Friday, July 29, 2011

Our daughter the genius...the evil genius.

Act I

Scene: a warm summer evening. Chloë is carrying water from the kiddie pool to the concrete path just below the back steps and dumping it there. Carrying and dumping, carrying and dumping.

Mama: Where do you think all that water goes?
Chloë (looking around at the steps, tomato plants, garbage can, and fence nearby): gaba cayyn?
Mama: In the garbage can? That's a good answer.
Chloë (mischievously, looking up at the sky): Adahay up to ky?
Mama: All the way up to the sky? That's a very good answer.

Act II

Scene: another warm summer evening. Everyone is lounging around after Maia's bath, which Chloë helped with and enjoyed immensely.

Chloë (poking at Mama's pants): Mama pae het?
Mama: Yes, they're wet. That's because someone was splashing during Maia's bath.
Chloë (starting to giggle): No.
Mama: Was that someone Chloë?
Chloë (coyly): No.
Mama: No? Who was it, then?
Chloë: Uddah Koë.
Mama: Some other Chloë splashed me?
Chloë: Hah [yeah].


Scene: same evening. Chloë lies on the bed, at her leisure, as her Daddy changes her diaper.

Chloë (for no discernible reason): Ha. Ha ha. [She considers.] Hahahahahahaha!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Status report: Maia, Month 3

And so we come to the end of the fourth trimester. I've heard the newborn stage described this way, and it feels pretty accurate; in the first three months babies are still doing pretty much what they were doing in the womb--eating, sleeping, eliminating, hiccuping, and sucking on their hands. But in the last few weeks, Maia has started becoming less of a lump and more of a baby. Hooray!

She likes the swing better than she did, and she also likes sitting in the carrier or the Boppy or the booster seat (propped up with a blanket), watching while I peel carrots or Chloë plays with her balloon or we eat dinner. There's a teddy bear I got when Chloë was born that Chloe never really took to, and Maia loves looking at it. We put it in the little tray on her swing and she sways back and forth, back and forth, staring. In the booster seat, we put toys on the tray, and she's started batting at them a little.

She coos sometimes, and if she's a little more agitated--if she's been left alone a while or it's getting on toward feeding time--the coos get louder and more raucous, and then turn into bird trills.

She's starting to drool some, and she's snorfly almost every morning, though it doesn't seem to be sickness. I don't think she can have gotten allergies this early. Chloë is amused when I drop saline into her nose and then use the big blue bulb on her; Maia, not so much so. We're going longer between feedings now, two and a half hours or so, though it varies, and sometimes she wants to stop after twenty-five or thirty minutes instead of the full forty. It's odd, at least compared to Chloë's utter ravenousness at this age, but as long as she's happy, I certainly don't have a problem with it.

Oh, Dad. You're not going to play that one, are you?

The crankiness of last month has gone away. We've been giving her baby Zantac, which has helped, but recently she's also been scream-free a couple of nights we forgot or had no chance to give her the evening dose, so I'm thinking she's outgrowing the reflux. She still wakes up frequently in the night; I think the most we've gone is five hours between feedings, and only the once. Once I'm over the cold I've got and a little caught up on sleep I'm going to do my best to try taking her into the nursery for night feedings instead of nursing her in bed. (I keep saying this.) She's moving toward regular napping, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, though she's not at the stage where we can put her down for a nap yet.

She adores her baths. She seems to know when we're undressing her for one; if she was fussy or agitated she calms down and waits for her onesie and her diaper to come off. I take advantage of these times to tell her about all her baby parts and kiss them, or deliver raspberries. She grins and moves around in a way that suggests she would be laughing if only she knew how. She's an awful cutie. I think we'll keep her.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Yes we know the muffin man

Chloë's two-year checkup went excellently. We warned her ahead of time there would be shots, but in fact there weren't, just a finger-stick to get checked for lead. She's 75th percentile for height (not quite three feet), 98th for weight (a little over 34 pounds), nearly a twenty-inch head. She was very good, and even talked some despite the doctor being a stranger, and got a sticker for her pains. We asked about her frequent nosebleeds and got some saline gel to try and sooth the irritated patch on her septum that's apparently causing the trouble.

"If it doesn't work, we can try other things, including cauterizing that spot," the pediatrician said, "but we don't want to do that if we don't have to." We agree. And Chloë's quite happy to get "med" for her nose, especially if it will help the nosebleeds.

The guidance for two-year-olds they sent home with us mostly seemed reasonable, but I was slightly annoyed by the nutritional guidance. Most of it I took no exception to--avoid soda and diet foods, lots of fruits and vegetables, eat at the table as a family, encourage water--but there was also, below "Eat whole-grain bread" and "have a protein source with every snack and meal," the line "no more than 1 serving of starch." Seriously? Now we're advocating the Atkins diet for toddlers? Are they not aware that

-carbohydrates are the best source of energy;
-starches (not highly-processed ones, sure) come with other healthful things like vitamins and fiber,
-excess protein can be harmful;
-starches usually are protein sources anyway;
-dude, human civilization was predicated on starches;
-children are meant to gain weight, not lose it;
-seriously, your plan is that every day growing children should have one piece of whole-grain bread and then nothing but vegetables and pure protein? Seriously?

I worry a bit about Chloë's weight--though the pediatrician says she doesn't--but I will put her diet up against anyone's. Also, I will give up hearing Chloë say "Koë make muffin with Mama," when someone beats me to death with a steak.

Dear Chloë, year two

My best Chloë-bear,

Superlatives! Exclamations! I don't even know how to start this letter, I'm so full of how wonderful you are and how much fun it is to be your mom. You are two years old, equal amounts baby and kid, your own marvelous amalgamation of wonder and learning and joy and frustration and almost frightening understanding. It's amazing watching you learn. I didn't know your dad and I knew this much, didn't know the world held so much until I started seeing you gather it all in.

You are so so so much more fun as a toddler than a baby. Which is not to say we didn't have good times before you were one; we did; but this last year has been many times more awesome, and just as full of transformation. You started out the year not quite walking, not quite talking. Now you climb out of your bed every morning, walk down the hall, and say, "Koë wake. Mama wake? Maia waking no. Daddy waking no." Sometimes you're wearing your green cotton bracelet, which I made for you because you wanted to wear green socks to bed all the time, which wasn't practical because you only have one pair and you already sleep so fiery hot that adding socks would probably have resulted in scorch marks on your bed. I love how you want things now, how you've developed opinions and desires. Admittedly your biggest desires are often for candy and ice cream, but I can't really blame you there.

One of your other big loves is water. You are such a water baby. Bathtime has slowly evolved from a bit of a trial to an enjoyable ritual. You love the bubble bath and your bath toys, even if you like to play with the water itself best. You have eleven duckies: First Ducky, Pirate Ducky, Camouflage/Devil Ducky, Grenadier Ducky, Mad Scientist Ducky, Cowboy Ducky, Rock Star Ducky, First Mate Ducky, Snowman Ducky #1, Snowman Ducky #2, and Reindeer Ducky. Recently you offered to give your sister First Ducky, but that didn't last long. You also have Scrubber Ducky, and have just recently started actually using it. It's marvelous how much you can do, and how much you want to. In just the last week or so you've started lying down in the water and consenting to be rinsed off with the showerhead, things that horrified you a month ago. We went to Kalahari, the water park, last month. You had a marvelous time--you're still talking about it--and it's gotten you to be more adventurous both with water and with slides. We put your own slide into your kiddie pool for your birthday, and while you were a little hesitant, especially before I got smart and put you into your life vest because your head kept going under water, you loved it. We bought you knockoff Crocs specifically so you could stomp in puddles after rainstorms, and though you're always a muddy mess afterward, you love it so much I adore taking you out to do it.

The other big love is your new sister, Maia, who's just about three months old now. I'm so very proud of how you've handled having a new sister. You've been a little jealous, certainly, but only a little. Otherwise you've been pleased to help fetch and carry diapers and onesies, to rock her in her carrier while we're getting ready to go out, to look at her in pictures, to help push her stroller. You try to help burp her after feedings. You love it when she grabs your thumb. You squalled when I pushed your hand away the other day because you had a rash and I didn't want it to spread to Maia. That same day I put her in the crib while you and I were in the bathroom using the potty, and you said, "Maia wait, Big Sister done on potty." I can't wait to see you being a big sister as Maia grows and becomes more fun to play with. (Also, having you two play with each other instead of separately demanding attention from us is going to be great.)

I love the way you talk. “Koë,” you call yourself. When I told you your full name recently, you repeated it: “Koë Eeja Nydah.” You say “Hee book hight bear?” and we read the book, right there. “Mama carry hoo down da dair?” you say, and I carry you downstairs (after correcting you by saying “Say 'Mama carry me.'”) “Koë ball down at bama makket no,” you say, and I agree that no, this time you didn't fall down at the farmer's market. I'm intrigued by the growing tenacity of your memory. Exasperated sometimes too, of course. You seem to remember the show you haven't seen since last Christmas. You surprised me the other day by commenting on how the snakes we saw at the zoo had moved. You got a set of “P.B. Bear” books recently, four titles, and for three of them you can say the real title with a reasonable amount of accuracy, but Fly Away Kite is “ducky book” because there are ducks in it, and ducks are probably your oldest love.

You have a large ("huge!" as you would say) vocabulary, and use it constantly. Every day it's a continual stream of narration: "Chloë wake up." "Chloë sit on potty." "Maia cry. Maia not happy." "Plane outside? Motorcycle outside?" (Please note: you are not getting a motorcycle anytime soon. Quit asking.) "Mama go work?" "Chloë stomp in puddles other day." I love how you can meaningfully answer questions now. If I ask you what you had for lunch, you can tell me: "Cheese, peas, mmm....strawberries." Or "Milk Os" (though I'm not sure you weren't just remembering breakfast on that one). Or your favorite, "Mac cheese." Your favorite foods are always said with a blissed-out inflection. If I give you a fruit snack you run to your dad and report, "Mama gave doop nack," in this ecstatic monotone on the level of "Mama is going to stay home and play blocks with me while my favorite show is going and tickle me and give piggyback rides AND feed me chocolate." Or, more simply, "Water park."

You love to jump and run and climb, and turn upside-downs and be tickled and rough-housed with. You just started to say "That tickles!" and you might have gotten it from your the utterly evil talking puppy, but it's cute nonetheless. Whenever we do something you like, you say "One more time?" which you've now shortened to "More time." And we tickle you or throw you over our shoulders one more time. And you say, "More time?" And we say "NO," or "Say 'again,'" or "Maybe later." But we usually do it one more time anyway. You're persuasive like that. By which I mean a lethal combination of cuteness and nagging.

You get frustrated easily, and scream a lot, and I don't really blame you. You want to do so much, and you haven't quite learned it all yet. But you're working on it. You obey us really well, all things considered, and you can understand what we say and try to take our suggestions. You can point out colors and numbers and letters, and animals and the sounds they make, and people you know, even some you've only seen in pictures. You're doing so well. I know you'll keep on learning and growing.

You watch your “shows” nearly every day, and while in the beginning you would narrate them, now you sit and watch, narrowly and solemnly. Sometimes you try to sing along, and your quiet attempts make my heart ache (in a good way). One of your favorites, “Classical Baby: The Dance Show,” has a jazz rendition of “Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy” that involves hippos doing household chores. It's not how I would have choreographed it, but you like it. You stare at it and at the end of the sequence, when the hippos are eating their homemade pizza and the daddy hippo suddenly throws up his arms and suds from their earlier encounter with the washing machine appear, you whisper, “Bubbahs,” and I'm always surprised that you sound so young while your perfect focus is so old. Or perhaps it's not. Heaven knows I don't have that kind of concentration. You bring that focus to almost everything you do now. It's a beautiful thing. You're a beautiful you. I'm not really afraid of the terrible twos, not yet anyway, not knowing how eager to please and happy to learn you are. I would say I expect you to get still more awesome next year, the way you did this year, but that's asking an awful lot. Even asking you to stay this awesome is asking a lot. But I bet you can do it, and I'm looking forward to it.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Chloë's second birthday

Chloë is two! She is the best two-year-old ever. Her birthday was Saturday, and went very well, all things considered (especially how much of a stupid wreck her mother was over the cake). The day started with pasta and sweet peppers for breakfast--her request--and a green helium balloon, and then a trip to the farmer's market. It was hot and she was tired, and as we walked back to the car I told her, "We're going home, and you can play with your balloon a little. Then it will be naptime, and then it will be your birthday party." She was walking slowly, and I offered to carry her. She lifted her arms without a word, and as we walked toward the car she said, "Go home. Play with green balloon. Night-night. Then birthday party."

When she woke up, there were other balloons to play with, too:

Because her aunt and uncle had to leave early, we made with the cake and ice cream right away. Her cake was chocolate with vanilla frosting:

And she was very excited about eating both cake AND ice cream. She's still talking about it.

She got plenty of lovely presents: dresses, sparkly T-shirts, her own lotion, a Magna Doodle (only not called that), a "Happy Birthday" book, jewelry and hair stuff, an Elmo video, a stuffed snake, and a plastic kitchen/shopping cart/food set. (Also the tricycle and slide from Grandpa and Halmoni a few months ago.) Her cousin Addie helped open presents, but I think in future she'll be just fine doing them by herself.

The eighties called. They hope you enjoy their jewelry and hairbands.

And then the kids went out back to play in the pool and the sprinkler and the slide. (This picture is actually from last weekend, but it's the same setup.) Her rash turned out to be some random viral thing, not contagious and not a problem, so she was cleared for the water.

It was a great day. I was a little surprised she didn't ask for another birthday party again yesterday, but then there were still balloons and new toys to play with, and an evening with the cousins to recover from. She was a little disappointed there was no pasta for breakfast, but life's tough when you're two.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Rash activity

Chloë has had a rash the past couple of days. "Ringworm," Eric said, looking at the round red rings. We didn't worry overly much about it; ringworm is harmless. When it didn't go away, we put some antifungal cream on it. Those patches went away, but in the meantime it spread. A lot. Last night we gooped her up with the cream all over and sent her to bed.

This morning she woke up and the spots we'd gotten were gone, but new ones had sprung up everywhere. "Not ringworm," Eric said. "Ringworm doesn't show up or go away this fast." So he's going to put in a call to the doctor. In the meantime, if it's not ringworm we've probably spread it all over her body by applying the apparently useless cream. Poor kid.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Eat and sleep, eat and sleep

We bought Chloë a new booster seat for the dining table. Her previous one has been strapped to the same chair since she was about three months old and she's used it, first with and then without the tray, ever since. When we realized that Maia was in fact getting close to being able to sit in it (when does she grow? How does she do it?), we further realized that a new one must be purchased, and it would be nice if the new one didn't have the annoying bumps and straps that the current one does that get in Chloë's way.

So the new one is a little lower, a little flatter, with the straps and sides removed, and she can climb into it herself. This is a big improvement, and makes her feel very proud. She can remove her own bib, too, and is getting much better at using her fork so her hands aren't always the food-encrusted blobs they used to be. Mealtimes are much less messy than before. Of course, with Maia a little over a month away from potentially starting on solids (really? When did that happen?), it's a very temporary reprieve.

In the meantime, Maia continues to do well with her bottles and to nurse to sleep almost every night. I find it so annoying that I can't remember how we did bedtime in Chloë's early months; but I don't think it was quite like this. What particularly frustrates me is that if I nurse her to sleep in the glider, I can often pick her up and put her in the bassinet for the first part of the night, but only if I fall asleep with her. If I stay awake in the chair to read, even if I wait until she seems dead to the world to move her, she wakes up. You wouldn't think that being drowsy and grumpy would make me a better lay-the-baby-down-er, but apparently it does. Or else when I'm sleeping something gets in the milk that makes her sleep harder. I can't imagine what would happen if we were bottle-feeding only. Would we be insane with sleep deprivation? Buying D batteries weekly so she could sleep in the swing? Or would she have decided it wasn't worth taking advantage of us over and started to stay asleep when out of our arms?

At any rate, I can't wait until we can start getting her to sleep by herself a little more. We were doing great for a couple of weeks, but she seems to be regressing, which means I'm getting less time in the evenings to do things and she's getting less sleep. She does seem to be lengthening her time between feeds, going two and a half hours or so much of the time, and that's a good step. Someday I will sleep four hours in a row again.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Chloë had a good visit with her grandpa this weekend (sadly, he has now gone back to his home in the computer), climbing all over him and dragging him around to play blocks or color or read or watch shows. Saturday a couple of our friends came over with their kids, and the three of them played in the backyard in the pool, and then on the slide, and then on the slide into the pool (and Dad watched them and, in some cases, doused them with the hose). Chloë's head went under water her first couple of slides because she goes down on her back, so we put her life jacket on her for some extra height, and she was happier after that.

This weekend she also reverted to a previous bad habit: namely, squeaking. Not long ago, she started putting an upward, questioning lilt on all of her sentences; and then she started pushing them up to horribly high, fingernail-on-chalkboard squeaking. I don't know why. We tolerated it and then, when it became apparent it wasn't a momentary thing, corrected it. She was cured, I thought, but then it came back. So we're back to correcting her. With luck, soon she will relent.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Potty training take two

Restart your engines, ladies and gentlemen: potty training is back on the table. Chloë has been all about her "Elmo's Potty Time" show (which she calls "Elmo Potty" and we try to call "Potty Elmo" to avoid saying things like "Yes, after breakfast we can watch Elmo potty") but declined to actually do anything with her potty, which has been sitting lonely and forlorn in our bathroom for months. We've been talking up the virtues of underwear and being like Elmo and no more diapers and being a big girl for a while now, but she's always refused when we ask if she'd like to try the potty, even though it's pretty evident she's ready to start toilet training. With Maia still pretty new in our lives, we decided we were going to give her until her birthday before we started getting serious about getting her on the potty.

Lately the Potty Elmo craze has died down and she's started asking after her other shows. But the other night, we tag-teamed her in her bedroom, talking about her potty and her diapers and Elmo and big-girlness until I kind of expected her to say "ENOUGH ALREADY," but instead she agreed that maybe she would like to sit on the potty. Especially when I threw in a sticker. Our agreement currently stands thus: every time she sits on the potty, she can have a sticker to put on the potty's lid. If she actually does anything in the potty, she gets an extra-special glittery moon sticker (moons are still very, very big with her--we made some cheese crackers the other day and she was insistent that they had to be moon-shaped--and seem appropriate in this case anyway).

No extra-special glittery moon stickers have yet been awarded, but there's a steadily growing collection of other stickers on the lid of the potty. She's very keen on these. She'll say "Koë need sticker now," instead of "Koë sit on potty." After deciding she's done and carefully placing her sticker, sometimes she'll ask to sit right back down on the potty. We've taken to telling her that she doesn't get a second sticker for these second tries, and she sits anyway, so that's something, but this sticker idea may turn out not to have been so brilliant as I'd hoped.

We know it's going to take a while for anything to happen. When I noticed her grunting a few times over the weekend, I asked if she was pooping, and she said yes, but when I suggested we go up to the potty she was firmly against it. "Koë need diaper on," she insisted. I got the impression last night, in fact, that she thinks the idea is to go in her diaper and then sit on the potty, so we'll have to be sure to put her on the potty at times other than when she thinks of it. I think this is what they call a work in progress.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Well, you can't argue with that.

[Chloë shrieks.]
Mama: What was that?
Chloë: Koë screamed.
Mama: Why did you scream?
Chloë: Koë not happy.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Silly symphonies

I've been pulling out some of the silly songs I made up during Chloë's babyhood for use with Maia. Of the half-dozen or so I thought worth remembering, one is for baby exercises, and goes like this (with appropriate accompanying movements):

Baby arms go up, baby arms go down
Baby arms go all around
Baby arms go in, baby arms go out
Baby arms go all about
Baby arms do the wave, the wave, the wave, the wave
They do the Macarena, the Macarena
They clap clap clap, they clap clap clap, they clap clap clap clap cheer!
They pull you up here
They put you down there
Baby arms go everywhere!

Don't you judge me.

Ahem. Chloë heard me chanting this with Maia and loved it. I don’t know whether she has a dim memory of me doing it with her or if she likes seeing me waggle her sister's arms all over the place or what, but she'll request it when the three of us are sitting together. She laughs when I try to clap Maia's hands together and they're curled tight (which they always are). Then she says, "Do Koë." So I take her wrists and go through it with her. When we're done she sayd, "Do Maia." It's the cutest thing. I'm not sure where she picked up "Do" as a verb, at least in this context (is this the same as "Chloë do" or not?) but then I don't know where she picks up a lot of her words.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


So Maia has not liked being deprived of the R.I.N.D.S. while I’m at work. Last week, she took one bottle late Wednesday, and then none on Thursday and Friday, and we worried. Each night when I came home I nursed her, and I think she figured "Hey, if I wait long enough, Mom will come back." We tried different bottles, different locations--and when I say "we" I mean "Eric," because we figured my trying to offer the bottle would only make matters worse. We discussed offering formula. Saturday, we tried nursing half and then offering the bottle. Nothing worked. We decided that we must have a serious standoff, no R.I.N.D.S. allowed until she had successfully taken more than one bottle, no matter what, until she cracked. Or we did.

So early Sunday morning, Chloë and I went to the park and played on the slides and the swings while Eric stayed home with Maia and offered a bottle every half hour. Chloë and I came home for napping and lunch and pumping, me avoiding the room Maia was in whenever possible. We went out again to shop at various places, which included having a snack in the car on a ninety-degree day (yes, I kept the AC on) since I didn't think we'd be welcome in the store with fingers sticky with grapes and trailing goldfish crackers.

And Maia accepted a bottle, perhaps sensing that we were serious. (It probably also helps that people other than Eric had tried and failed to get her to take a bottle, so he knew it wasn't his technique causing the problem and was more confident.) Then she took another one. We nursed for the night, and Monday and yesterday she's taken her bottles quite competently. I think she may not be taking as much as she ought--two and a half or three ounces at a time--but she's eating, and that's what matters. The siege is over.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I've mentioned before that there's a moment at the beginning of most nursing sessions when I hate my own skin and everyone else and realize that everything in my life has been a big mistake and I'm trapped in it forever. It happened with Chloë, and I didn't think about it much. It started up again with Maia, and after I realized my dissatisfaction with my life and my second child mostly stemmed from those moments, it occurred to me that maybe I should do something about it.

I started with the Internet, of course, and came upon something right away: D-MER, Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex. As far as I can tell, this is exactly what I've got. Essentially, the milk ejection reflex (which happens a short time into a nursing session and makes the milk actually flow rather than being sucked out) is coupled with a bigger-than-it-ought-to-be drop in dopamine levels, which causes various negative feelings until they level out again, which takes a few minutes. A couple of sites I read regarding it say that simply knowing that it's physiologically caused can help, and I've been finding that that's true. Now I get Maia settled, start feeling lousy, and then remember that it's because we just started nursing, and I'm usually okay. Sometimes I persist in feeling lousy, but it's gotten a lot better.

I mentioned it to Heather at the midwives' at my six-week checkup, wondering whether (a) they'd heard of it and (b) they had any other suggestions. She'd never heard of it. She was concerned, because we'd already discussed my increased risk of PPD ("If you think it's coming on again, we want to treat it pretty aggressively, because that works out better for women than if you don't fix it the first time") and wanted to know if I just wanted to go right back on an antidepressant, which I didn't. She promised to look it up and check with a couple of lactation specialists to get any advice they might have. A few days later she called (well, had a nurse call) and suggested counseling, because "a pill won't help; you can't take on every time you breastfeed." (I bet I could, but they'd have to make the pill first.)

I don't think this will help, so I'm not going; I'm doing okay now, there's a much more tenuous link between D-MER and cognition than PPD and cognition, and their previous recommendations for counselors have worked out poorly. At this point it's just something to put up with. Between this and the lipase problem, though, I'm starting to wonder whether I'm actually (physically) cut out for motherhood.

Friday, July 1, 2011

On clothes

It's a household of girls, we're interested in clothes, right? Maia doesn't care much yet, except that she seemed to violently object to my pajamas this morning. She's had very little spit-up so far, but she made up for it today in one huge vomit that got her left side, my right side, and one of the rocker's arms. She seemed quite happy both before and after, but I was less than pleased, especially since it meant hopping into the shower when I was supposed to leave in ten minutes. This is why I don't put on my work clothes until just before I leave in the morning.

Chloë, on the other hand, gets ever more opinionated about her clothes. Her Big Sister shirt (but the one without the stain on it; oh, no, we can't wear a shirt with a stain on it--which is an extremely unfortunate attitude in a toddler, especially one whose favorite dinner is pasta) and her bee shirt are her favorites, and she'll ask after them for days after they've been worn and put in the wash. I've been trying to get her in dresses once in a while, and she'll sometimes allow me to put them on her, but then she insists on getting out of them again. Mom recently sent a couple with sparkly bits on them, and since Chloë adores "parky" on her clothes, we may have better success with those.

And as for me: Hooray, I'm wearing jeans for the first time in nearly a year! Well, I had maternity jeans, but that's not the same. These are the stretchy ones and they're tighter than usual, but still: I can wear jeans for Casual Friday again!