June 29th, 2009

Oh God so tired. So much howling and writhing. She was fine. FINE! All day. Then at about ten o’clock … I need a night.

The Sincerest Form of Flattery

June 27th, 2009

I just want to say that when my mom used to tell me my copycat baby sister only did what I did because she admired me, what she should have said was, “Suck it up. It will be a thousand times worse if you end up having one of those stalker kids who wants to do whatever you’re doing.” Because Violet’s ideal day would be one that started with a third party binding our two bodies together with an entire roll of duct tape. She wants to be doing whatever I am doing. Am I closed in the bathroom? This is unacceptable. From outside the bathroom, she cannot watch my waste swirl down the flushed toilet. Am I taking medicine? HOLY SCREAMING WHY CAN’T SHE HAVE SOME OF THAT TOO?! If there was a rabid monkey eating my face off, she would whine shrilly to indicate her displeasure, as if to say shriek, “WHERE IS MY RABID FACE-EATING MONKEY?!”

A Typical Morning, as Steve Eats Breakfast and Prepares to Look in the Basement Laundry for Clothes to Wear

June 26th, 2009

Me: “Aw man, Mia peed on this towel.”

Stevel [entering stairwell]: “And she’s pooping right now at the bottom of the stairs.”

Me: “Intervene!”

Stevel: “She already squeezed one out.”

Me: “Well, do something.”

Stevel: “What do you suggest? What’s the best course of action for someone holding a popsicle?”

Wherein You Are Overcome by Cuteness and Die

June 25th, 2009

We went to Irvine yesterday to spend the day with Megan and wee 3.5-month-old Christopher. What a great day. Oh man. Suburban bliss enough to tide me over for … well, I don’t really crave suburban bliss, so it’s more an exotic surprise!

Megan and “Winston,” as Stevel and I still like to call him to ourselves*, were finally over being sick for a while, and Vibble was on her bestest behavior all day (this has NOT been the case so much recently**). We took a gorgeous, breezy sunny walk in the endless Utopia of Woodbridge Resort/Community. We ate a decadent meal at Olive Garden. We shopped at, I swear, the world’s largest Babies R Us until our eyeballs popped out of our heads. And all the while, Violet watched, and often gently petted, her little OC*** friend. In case the very thought alone of V’s being a sweet-tempered little darling with her pal doesn’t gag you, here are, photos of the sap. I mean, holy effing cute, right?

* As a pre-publicly named fetus, Christopher needed a nickname in our household. We decided they (the Hills) should name him Winston, Winston Church Hill. Alas, we did not get our way.

** More on the behavior soon. I think we are getting somewhere with attempts to discipline. It mostly breaks down when she is denied access to computer equipment. Often such access is denied because there is yogurt on her hands or something.

*** OC in this case can stand for either Orange County or abOte half Canadian in citizenship.

And now I am very, very tired, as for some reason Shortie slept barely at all last night, favoring instead a certain combo of whimpering, thrashing, and kicking off covers. Blast.

Week to Weak

June 19th, 2009

I am sunburned. My back is KILLING me. And I feel like I haven’t slept in years. Oh, and also? I’m having the time of my life.

A toddler is so much WORK and so much FUN. The imitation quadruples every day. She likes to “clean” things with a sponge or washcloth. These things do not include her face, BUT she will randomly sponge off her feet in the middle of the living room from time to time. When the phone rings, she puts her hand to her ear and announces, “Ha-wah.” Today she distinctly said “bubbles” and “David.” Yesterday she did not go down for her nap until SIX-THIRTY. At the Zimmer yesterday, she refined her methods for stalking and touching other children. Today at the beach, she wanted to play in the water a lot. Without being shown the game of run-away-from-the-water-as-it-comes-in, run-toward-the-water-as-it-goes-out, she began to play it. She wanted to sit in the way of the water. She wanted to put sand in her mouth and then grin up at me as she tried to push it out with her tongue.

I would write more, but I can barely move my fingers. I would say I could count on help from Steve when he gets home from work, but he took one for the team last night when the kid woke up and wanted a snuggle-buddy, and bunked with her in the single bed in her room. He is a wonderful, wonderful man.

And here are some photos!

Many Things

June 10th, 2009

Number one, Welcome, Ayati! Congratulations to Susan, Bobby, and Asha.

Number two, Thank you for the Milwaukee mini-tour, Kate.

Number three, Congratulations to Liss, who yesterday turned in her final assignment of her undergraduate career, and who graduates from UCLA this Saturday!

Yesterday I took Vibble to the Zimmer Children’s Museum. It’s a great place, and we ended up joining as members. This is a place a lot like Kidspace, where we went the week before last (Or was it last week? What year is it?), but targeted to a bit shorter crowd. It’s got a real airplane inside the kids can play in, a real ambulance … and then kid-scaled versions of various scenes they can play in to their heart’s delight—a hospital ER, a grocery store with cashier stand and produce section and shopping baskets … a bookstore … a bagel shop …. a synagogue … a little indoor park … a newspaper-making place (?) … all of this complete in detail and stationed along an adorable, DETAILED “street,” and all just sitting there with props and “costumes” lying about, waiting for kids and their imaginations to enjoy it. There’s also a small room full of big, thick, gym-mats designated for under-twos. We got there just as it opened, and no one showed up for about 20 minutes. So Vibble was able to walk around and explore without any bigger kids to compete with. She did not want to go in the plane or ambulance. She wanted to pull everything off of every shelf in each of the scenes. Eventually, more kids showed up—but no one older than 4—and then she was really in heaven. MUST. TOUCH. EVERY. KID. She did a lot of what Stevel calls Stalking, too, where she would single out one kid for a while and just trail them all around the place for a long time, until I put an end to it because it became so AWKWARD with the parent. Anyway, we will be going here more. It’s a great place for Vibble to interact with other kids, explore with great freedom (the place is a good size and is in a building more secure than the airport, I kid you not), and develop her imagination. It’s also a fantastic place for us to play TOGETHER, and I love that.

Which brings me to my next topic. You may have noticed that we seem to be “doing” things more and more. All of a sudden, this kid is C R A Z Y. I mentioned a few posts back a certain wildness. It abated some, but came back (Again coinciding with the full moon—coincidence? Have you SEEN the black fur on this child’s back? My furry little were-wee-one). Now the wildness seems permanent. It’s like some kind of backup-rocket-engine has engaged in there, and she has to be interacted with and stimulated constantly, or she acts out. And acting out is not pretty. Meltdowns over nothing, purposeful and violent dismantling of household areas, blatant rule-breaking (Did I not TELL you EIGHT times to stop playing in the pool of cat vomit by the TV? Mom will clean that WHEN IT DRIES!).

In terms of new-parenthood discoveries, I am confused as to why, when you have a kid, everyone warns you about the sleep deprivation of the infant stage. That is amateur-sleep-deprivation stuff. I would gladly trade that feeling for how exhausted I am by dinnertime every day now. And the last few nights? She has woken up and cried in the night repeatedly until she is in bed next to me. Which means I wake up feeling like I slept in the trunk of someone’s subcompact car. For about two hours. And that was my whole night. (Susan, I really don’t know how you’ve survived with Sleepless-Sunshine over there. I hope you have reinforcements coming to stay for a loooong time with the new addition.)

Last night I had a migraine again for most of the night, due to its being cloudy outside. See, my skull has AMBITIONS. It wants to be a famous meteorologist. Thus I would like to make it known on the record that when I die, I would like to have my organs donated, but my SKULL should be sent to UCLA’s School of Atmospheric Sciences, and enrolled as a first-year undergraduate.

I don’t know what today’s failed attempt at toddler exhaustion will involve, but I know it won’t be Gym n’ Swim. Combine the crazy active days with the contorted, cut-short nights and the fact that I’m lifting a 25-pound body every ten minutes (often while also lifting 80 pounds worth of groceries, or a jammed laundry basket, or …), and right now I feel like I got hit by a speeding subcompact car, one with a mom in the trunk. Thud. I just can’t do it today. Can’t swish her around the pool. Can’t spot her on the mats. Can’t lift her up and down during the chorus of the Pirate Song. I’m sorry, Vibble, but we will have to fail at wearing you out today somewhere where I can watch from the sidelines. Playground maybe, or the Creepy Restaurant. Or maybe David will come over and play Hide n’ Seek with you for two hours.

Just in case it comes across that I’m not enjoying my toddler, I have to state for the record that she is the cutest, funnest thing in the whole wide world, and I feel lucky every day to be getting to spend so much time with her.

I don’t want to end this post without updating you on Stevel. His recovery from the surgery continues. Still in pain, but looking less run-down now. It will still be a little while before we know how well the surgery worked in terms of improving his breathing. We will let you know for sure.

Time for Blue’s Clues. “La la la la la la because it’s really FUN!” Thinking Chair, please help me remember what day it is.

In Case You Thought She Was Just Inland-Cute

June 9th, 2009

At the beach, this chunky-legged, lurchy-walking, smiley, friendly kid is EVEN CUTER. Today we went to Malibu Lagoon State Beach. Packed up the red wagon with all of our gear AND the kid, and trekked to the sand. We ate our packed lunch and played in the sand. Mostly, she wanted to sit in a hole I dug and have water poured over her. Waves at everyone and says, “Ha-aah! Hoh!” Drinks salt-water and, while not a sand-eater directly, repeatedly dips her Nuk in the sand and puts it back in her mouth. Ack. We got kind of a late start on account of my never having taken a toddler to the beach before (read: pack one of every item in the house). Now that I have a better idea of what we need and am organized, we can be up and out of the house, headed for the beach in no time. Looking forward to a LOT more days there this summer. Local friends, let me know if you want me to text you on the mornings we decide to head seaward.

Steve is feeling OK. He had a very tired weekend, and the pain increased. We won’t know how successful the surgery was until the swelling has gone down completely, but he looks good.

A few photos I took in the last couple of days

… and the REAL treat: Photos Jeremy took yesterday! Enjoy.


June 6th, 2009


Steve had surgery Thursday to correct his deviated septum. He hasn’t been complaining of a lot of pain, but he is tired and uncomfortable. He won’t be able to breathe through his nose for a week or so. The hope is that this surgery will make it so he sleeps better. Well, that is MY hope. Steve is still skeptical. He’s not really a hoper. So I’m adding to my hope the hope he is pleasantly surprised. See how I have to hope for both of us? Isn’t that extra nice of me?

I would write more about Steve’s surgery and recovery, but I’m not sure he would want me telling everyone things like how, when waking up from the anesthesia, he tried very hard to get out of bed, confounding the nurses. He was groggily explaining, “I have to get home to my wife.” Aw. He missed me. Or feared me. Either way, aw.


Mia. Mia, why did you have to poop on the carpet just minutes after the carpet cleaner had left? Why?


The week before last, Vibble was insane. Moody, impossible to please, hyperactive. Core Reactor Meltdown. I took her to Gym n’ Swim but skipped the Swim, because I kept picturing a toddler-instigated tsunami in the pool. (Take a moment and imagine it yourself—devastating scene.) Last week she eventually returned to her happy natured self again. That’s when Steve noticed the Mastadon molar. When she ate, he said, “Yeah, grind it.”

Tuesday we went to KidSpace in Pasadena with Sarah-Novelist and Megan and Christopher, and Violet had a wonderful time walking all over the place. She likes to hold someone’s hand and lead them around. She’ll come up to one of us and reach out her hand and say, “Mmm? Mmm?” Very cute.

But now I think the other molar must be coming in. Combine that with the Full Moon and the fact she walks now and therefore must walk at all times, and WHERE she WANTS to walk, and you have some challenging little stretches. Yesterday there were many times when she refused to sit in the stroller, and by refusing I mean arching her body and screaming, or slipping the binds of her restraints and standing up. She also refused to be held, and at times it took my total body’s muscle power to keep her in my arms, versus, say, in the street, or on the escalator at the mall. She was restless and hyper yesterday, so I took her to the mall in the morning and the promenade in the afternoon to get her out of the house so Steve could rest and to let her walk around some. Today I will just go straight for the playground, though, because it was too much of a workout to try and conform HER to SOCIETY (e.g. the streets thing, the doors-that-say-”Employees Only” thing, etc.). Not happening. She requires total freedom right now. I require a week in a spa.

Here are some photos from this week. Enjoy!