Monday, August 20, 2012

The Tasmanian Grubster

Today was JK's class registration and orientation at Temple, and he had to get up early (it was still dark!) to get ready to leave by 7:00 am. I fully recognize that I am quite possibly the most spoiled Stay at Home Mom on the planet, having a husband who works from home. Even though he is working during the day, we do get to have our morning coffee and lunch breaks together, which goes a long way towards helping me to maintain my sanity.

In anticipation of JK being out of the house more often than we're used to, Monica and I decided we'd try to kick off the semester in our own way, by being super productive around the house.  We came downstairs and I put on an episode of Blues Clues so I could quickly run the vacuum in the dining room. As I was finishing up, I peeked around the corner to find that Monica was sitting on the couch watching her show.  I did not put her there! 

She laughed at me because she knew she wasn't supposed to be up there. I went in and put her down in the middle of the room, and then turned to go put the vacuum away in the hall closet. In two seconds flat, before I could even get out of the room, I watched her run over to the ottoman barricade, climb one of the little ottomans, and get right back into position on the couch - in her daddy's spot, with daddy's computer mouse and the TV remote. 

This was no fluke, as I got her on video on the third attempt after I removed her the second time:

Sooo....I put the vacuum away and proceded to pack up the little ottomans into the big ottoman.  She made an attempt to climb back onto the couch without using them for a boost, but was unsuccessful.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief, and we headed off to the kitchen for breakfast. 

I brought her back into the living room after breakfast, and then I ran back to the kitchen to put the yogurt into the fridge.  When I came back, she was on the couch.  Again.  Yep.  She can climb up onto the couch from the floor.  

I was stumped.  I couldn't leave the room because she wouldn't stay off the couch.  Normally JK is on the couch, working, and would be there to deter her, if necessary.  But with just her and I, well...I couldn't let her out of my sight.  As I slumped on the couch and tried to figure out how to tackle this problem, she was playing with her toys.  I was thankful that she was at least staying at floor level while I was right there in the room.  

The logistics of her being able to get onto the couch are a nightmare.  For one, she has no awareness of the danger of falling off of the couch, and will blissfully run from one end to the other, stumbling on pillows and falling all over the place.  There is absolutely no way that she can be left alone on the couch for even the shortest period of time without the chance of her seriously hurting herself.  Second, the ends of the couch are part of their own barricade to keep her from the end tables where we keep all manner of dangerous/expensive/breakable items.  Even if she could be left on the couch safely, the couch gives her access to things like laptops and lamps and plants.  Was I going to have to rearrange the entire living room?

As I was mulling all of this over, I glanced over and saw this:

The Grubster was helping herself to some Party Mix.

When we get done with all the "good" stuff in the Party Mix (i.e. Cheetos), and all that is left is a handful of lame pretzels and BBQ corn chip crumbs, we usually give the container to Monica.  The little bit of leftover snacks makes a fun noise when she rolls it around, and the container itself makes a great drum.  I have no idea what prompted her to attempt - and succeed - at removing the lid this morning, but she was having herself a fine snack.

Sick of the suddenly-not-baby-proofed-at-all living room, I took her upstairs to give myself a break.  We made a pit stop to wash the cheesy crumbs and stains off her face and fingers, and then I let her go about her business.

We were playing in her room and I was sitting in the glider while Monica was "doing laundry," which involves running amok while carrying various items of clothing from room to room.  And then this happened:

She decided to climb right over the glider ottoman that we keep wedged between the dresser and the rocker to barricade her from the outlet behind it.

Still in disbelief from the morning's downstairs antics, I got to work on moving the dresser.  This entailed removing half the drawers so it would be light enough to move, and dragging the dresser in front of the outlet, all while trying to keep an excited frenzied Monica from completely destroying the nicely folded contents of the drawers that were temporarily on the floor.  I finished the heavy lifting and shooed her away as I worked on putting the drawers back into the dresser.  While I wasn't sold on the new location of the dresser, it would work until JK got home to help with a more permanent relocation.

She had gone running out of the room, so I followed to see what she was up to.  I found her in the bathroom, crouched behind the toilet, examining the toilet's plumbing connections.  With her mouth.  For obvious reasons, there is no picture of this disgusting incident.  

A glance at the clock showed that it was 11am.  I have never been so happy to declare nap time, and I have never been so grateful as when she went right to sleep without a fuss.  

Surprisingly, the remainder of the day was fairly tame, with only one more unexpected kamikaze move when she tried to throw herself into the bathtub.  JK couldn't believe that he missed so much activity in only three short hours of time.  I still have no idea what we're going to do about the couch situation, but at least JK will be home tomorrow to help me figure it out!  Maybe while she's asleep she'll forget about all the crazy new tricks she learned today?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mama, mama, mama, mama, mama

To put it nicely, Monica has been a bit of a challenge lately.  It's "Mama, mama, mama, mama, mama" 24/7. I can't leave her sight without an episode of shrieking and screaming.  She does not care if JK is right there playing with her, she goes postal when I walk away. When we're playing upstairs and I try to go into the bathroom, she throws herself on the floor outside of the door and screams and rolls around until I let her in.  Then, when I open the door, she comes in and hangs on my leg with the "Mama, mama, mama, mama" on repeat, reaching up for me to hold her on my lap.  Sorry, kid, but no. 

JK has taken to referring to himself as "Not the Mama," instead of Dada.

Me, I'm feeling a lot like this:

90% of the time, she doesn't actually need anything.  For instance, she hangs on my leg and whines when I'm sitting on the couch.  As soon as I relocate to the floor, she is off and playing with her toys.  The second I sneak back onto the couch, she is hanging on my leg.  It's making me nuts!  Not to mention that my back is breaking from constantly sitting on the floor or holding her or carrying her.

Therefore, JK has had to become really creative in his attempts to amuse her when I need to step away for a minute.  So, the other, day, I came out of the bathroom and found this going on in her room:


Hilarious, right?

But here's the thing....she now thinks it is the funniest thing ever to put things on her head and run full speed while she can't see anything.  Since we have never-ending piles of laundry on the floor, she has easy access to grab a t-shirt, throw it over her head and face, and go running amok.  JK found her crashing into the hallway walls repeatedly, and then collapsing in a fit of giggles on the floor.

Her cast comes off one week from today.  Why do I get the sneaking suspicion that this first cast is not going to be the last cast?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monica's 11 Month Update

Happy 11 month birthday, Monica!  We can't believe that you turned 11 months old on July 29th, and that in less than a month you will have been in our lives for an entire year!

Summertime with the little Grubster has been great, and July was more of a laid back month, for a few reasons.  Let's get down to some details!

We kicked off the month by taking Monica to get her very first pair of sneakers!  We went to Stride Rite and had her walking abilities assessed and her feet measured in order to get the right type and size of sneakers for her still-developing feet.  The sales ladies were in awe that our 10 month old was wandering around the store like a seasoned toddler.  She skipped right past the first two stages of "starter" shoes and went right into a pair of real sneakers!  We thought she'd take a few days to get used to having them on her feet - nope!  She was running up and down the sidewalk that night, showing off her new shoes to the neighbors.   

Now that she has appropriate footwear, Monica has overcome her dislike of the grass, and will happily follow us around the yard to do some light yard work.  Her favorite thing is to gather up sticks and twigs so daddy doesn't run them over with the lawn mower.  Occasionally, she'll try to jump in and help out with a more difficult task, but that can get a little scary....

Yikes, wrong way, Grubster!!! Point it at the plants, not at your face!!!

Phew!  That was a close one!  Much better, point the hose AWAY from your face.

Since the doctor cleared her at the 9 month checkup to try all foods (with the exception of honey), Monica has been trying all sorts of new foods this month.  She's pretty keen on seafood - she's had crab legs and salmon - and corn on the cob is definitely topping the list as a new favorite. 

She actually wanted to catch a turtle for some turtle soup up at the cabin - but it looks like daddy caught her first!

Unfortunately, not all "firsts" in this little one's life are going to be fun and smiles.  Monica was running along the deck and tripped and broke her arm on the 14th.  We were not even sure it was broken as her stumble itself was like any other.  The difference was that she was avoiding putting any weight on the arm and would throw it out of the way when she would fall, instead of catching herself.  We waited a full day to see if she would get back to normal, and then made an appointment with the pediatrician for the following morning.  The doctor sent us for x-rays and confirmed it was broken, and then sent us for our first - and, dear God, hopefully last! - trip to CHOP to see an arm specialist and get her a cast.  Poor baby!  It was quite a trying experience for all of us, especially her.  Luckily, the cast only has to stay on for a total of four weeks.  We can't wait for it to be gone, everything from eating to sleeping to bathing is a big ordeal.  But, at least it is pink, and as fashionable as a cast can be. 

Luckily, Monica is a real trooper, and she's not letting the cast slow her down.  She was right back to running and playing within a day.  It was a few days for her to get used to the extra weight on the one side and to regain her balance, but she has been handling it better than we expected.

So, for the most part, we've been keeping things pretty low key for the second half of the month.  Since she can't talk and tell us if the cast is getting itchy, or damp, or uncomfortable, we have to be really careful about not getting it wet or too dirty.  And the weather has been a little crazy with storms threatening every few days, which has kept us from some of our regular walks.  We can't risk getting stuck out in the rain with this thing.

But, not to waste the whole summer, we ordered Monica a special fully  submersible cast cover.  While it is primarily for bathing - she was getting stinky that first week while it was on order! - it has also enabled Monica to go swimming.  Here she is in the pool for the first time:

Look at that happy smile!  We definitely have a water baby on our hands, this kid cannot get enough of the pool.  We were very cautious about introducing her to the water to make sure that she had a positive experience.  She has surprised all of us by willing - and repeatedly - putting her own face directly into the water and then coming up giggling.  Even with the cast cover, we are hesitant to fully submerge her upper shoulder for fear of water leakage, but I can tell we'll be starting swimming lessons sooner than later.  

So, that's been our month of July.  We wrapped up the month by celebrating my birthday.  JK and Monica giving me this great new hammock.  Monica loves snuggling and swinging with mommy :)