C’Mon Kid

Just when I thought we had everything sorted, she goes and does THIS again…

Tuesday she went to both the dentist and the doctor. She was given high praise at both appointments for her above normal perfection, her plaqueless teeth and her positive demeanor. She was poked, prodded, stabbed and made generally uncomfortable. Her nap schedule was all off. I was worried about how she would sleep that night, but she slept like a dream.

The next two nights however…

There are so many things. Things that are likely contributing but not solely responsible for the disruption. Individually they would not be cause for alarm, but together they make for an unholy amount of garbage for a toddler to deal with and I don’t know how to fix it.

She’s 18 months old and gaining her independence, but still so very much a daddy’s girl. She shushes when he’s sleeping, but can’t help herself from running to the bedside screaming “DA!”. If momma tells her no, she runs to Da for comfort. If Da tells her no, she runs to Da for comfort. The mention of his name makes her smile. She is happy to stop whatever amazingly fun (read inappropriate toddler activity) she is engaged in to see where daddy is, or bring daddy something, or say bye-bye, or blow kisses. Shelby has a show that opened last night and has been at rehearsal most nights when she goes down. She looks for him when I take her up. She blows kisses to the couch and then frowns at me. She is restless without him.

She has 4 new teeth coming in. Like whoa. 4! Overachiever. They don’t seem to be causing her much pain or anything. She’s not overly chewy or cranky. I didn’t even notice them until we went to the dentist. But maybe they are bothering her more than I realize?

She also shot up 4 inches in the last three months. So there are definite changes happening fast and loose with her body. Who knows what other havok is ravaging her body and mind, immeasurable by stethoscopes and a twenty minute observation session.

The temperature in our house (and let’s be fair, the weather in general) is so all over the place right now. Her room is either a super sauna or an ice box. I can’t seem to dress her right to account for either scenario though both are likely to happen ALL IN THE SAME NIGHT EFF U NC. And the vent in her room blows directly over her crib. But she sleeps with a quilt now. It used to hang over her window to make it darker in her room until she pulled it off the wall. Then, I just hung it over the side of the crib to help block her face at least from the intrusive sunlight during naptime. It didn’t take long for her to start pulling it into the crib before I even got out of the room, so now we just leave it on the mattress for her to do with as she sees fit. She still hates having blankets cover her legs though. Often she wakes up with freezing feet and a sweaty head. Pull it together toddler. Pull it together.

And then there’s the nap schedule. We’ve toyed with pulling her to one nap a day. We’ve been inconsistent lately and I know that is screwing her up. She is the kinda kid that sleeps better at night when she sleeps well during the day so her nap schedule being all wonky could be contributing to her overnight schedule. Her previous sleep schedule:

7:30 – 9:00 AM – wake up.

10:30 – 11:00 AM – first nap in which she sleeps for about 30 minutes to an hour.

2:30 – 3:30 PM – down for second nap in which she sleeps for 3 hours.

8:30 PM – bedtime routine starts including bathtime, bedroom prep, and “chapter book” which is usually watching 15 – 20 minutes of a movie with Da!

9:00 PM – bed

With her tendency to not sleep at all for one or the other of her naps, we started looking at the probability of reducing her to one nap per day. But as I say, we’ve been inconsistent. With some of her appointments scheduled based on her previous schedule and our own fatigue and attempts at getting the house in some sort of functional state, we just throw her at the crib when she gets cranky. Sometimes she sleeps, sometimes she has quiet time, sometimes she lays there talking to herself louder and louder until she finally works herself up enough to yell for Da! So we don’t have a consistent schedule anymore, and I think we just need to pull the trigger and set a one nap a day schedule and get her used to it, but dang it’s hard to even deal with right now.

Tuesday she had her appointments. Tuesday night, she slept all night and was still out cold when I left for work Wednesday morning. I am told she did not nap well on Wednesday though. That night, she got cranky early and I had spent the day googling the transition to one nap a day and blah blah so I put her down a little early, like 8:45. She slept for a few hours, her typical second nap duration, and then she was up. Up Up Up. Talking, playing, trying to engage us in chasing and tickling. Begging for shoes. Like, dude, it is 2:30AM, we are simply not going outside! Wednesday night she woke wide up and wouldn’t go back to sleep until 4:30AM. She still only slept until 8:30 Thursday morning. Unsure of how to handle a night of no sleep and the wishy-washy ness of one nap or two, Shelby put her down at about 11:00 AM Thursday morning. She slept for about an hour and a half. And then she was up. She played hard, inside and outside. I thought groovy, maybe we’ll get her so tired that the whole second wind will even be exhausted by bedtime, but her dad suggested we put her down at 3:45 (and she was a SUPER crank right about then) so we did. And she did not sleep. She talked to herself for an hour before finally screaming to be released from this boring prison. Once again, because of Dr. Google, I pushed her bedtime routine a little early and had her in the crib by 8:30PM Thursday night. She slept until ten minutes to 1, at which point she woke up shrieking. We both let it go and she soon settled down but then spent the next hour tossing and turning and groaning but never crying for more than 30 seconds. Until 2, when she was once again up uP UP and in no way interested in sleeping.

Since I had to come into the office today, Shelby was in charge of staying up with her. He took her downstairs and I fell asleep after about 20 minutes of convincing myself he had it taken care of and the best thing for me to do was sleep. About 30 minutes later, she was at my bedside saying “Shh Shh Shh. Momma!” The explosion in my heart blew my eyes wide open. But it was short lived as she then punched me in the face. (It seemed accidental, but also looked pretty darn purposeful if you ask me.) Once it was apparent she just wanted to play in the bed and wasn’t going to lay quietly and go to sleep, Shelby took her back downstairs. That was at 4:00AM. I didn’t hear much activity after that and fell asleep again pretty hard, so I’m hoping they did too.

6:30 my alarm went off. 6:45, I heard rustling and the unmistakable timbre of toddler garble downstairs and figured I’d better get my shower started in case there was some significant momming that had to happen before I could leave for the office. By the time I got downstairs, she was once again asleep in the crook of Shelby’s legs.

 

 

Observations

She calls the moon a ball. We go out for a walk in her stroller and she catches glimpses of the half moon in the sky. She points and shouts “BALL!” which comes out really more like “BOH”. And then she keeps pointing and shouting. And I say “moon” and she says “MOH!” and twists in her stroller so she can continue pointing and staring. And the she hears a dog and straightens out, looks everywhere for the hound, and ever so silently says “vuh vuh vuh” which is her version of “woof woof woof”.

If I ask her to hand me her plate she will. If I ask her to bring me the iPad she will. If I ask her to put something in the sink, or give it to dada, or take it upstairs, she will she will she will. I’m not sure how it transpired (though I have a fairly good idea), but when I came home from work the pantry was doused in Cumin. One of those giant bottles almost completely emptied onto the floor. There were tiny handprints and long dragging finger scrapes all around the edges. I handed her the dustpan and she dove right in, doing more damage than good but clearly understanding that she was given a tool to clean up with and did the best her uncoordinated body parts would let her do.

When I ask her to hand me her bowl, she hands me a ball. She does love that word.

She hands me her little toddler bathtub before climbing into the big bath fully clothed. We brush her teeth every evening. With toothpaste.

She loves to be outside. And if there is even the tiniest hint that she can go, she grabs a pair of shoes. Sometimes they are her shoes and she smiles sweetly at you repeating “shss…shss” (very little in the way of vowels) and sits and presents a foot to you for her shoes to be put on. Sometimes, they are your shoes which may or may not be entirely appropriate for the adventure. My rainboots are a favorite of hers since they are quite easy to slip on and she can fit her entire body into one. But today she gave me the heels I had kicked off at the door, like those were totally acceptable for shoveling bark in the backyard.

She is fast. She has always been fast. But now she is fast, and brave, and taller than usual. She can climb higher than she used to. And boy does she love that. Did I tell you about the time I had a dream that she was like Lord of the Game of Thrones/Hunger Games tribe because she climbed the tallest heights? Yeah, still true. She climbs on chairs, stools, desks, beds, couches, end tables, real tables…our house looks like some kinda of weird checkers game because you can never have a chair too close to a surface or she will wreak havok.

She goes up and down stairs without holding on. She goes up and down the brick stairs outside just like an adult. No squatting, no hands, no turning around and sliding down on her tummy. Straight up core strength body correction and balance to lift a foot and place it on a lower step without falling over. I still catch my breath every time.

She likes piggyback rides. She kinda sucks at staying on for horsey rides, but piggyback rides are a win.

OMG she lotions. And combs her own hair. And wipes herself between diaper changes. And remembers we put the sunglasses on the bookshelf before her nap so she can have them after. She sleeps with a blanket. She has a possessed toy that won’t stop singing at the slightest vibration so it sits under the crib. We turn it on to put her to sleep but then it doesn’t go off all night when she shifts. She throws stuffed animals at it to make it start up again. She is smart. I mean, she’s smart for her age. She totally headbutts the cat and the baby gate, so she’s not that smart, but she is smart for her age.

Which is 18 months. Already.

All the Animals

OMG that one Friday that one time. We took Hannah to the Animal Kingdom. And she loved it. The End.

Just kidding.

But seriously. She loved it. She likes animals. All shapes and sizes. All breeds and species. If it moves by itself she is entertained. And in love. She meows at the cat when she sees him at the door. She barks toward every dog in the park albeit super quietly so they don’t really hear her. Her eyes light up and her mouth spreads into the biggest stupidest uncontrollable smile the world has ever seen. This kid will have a lot of pets.

We did the ape walk. A little trail surrounded on both sides by netted enclosures of various apes. Hannah had just recently learned the monkey sound so she oo-oo-ooed at each one she saw. She pointed, smiled, hugged tightly around the neck of whichever adult took her close up to see. (The other thing she does when she gets really excited is squeeze your face. Sounds cute. Is actually quite painful.)

She enjoyed it so very much. So when we got home, we joined the zoo.

And then we went to the zoo. And she loved it.

The End.

Less Magical; Still Fun

Thursday we left Hannah at the hotel with Meme. We did not, however, leave the stroller. Oops! We received various updates throughout the day about her total enjoyment of the sand by the pool, the little boy in the sand by the pool, the sand in her shoes…just general enjoyment of the sand, much like her mama when it is attached to the ocean.

We attempted some adulting at Hollywood Studios. Of primary interest was the Tower of Terror. I just kind of love it. Shelby kind of hates it but has this weird need to conquer it every single time. Which adds to how much I love it. (Last time we were there, he almost broke my sister’s hand clutching it so hard. It was great. My mother’s experience was also priceless. I wish we’d bought the picture.) Once again we were Fastpass thwarted even though I had learned the secret of the Disney App. We’d scheduled two rides at the Magic Kingdom for later that evening but didn’t get it together in time (9:00 the night before!!!! WTF Disney?) to get fastpasses to anything in Hollywood Studios.

I suppose early March is kind of Spring Break for a lot of places. And I suppose also not the best time to schedule a trip to a giant kindergarten – college age suckhole of a money suck, but it was a chunk of time I knew would work with Shelby’s theatre schedule so that’s when we were there. With everyone else on the planet apparently. Despite half the nation boycotting Disney (which clearly wasn’t enough cuz OMG lines just go away.) Even the lines for the bathroom were long and winding. And by the time you wormed your way through the bathroom line, even Star Tours had increased the wait time to 90 minutes. FOR STAR TOURS!

We waited in line for 80 minutes or so for Tower of Terror first thing when we arrived. Next to some profoundly depressing college girls. Who made me want to stab their eyeballs out and also teach them all of the things and reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally really hope my daughter is better than that when she gets to be that age cuz OMG you guys do you even remember I HAVE A DAUGHTER? OF THE FEMALE VARIETY? crap.

We then looked up the wait time for the Aerosmith ride which I am sure has a real name but is and forever will be referred to as the Aerosmith ride. 2 hours. NOPE.

We proceeded to saunter around retired old people style. Shelby wanted a beanie so he didn’t look so I don’t know what in the pictures other people might buy of us on no other rides ever because lines. But the one we found on a cart close by didn’t have a tag and the doofus didn’t make up a price but said he couldn’t sell it to us and then hung it back up on the cart so he could NOT SELL IT TO SOMEONE ELSE IN A MINUTE.

There was just way too much profound stupidity at the Hollywood Studios that day, so we bought our Christmas ornaments and meandered to the parking lot after lunch. Because we’re 60 now.

We drove over to the parking lot for the Magic Kingdom and debated whether to ride the ferry or the monorail because you can’t just go to the Magic Kingdom you have to stand in line first. It was just chilly enough to make the prospect of the ferry horrifying so we waited for the monorail. Then waited on the monorail. Then were trapped inside the monorail once we had made it to the park for all of 2 minutes but still, I was done with the monorail.

The sun was warm enough. We did a bit of walking. A bit of talking. We had some time before we could use our Haunted Mansion ticket so we headed over to Tomorrowland which is apparently our jam. We shot imaginary lasers on the Buzz Lightyear ride. I was totally kicking Shelby’s butt but forgot about the last little bit and gave up too early and he creamed me. Whatever makes him happy. The Haunted Mansion was next, but it was stopped like 3 times while we were on it, to include a complete termination of the soundtrack which did not restart immediately with the ride which is a really weird experience. I mean, how can you pass the busted busts without hearing them sing???

We toodled around some more. Rode a few more rides. Bought a few souvenirs. Ate some food. And then got really tired and did not feel like hanging out until 10 for our Space Mountain fastpass so headed to the front of the park. To wait in line.

Don’t ask me why, but we opted for the ferry this time. Something about the length of lines, logistics of the correct monorail, loss of will to live. I felt a very strong urge to punch a woman who was clearly having a worse day than me and accused me of judging her children who as far as I could tell were being remarkably well behaved for the hour. Instead I smiled sweetly and told her that I was just surveying my future and missing my two year old daughter at home. She gave me some other snarky remark and I just laughed and then dragged Shelby to another pocket a little further ahead in the throng. A short while later, we heard a dad shouting as he walked in the opposite direction of the crowd now pushing and throwing elbows to get on the boat. “Owen?! OWEN!! OWEN?! Has anyone seen a little boy in a black hoodie?” My heart plummeted. I really hope they found Owen. I really hope Owen didn’t get in too much trouble. I’m really glad I’ve never (knock wood) felt the gut punch of not knowing exactly where my child is.

We made it back to the hotel without further incident. Hannah was sleeping though not for long. I enjoyed a glass of wine with my feet up sitting in the kitchen next to my husband happily tapping away at his computer. I looked up a few things and began to get excited about Hannah’s adventures to the Animal Kingdom the following day. I had high hopes for the Animal Kingdom.

Magic Kingdom Indeed

Things are different with a kid. Everyone says it. Everyone believes it. But no one KNOWS it until you have a kid.

I am a coaster kinda girl. I love riding Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Splash Mountain (c’mon Disney, what’s your fixation on mountains?) and the like. I will happily stand in lines for upwards of an hour and a half just for the 4 minutes of wind in my hair, butterflies in my tummy, and bragging rights. And then I will run across the park to stand in line for something else, and go back to the first side for my fastpass. Lots of ill-planned cross park running to minimize wait times and maximize thrills.

Enter baby. Who does not like to wait in line for anything. Who does not meet the minimum height requirements by a long shot but would probably love all the mountains as much as I do. But who is also equally entertained by climbing on benches and making faces at her daddy to trick him into giving her popcorn. (She is spoiled though, so there is not a lot of tricking that needs to happen.)  The park opened at 9 and we were safely and happily inside by 9:30. We headed directly to Tomorrowland so Shelby and I could get in line for Space Mountain. We’d use the wait in line time to develop a plan for maximum coaster time and baby enjoyment and the Magic of the Magic Kingdom would rain upon us in all its super parenting glory.

Or Not.

By 9:30, the wait time for Space Mountain was already 2 hours. how is that even possible???? So we headed over to the terminals set up 500 feet away to load our tickets with fast passes which is when I discovered the fastpass system is completely different than it was 3 years ago AKA the last time I was at Disney World. All fast passes are loaded into the terminals, so you can fastpass any Magic Kingdom ride from the terminals in Tomorrowland unlike before when you had to actually go to the ride you wanted to fastpass. Feelings and opinions and GRRRRRR. Blah, long story short, there were no more fastpass times available for Space Mountain. THE PARK CLOSED AT 11PM. 30 MINUTES INTO THE DAY THERE WAS NO POSSIBLE WAY WE WERE GOING TO SPEND LESS THAN 2 HOURS IN LINE. I mean I like coasters, but not that much.

Once our idea of our day at the Magic Kingdom exploded we had to recalibrate. Let go of preconceived and formerly experienced Magic Kingdom of our Youth and focus on Newly Experiencing Magic Kingdom for our Youngin. We were reluctant to believe it, but we ended up having a really nice time. We just sauntered around like old people. Went into that door because Hannah could and it was only 20 minutes until the next showing. Nevermind it was probably boring and awful cuz Hannah could go in and it was only a 20 minute wait (spoiler alert. We were at the Magic Kingdom. Nothing is boring and awful.) Then we’d saddle up and keep cruising around the park. “Are you feeling a little hungry?” “I could eat a thing.” “OK, let’s see what they have at this place we are conveniently standing outside of.” “Nah.” “OK, let’s grab a bag of popcorn at the cart right there and keep sauntering along.” “Yeah.” “Country Bear Jamboree in 10 minutes. Wanna?” “Sure.” And so on and so forth.

It was relaxing. It was surprisingly eventful. Hannah got to ride several rides and see lots of shows. She got to meet Goofy and Donald. She was terribly excited the whole time we stood in line, pointing and giggling. She just in general seemed to be real into the idea of meeting a giant dog (?) and her current favorite word “Duck”. But as soon as it was our turn she was all “Nope. Where’s dad? Must clutch Dad’s leg! Where’s dad?! Giant DOG THING IS PLAYING PEEK-A-BOO!!! DOES NOT COMPUTE!!! DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.”

We rode the ferry and the monorail. We walked more than 16,000 steps. We had dinner at Epcot and got to watch the fireworks from the warmth of the restaurant window. Hannah got some souvenirs. Everyone was well tired and felt pretty good about the day’s accomplishments. I snapped a very cute pic of Hannah’s silhouette on our way home.

Epcot

It was magical.

We Interrupt This Program

To talk about my hair. What the ever lovin GRAY!?

I decided to be a big bad grown up recently. Do a thing I have never really done before in my whole grown up life. I went to a hair salon and dyed my hair. I mean, I only sorta went adult about it. I did go to Aveda and paid very little to have a student dye my hair but shut-up. Baby steps.

And I’m GLAD I didn’t shell out a billion dollars for a dye job and slice up (also known as a cut and color) because DUH DUH DUH…drumroll please.

The amount of gray hair that has crept out around my temples is obscene. And and and, I have generally straight hair anyway, pretty long and thin and limp and boringly mousy brown. It just kinda lays flat against my head no matter what I try to do with it. But these three hairs. Directly in the front. In what would be the widow peak area if I had a widow’s peak. Are short. Gray. And standing at direct attention ALL THE TIME! NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES I YANK THEM OUT.

I’m thirty five this weekend. 35. I hate it. I don’t want it. I don’t think gray makes me look distinguished. I don’t think laugh lines and sunspots make me feel accomplished and mature. I am vain. And old. And elderly by theatre standards. And I just want boring mousy hair that lightens in the sun but grows all the way down my back without splitting and breaking. And a flat if not toned tummy that looks less like the blob in a bathing suit so I can be concerned about the roll when I sit and not the jiggle and muffin top when I am standing as straight as can be sucking in as hard as humane and covering with as much strategic hand and towel placement as possible. And two separate legs at the top when I stand AND when I walk. And smooth clear skin like I had when I was 20 and did not appreciate. That is what I want for my birthday. Make it so. Miracles people, it’s not that hard.

Florida Indeed

We took Hannah for her first (of what I assume will be many if my husband has anything to say about it) Disney experience. She loved it.

We drove down to Florida. We split the drive on the way there kinda for our own sanity in case the little dumpling had a meltdown and couldn’t make it the full way. I was mostly glad we had opted to stay in Georgia overnight, but in the long run I don’t really think it mattered much.

We arrived in Orlando Monday evening. We started to get all settled in our room and then I sent Shoobs to go pick up his mother at the airport. She had agreed to join us on our trip to be a live in nanny of sorts for when we wanted to have a more adult experience. It couldn’t have been a nicer arrangement.

Tuesday, Hannah stayed with Meme (pronounced may may) while the Huz and I saddled up and headed to Universal Studios. It was cold. Much colder than we had expected. But the lines were still long, and we had foolishly decided to purchase tickets at the gate rather than in advance. Rookie mistake. Miraculously, they opened up a new line that started with us and we got to skip about 45 minutes of waiting to get into the daggone place.

We purchased the Park to Park pass, mostly because we wanted to experience both sections of Harry Potter. We started with the park most familiar to us and wound our way to Hogsmeade. Apparently everyone else in Orlando was also only interested in  HP because what was a roomy if congested walk earlier in the park became shoulder to shoulder Mardi Gras style elbow throwing slow and steady snake by the time we got even remotely close. That said, the only real roller coaster in Hogsmeade (the Dragon Challenge) was only a 35 minute wait so we stowed the tiny amount of stuff we had in our pockets and hopped in line. I’ll spare you the drama of the locker situation.

Or maybe I won’t.

So they make you store everything in a locker. I’m not real clear on why. Like everything; chapstick, cell phones, glasses, if it is not literally affixed to your person, it must be stowed. BUT, they give you the locker rental free. BUT, they have no real way of telling how long you will be detained on the ride, so they just give you an hour. Which is great. And wonderful. If they had more than 5 lockers (exaggeration). And if  the lockers reset in the system once they had been identified as cleared. But they didn’t. So because everything is computerized, what you end up with is a bunch of empty lockers that still have time sitting on them and so can’t be checked out again, but are empty and won’t lock again. The one locker attendant is so bogged down with requests to reset this locker number and that that if you aren’t within nose rubbing distance, you won’t get heard. But whatever, the lockers were free. And the wait time for lockers was factored into the wait time for the ride so there you go.

We rode the coaster and then reevaluated our situation. We were getting hungry, Hogsmeade was till pretty packed, and we wanted to check out Diagon Alley as soon as possible, so we headed to the Hogwarts Express!