Friday, April 27, 2007

Five Years

Five years ago today, Carlos and I stood at a church altar dressed in some pretty fancy duds and pledged our love for each other. It was a great day. Five wonderful years -- it is amazing to think we are just at the beginning of our journey together!

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Shhhh. Can you hear that??? It is silent, totally and completely silent. Miracle of miracles, Elsa is asleep in her own bed and hasn't woken up yet. Thanks to Angelika (I spent the evening at my monthly Bunco event where we didn't actually play Bunco but just sat around and chatted while drinking some wine -- how nice). Maybe it took someone other than me or Carlos to tell her enough was enough. Angelika (who also is not a fan of the cryinng it out) told me that she put Elsa to bed and stayed with her for an hour until Elsa finally fell asleep. Then, as she moved to go out the door, Elsa woke up and started crying. According to Angelika, she just said: "Elsa, go to sleep!" and that was it. Elsa stopped crying and went to sleep. Sounds too good to be true.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Power of Speech

Thank you to Amalah and Mimi Smartypants! As a result of reading Amalah's blog with a reference to Mimi Smartypants' blog, I got a parenting tip that avoided 3 whole Anna-tantrums today. OK, are you ready for the big tip .... make it talk. Yup, that's it. Make whatever you want your child to do talk. It really works.

[The scene is set -- 8:58 am, Anna is still in her pjs and wants to wear them to school. She needs to be ready to go out the door in about 7 minutes. ]
SIF: Anna, let's get dressed.
ANNA: No, I don't want to. [tone starting to change to the whining tone that makes my hair stand on end]
S: Come on, you need to get dressed to go to school.
A: NO!
S: [remembering the sage Mimi Smartypants advice] Look Anna [holding up Dora the explorer underpants], Dora wants to say something to you. [In a high squeaky voice] Hi Anna, I'm Dora. I want to ride around on your bottom and go to school with you today. Come on Anna - put me on!
A: [tantrum rage instantly subsides, and a giggle starts to form] Mamma, what else does Dora say?
S: [after getting over the initial shock of how easy that was] Anna, I want you to put me on and then I'd like you to put your stripey shirt and tights on.
[without any more fuss, underpants, tights, shirt all go on]
S: Anna, let put your dress on. Look, your dress has little doggies on it. Do you know what this doggie says? Woof woof! Anna let me go to school with you today! Please please please!
A: [giggles, and puts the dress on]

AMAZING, I tell you, absolutely amazing. And the talking underpants weren't a fluke. It worked again at lunch time and again at bathtime [although, the bathtime "talking" involved some humiliating imitations of the Little Mermaid's singing].

I wish I could find something like that to solve Elsa's poor sleeping habits. Thankfully, I finally kicked my nasty houseguests to the curb -- SEE YA SUCKAHS! I hope we have no more visits from Messrs VB and ED. So, Elsa's back to her relatively cheerful self. But, she's been having bouts of extreme grumpiness. And I think this is due to the fact that she's cutting a molar! What??? The child only has 4.5 teeth (2 on the bottom, 2.5 on top)! But, the other day I noticed that she had an area on her gums, toward the back, that was really red and swollen. At first I thought she might have scratched it somehow, and it was infected. But, upon closer inspection, and finger probing on my part, I think is it a darned molar. How crazy is that? So, after being sick and having a bunch of teeth take forever to come in, Elsa is not, I repeat, not sleeping well. I've just spent the last hour and a half doing some controlled crying to see if I can't get her to fall asleep on her own. Crying it out is really an option of last resort on my part -- I find it extremely difficult. Let's hope she'll stay alseep. Fingers crossed.

PS: Anna has started calling her stuffed animals, and me, "darling". Yesterday, when I asked her to come to the table for dinner, she responded: "Just a minute, darling."

Friday, April 20, 2007

The worst house guests ... ever

I've just had a visit from the worst house guest ever - Mr. Vomiting Bug. He first arrived last Sunday evening and before I realized that I had even let him in the door, he snuck in his buddy - Mr. Explosive Diarrhea.

Reason #1 Messrs VB & ED are the worst house guests: They dared to attack my baby. I mean, really, gentlemen, why not pick on someone your own size and who isn't so damn cute? Elsa dealt with her first attack, initially just Mr. VB, pretty well, but she was clearly feeling awful. I know something is up when she has no appetite.

Reason #2 Messrs VB & ED are the worst house guests: They dared to attack my baby again. Wasn't Sunday enough?? Clearly not. Tuesday our washing machine got a work out. Tuesday Mr. VB decided to relax a bit, but Mr. ED wanted to party. I've never seen poop run down a pantleg with such speed and velocity.

Reason #3 Messrs VB & ED are the world's worst house guests: They dared to attack my baby a third time. ENOUGH ALREADY -- GET OUT OF MY HOUSE! Yesterday we had more vomiting and explosive pooping. Today, however, so far, so good. Poor Elsa is stuck eating bread, bananas and rice.

Me - I've had almost no sleep for a week because of these high maintenance house guests. Today I nearly went out to the grocery store in my slippers.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Pink Ladies

Elsa and I have started the London chapter of the Pink Ladies. Pink eye has arrived in my household. First Elsa, and now me. Ick ick ick and double ick. I'm not surprised that I've gotten it since Elsa's favorite activity of late is to blow huge, wet raspberries right in my face.

I'm just waiting to see if Anna will become a member of our exclusive club or not.

P.S. Way to go UK government - they've just extended their paid maternity leave from six months to nine months. US government -- get with the program!