said. Turns out she was telling the tunnel it was stuck.

A few minutes later, she said:

Oh, Frog. You again?

Nope. She was asking the frog, “you are green?”

I’m pretty sure these misunderstandings were due to the way she talks, but just in case I am going to clean out my ears.

Sick Day

The children are sick. Not take-them-to-the-doctor sick, just a summer cold. (Isn’t it funny that we–or at least I–feel the need to specify that it’s a summer cold, as though summer colds were in any way distinguished from regular colds? BUT IT’S JULY! And it’s hot out, see? So a cold is funny!)

I should have known something was up when Grace was super-cranky for like three days straight, but it wasn’t until Tuesday afternoon that I figured it out. She’d finally gotten down off my lap, after a couple hours of climbing on me and yelling. I thought she’d gone downstairs, and after a few minutes I got up to check. That’s when I found her at the top of the stairs:


Actually, this picture? Is from the second time I found her asleep at the top of the stairs. No joke, it happened twice. After the second time, I put her in bed. She slept until 9:00, played for an hour, and then asked to go back to bed.

Yesterday we pretty much watched TV all day. Grace took a nap in the afternoon and I fell asleep putting her in bed, which makes me think I might be coming down with something too.

Sam is not visibly sick unless you know him very well, which I am pretty sure I do. I gave him my Nintendo 3DS and he played Mario until the batteries ran out. I considered taking it away a couple of times because he was so intensely frustrated, but every time he figured it out, and who am I to take that sense of accomplishment away from him? He also turned bright red (dehydration, Will picked up Gatorade for him) and willingly drank children’s ibuprofen, which he has always found to be utterly revolting (it is). Last night he refused to go to bed unless he could sleep in the big bed with Mama and Daddy and Kiki (his nickname for Grace) and Sammy.

And so it was that I went to bed at 8:30 last night, on the bottom bunk. I got into my own bed at some point (not difficult) and then Grace nursed all. night. long. It’s been a long time since I’ve been a human buffet all night and OH BOY I AM SO TIRED NOW. I got up with her around 5:00 and her diaper was dry–yikes. I mean, sure, she is nearly potty trained, but she should not have been dry after drinking all night. And did I mention that I’m a little dried out? OMG.

If Will had more sick time accrued I would ask him to stay home so I could take a nap, but alas.

Dear Children,

Thank you for hearing my pleas to the universe and going to bed at a decent hour last night. That was very considerate of you and allowed your father and I to actually spend some time together when, for the first time in weeks, I was not panicking over a deadline.


For future reference, please know that it is generally understood that if you GO to bed, you ought to STAY in bed. Waking up two hours later, interrupting our Parks & Rec viewing enjoyment, and destroying the chance of any other type of, ahem, enjoyment, is just plain RUDE.


Now that I know I can cut hair…


I cut her bangs to just above her eyebrows, but she keeps pushing them off her forehead so they look shorter. I might cut them thicker–gonna give it a few days and see how they behave.

Hopefully this will help to keep her hair out of her mouth/food/everything. She’s on a bath strike and I’m lucky if I get her clean once a week right now, which would be plenty if 1) her hair wasn’t always sticky, and 2) her hair didn’t tangle so badly (I subscribe to the Curly Girl belief that curly hair should not be brushed, just combed when wet). I’m hoping the bags will help with both problems. Also last night I braided her hair and that made a huge difference, since it tends to get matted while she’s asleep and it can’t tangle if it’s braided.

After I cut Grace’s hair, Sam asked for another haircut. It’s getting a little shaggy so I told him we could do it over the weekend. Then he told me he wants “no hair, like Drew.” Drew who Bics his head. Um…


It takes Grace less than 15 minutes to destroy my workspace by flinging a combination of her toys and my tools all over the floor.

She does this while buck naked.

Then she goes downstairs and does it again, with more toys, DVDs, dishes–whatever she can get her hands on.

All of this mess-making is broken up (to keep it from getting dull) by intermittently climbing on my lap, beating me about the chest and head, and demanding “mulk.”

Because she is driving me batshit insane today, I have spent a not-small amount of time gazing lovingly at her baby pictures. LOOK AT THIS.


That’s maybe six days old. Compare and contrast:



(I would show a picture of the destruction she has wrought, but it is too horrifying.)

(You’re welcome.)

P.S. She has now won her way back into my favor by asking me to remove the halters from two Playmobil horses and making them kiss each other repeatedly OMG.