Every Day is the Same

“Yeah, I’m making a mess at 7am. Wanna fight about it?”

I am SO over the morning routine.

I think the morning is even worse than bedtime.

Add potty-training to the mix and the mornings are just 2.5 hours of arguing with a toddler and pulling an infant out of harm’s way… all before I even have to go to work. Most days, by the time I get to work, I am sweating, harried, and disgruntled from all of the running around, organizing and nagging I have to do.

I could probably reduce some stress by preparing the night before, but who has the energy to do that?!?!

In addition to all the arguing and resistance to do the same things they are required to do EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. there is the mess-making and insanity-inducing repetitive singing of a two-year old. I actually feel like I am going crazy some mornings after hearing, “ABCDEFGHIJKABC!” over and over and over…

And Lillian’s scream is something to behold. It will stop you in your tracks. One of her teachers at daycare goes out of her way to avoid known triggers for her outbursts. I can’t avoid them. Diaper changes = screaming. Putting on a coat = screaming. Getting her in the car seat = screaming, I would almost prefer hearing Gabby incorrectly sing the alphabet at maximum volume.

Serenity now. Serenity now. Serenity NOWWWWWWW!

Gabby-isms

With her increase in vocabulary, comes an increase in hilarious things she says. Here are five of my current favorite Gabby-isms:

1. Gabby calls Lillian “Lilly-girly.” I sometimes used to call her “Lilly-girl” and Gab has just exponentially heightened the cuteness of her nickname. We all call her “Lilly-girly” now.

Meet “Lilly-girly”
2. She refers to herself in the third person always. In the mornings, my “Who’s excited to go to school today?” chime is always answered with a gleeful “Gabby is!” I even have to stifle my laughter when she tells Stanley (the dog) to “Leave Gabby awone!”
3. “Cue meesh!” is Gabbese for “excuse me.” She says it when someone else burps or when she is pushing her stroller around and someone is in her way. I heard her telling Stanley this morning to move out of the way. I asked her what is a nicer way to say that. Her reply? “Cue meesh, Buddy!”
4. Whenever someone else laughs, Gabby says that person is funny. She totally doesn’t understand how humor works. If she does something hilarious and I laugh she says, “Mommy’s funny!” 
5. This one kills me… When she is feeling extra-loving, she will run up to Rick or me and hug us around the legs and say, “I miss you too much!” I don’t know where she heard this or why she started saying it, but it just melts my heart every time.
Two is terrific! We are really loving this kid right now. 
Also, lest you think “Whatever happened to that adorable baby?” She is here, she is awesome, and I have a really sappy post on deck about her, so check back in soon and stop judging me!

My Top 5 Favorite Toddler Toys

Number one best toy EVER! #howweplay

Since we are just getting through birthday-mania 2014, I thought a post about the toys we McDermotts love the most for toddlers. These are some of my favorites right now. I will preface this list by mentioning that Gabby is really into pretend play, water and sand play, and puzzles – so that would explain her obsession with these particular toys. Anyway, here are our top 5 best toys for toddlers:

  1. Gabby got the Step2 Fixin’ Fun Outdoor Grill for her birthday this year and she absolutely loves it. It runs around $30 and is a very simple toy. We also bought the Step2 Stack ‘N Stay Hamburgers Playset to go with it because it only came with one measly hot dog to cook. The grill is very sturdy and also has an oven which is great storage for all of the accessories. The grill also has a sink and stovetop, so kids can cook a full meal. There is lots of room to add accessories, but Gabby is just happy to cook the same hamburger for 20 minutes or longer. 
  2. We got the Hape Gourmet Kitchen for her first birthday, and this toy has been her number one toy for a full year now. It was great when she was just learning to stand, it is even better now that she is running. She likes to load up her shopping cart with food from the kitchen and cook it all over the house. She loves to pretend to wash her hands. Hape also makes a TON of food playsets that go with this kitchen, it is really hard not to buy them all!
  3. Step2 Water Wheel Play Table – With her water obsession, this is an obvious choice. She likes scooping the water and dumping it all over herself. This is a very sturdy table and was even great when she was just starting to stand. I also love this toy when it’s really hot because I pull up a chair, prop up my feet, and Gabby pours water all over my feet and legs. Life doesn’t get much better than that!
  4. The VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker is an awesome toy to help early toddlers begin practicing their steps, but it is also a great activity center for not-yet-mobile babies. The songs are not annoying, the volume has two settings, and the activities can all be done by a one year old easily. Great toy!
  5. The Melissa and Doug Wooden See-Inside Alphabet Puzzle made me really impressed with my kid. She would not do puzzles on her own and then one day she came home from daycare wanting to do puzzles and she was doing puzzles perfectly all of a sudden. My mother bought this puzzle and not only could she immediately do a 26 piece puzzle, but she started learning her letters and SO. MANY. WORDS. Just amazing. 
So, that’s my list of our top 5 toddler toys. What are your toddler’s favorites?

TWO!!!

Sigh… how did we go from this little mush…

to this sweet little toddling baby…

to this hilarious, bossy little chatterbox in only two years?

Every day I am amazed at her vocabulary, empathy for others emotions, love for her sister, her ability to learn new things and her voracious appetite for information. Gabby just wants to know ALL. THE. THINGS.

Here is a list of 5 things I want to remember about Gabby when the memories of these days is a blur:

  1. She wants to do everything Lillian does. If Lilly rolls over, Gabby follows suit and says, “I roll over, too!” If Lilly has rice cereal for breakfast, Gabby wants oatmeal. You’d imagine it would be Lilly wanting to copy big sis, but so far, Gabby just wants to be like baby sister.
  2. She loves the number two. When I ask how many books she wants me to read for bedtime, or if I ask her how many monkeys are jumping on the bed, it’s always “Two, Mommy.”
  3. She wants to say goodnight to Lillian 3 times every night before she will go into her crib. “More see Lilly. More ‘gain, Mommy.”
  4. In order to convince Rick and I to follow her into the playroom, she comes into the living room, grabs us and says, “Mommy, Daddy, come! It’s fun!” It’s usually not very fun, but she is really cute, so we go.
  5. She got underwear for her birthday this morning and I never want to forget the image of her sitting on the floor, putting her underwear on over her pajamas, pulling it up to her knees and then carefully walking all over the first floor of the house trying to find daddy so she could show him her new panties.
Happy birthday, Gabby! I love you!

Just keep swimming!

Summer summer summertiiiiiime! 
‘Tis the season for all things outdoorsy and swim lessons are added to the mix. Since we swim in our friends’ pool regularly in the summer (Thanks, Flitts!), I thought it was warranted that Gabby learn some water safety and get comfortable being out of my arms in the pool. Besides, since I can barely swim to save myself, she’s not in the best hands with me in the pool anyway. 
So, I signed us up for a Mommy and Me baby swim class so we could get us some skills. I cannot believe how much fun it is and how brave and awesome my little girl is! She is one of FEW kids in this class who laughs, smiles, tries to impress the teachers, is so proud of herself and confident… It makes me want to cry. 
The class is given at the town pool and is for kids aged 1-3. The class is a half hour once a week for six weeks and consists of skills-building while singing songs. Most of the time is spent acclimating the kids to the water, making them comfortable on their stomach/back, using a kick board, etc. 
Today we had our second lesson and I was actually hoping class would be cancelled because of the recent thunderstorms. The high temperature today was only 73. Hardly swimming weather. The water was absolutely frigid. We sat at the edge of the pool and dipped our feet in the water, waiting for the other families to arrive. Gabby whined, “I want Mommy” for a good long time. Then it was time to enter the pool. I didn’t want to do it. There is no bigger baby about cold water than me. The toddlers screaming for a full half hour? It was warranted! The water was ice! But that Gabby… She never even complained. She shivered, her lips turned blue, she laughed and gasped at the cold, but she was in her glory. Kicking and splashing like it was what she was born to do. 
I know she’s my kid, so obviously she is perfect and advanced at everything but, come on… Could she be any more awesome?!? 
I know this post is super braggy, but I’m shocked my shy clinger is excelling at a group activity. Gimme a break!

Seven days of fever and going strong

Does this look like a sick kid to you? When I called the doctor on Monday, they said “fever is a symptom, it doesn’t necessarily mean the child has an infection.” The doctor diagnosed her with a cold and sent us on our way. 
Tuesday, she got sent home from daycare with a 103.2 temperature and they asked me not to bring her back until she has been fever-free for 24 hours (shame on me for sending her with a cold/fever that she caught from some other kid in her class).
Wednesday I stayed home again. Thursday, my husband stayed home and claimed she had a normal temperature. I took it after work because she felt hot to me, it was 102. Friday I stayed with her again. 
Today she reached 102.9 and was running around, playing, eating, acting fine. I know there is nothing wrong with this child. Could she be teething? Could this be a normal cold symptom? I have NO idea! All I know is that neither my husband nor I can afford to miss another day of work. Unfortunately, the daycare won’t take her if her temperature is over 100. My boss is not a fan of telecommuting and I am really at a loss for what to do. 
She’s not sick! Ugh…
Update: It’s a urinary tract infection due to an anatomical abnormality. We will find out more when the doctor gets her urine culture results back. Her renal ultrasound is scheduled for 7/8 at 5:30. Pray for a normal scan!

The Pee-Pee Book and Other Literary Problems

I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that’s the title.

Gabby is very much into books these days. All books. Anything with pages, pictures, and words. She particularly enjoys books that rhyme, and she is very adept at memorization, especially if the rhyming scheme is good. 
This makes bedtime difficult for me, because since putting the girls into the same bedroom, my M.O. is basically to keep Gabby quiet so she doesn’t wake Lilly up. So, now in addition to her usual, “I wake baby up!” outbursts, I am battling her passion for reciting every book at the top of her tiny (but powerful) lungs.
I added “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch to the bedtime pile, thinking it would be a sweet singsong-y way to end the evenings. It took one reading before I was being echoed as that little boy in the book “goo and goo and goo.” She also memorized the song, but only the last word of each line, so she would mumble, “hmmmm-hmmm EVER, eehhhhhh ALLLLLWAAAAAYYYYS, hmmmm-hmm baby BEEEEEE.” That book is out of the rotation now.
I also had to stop reading Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book. This book would be a fantastic book to lull any other two-year old child to sleep. Most of the words are made-up, so comprehension is low. The rhyming scheme never changes, it has a very steady rhythm that makes me drowsy when I read it aloud. No, the problem with this book is that she doesn’t know what anything is, and so she gets bored. The number of pages I had to skip in the book was getting out of control. I knew she was going to ask me, “What’s that?” when I got to the page with the machine that counts how many people have fallen to sleep or the page where the Bumble-tub Club is sailing along the river. It was just riddled with disruption and ritualistic asking of questions I had given answers to nightly for months in a row. It was madness.
A friend gave me a stack of books her daughter has outgrown. There were a few good ones in the pile. One of her new favorites is “Just Be Nice — To Your Little Friends!” by Caroline Kenneth. This book is referred to as “The Pee-Pee Book.” Because my child does not know the difference between pee-pee and Pooh. Maybe I need to find a book about potty training…

3 months update

Lillian turned 3 months old a week and a half ago and here are some facts about her:

* she sleeps on her back and is a great night sleeper and napper
* she loves sitting upright in her bumbo or on someone’s lap
* she is able to grasp a toy by herself, but she is working on controlling her hands (lots of accidental face-bonks)
* she started daycare last week and is doing excellent so far
Gabby loves her baby sister. She is calling her “Willy” and loves to give her toys or a blanket. She is still having some “twonager” struggles but we are slowly working through them and have high hopes for all the fun she will have this summer. 
Some pics of the girls…