- spends time on her new laptop; checking emails, updating her blog, BabyBrain ... in reality, she's just watching some silly monkey dance around, but the idea of her blogging is hilarious to me :)
- catches up on a little light reading - Eric Carle is fascinating!
- yells excitedly at the "big kids" playing in the snow outside her bedroom window.
- gets into all sorts of mischief and finds some pretty interesting places to "play." Just this morning, while I was trying to catch a few seconds of the local news, she threw open both cabinet doors and proceeded to climb in and empty the contents all over the floor.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
In fact, I made 16 in all. The felt and hot gluing almost put me over the edge, but I persevered.
I gave them as Christmas gifts to a few of the little ones in my neighborhood. And each of my nieces and nephews will be getting one, too. For my nuggets who are old enough to read/enjoy a good story, I printed personalized story to go along with their elves.
I think it's safe to say that I am feeling a little bit craftier ... and believing in the magic of Santa's little elves :)
Monday, December 8, 2008
I wish I was a baller
I wish I had a girl who looked good I would call her
I wish I had a rabbit in a hat with a batand a '64 Impala
This is Skee-Lo's simple Wish List.
Mine is, well, even simpler ...
I wish I was a little bit craftier.
I peruse all these delightful and oh-so-crafty blogs out there, and I am green with envy. Overcome by the desire to take raw materials and produce something out of them. Something that won't produce giggles and snickers or pity-inspired, "oh, that's nice." I want ooohs and aaaahs and "oh, you're so clever." I want the kind of satisfaction I imagine must come from a craft well-done.
I have no idea how to use a sewing machine. My art supplies consist of glue sticks, colored pencils and a stack of neon paper left over from a classroom project. I do own a glue gun but I avoid using it if at all possible; there's something about me and hot, stickiness that doesn't get along. I once tried to paint a large canvas ... just black and white ... I projected an image and traced it ... and it is now "decorating" my attic. I would love to be able to whip up a cute little curtain or throw pillow ... in my spare time.
But, alas, I am not crafty ... not even a smidge.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
The "slightly" longer version ... I had it in my mind all week - since I won my tickets - that the House Party started at 8:00 pm. About 5:00 on Saturday evening, I decided to double-check the tickets and realized that the concert actually started at 7:00 pm. A quick and frantic call to Tammy put the wheels in motion and we both did our best to get showered, dressed, and looking ghetto-fabulous ... all in less than an hour ... while tending to our precious little ones!
Our lame attempt at being gangsta :)
Okay, so back to the story ... there's much more to tell ...
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Woo Hoo! I won, I won, I won! After calling - and hearing lots of busy tones - for the past three weeks, today I was caller 25. And I have the very distinct pleasure of seeing my boy, Nelly, next Saturday at the 92.5 House Party! I sounded like a very excited teenage girl on the radio, and the DJ thought I was hilarious ... when I get excited, I get funny :) To say I am excited would be a complete understatement. I mean, seriously, if you know me at all, you know that I am slightly obsessed with this hip-hop artist ... partly because "I'm from the 'Lou and I'm proud!" but also because I find his music delightful (doubt anyone else has ever used that word to describe Nelly's songs). I know it's not typical music for the 30+ SAHM-crowd but I just can't resist, and I am not even going to try! This mama likes to shake it :)
I also have to give serious props to my darling husband. He called all day - every hour - on Thursday and Friday. And he even went to a local mall parking lot after work on Friday to try to "Spin-and-Win" me a pair of tickets. All because he knows how much this means to me ... isn't he the sweetest? (I tried to get CPV to pose for a photo like Nelly's - thought that would be a nice addition to this post - but he declined ... something about not wanting to make Nelly look weak!)
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
This isn't my story, but I feel compelled to tell it, and I hope to get most of the details right. Laurie hasn't been bitten by the blog bug yet, so if I don't tell this story, it won't get told to the masses ... besides my life hasn't been anywhere near this interesting as of late ... or sucky for that matter :) You should also know that this post is based on a series of phone conversations ... some tear-filled, others peppered with laughter - 'cause sometimes life sucks so bad you cry and when it gets worse, you can't help but laugh :)
A little background ... Laurie's husband, I'll call him PIMP 'cause he'll love that, took a new job in Chicago, which meant a move from the Lone Star State to the Windy City. A move they are excited about, despite the vast difference in weather conditions, primarily because it means that Laurie will get to be a full-time SAHM, and well, what's more delightful than that? The move also meant deciding to be separated for a month. With PIMP heading up to Chi-town to start his new job and enjoy a few weeks of bachelorhood, no doubt ... well, not literally, but you know what I mean! While Laurie and her darling 15-month old son staying behind to tie-up loose ends ... like selling the house, packing an entire house worth of stuff, ... you know, minor details.
Not surprisingly, Laurie handled the month of single parenthood like a rock star, and even managed to get packing down during naptimes ... impressive! And so the month was challenging but manageable, especially with a light at the end of the tunnel. Soon enough they would be together again as a family, in a new town, on a new adventure ... but this story takes a turn of misadventure.
Scratching the surface of suckiness ... the movers took 15 hours to load the truck, twice as long as estimated, which sucks because they were paid hourly ... ouch! The house didn't go to closing as expected because of an issue with the appraisal. Not devastating but an end left untied.
These are things you could deal with, right? I mean things like this happen during a move. But you have to admit, it sucks. And it gets worse ...
So the movers came on Sunday, and by Sunday night, Laurie and Benjamin were "homeless" but staying with friends in Texas until Tuesday when they were schedule to depart on a flight bound for Chicago. On Monday, Benjamin got the stomach flu. Do I need to get graphic here in order for you to fully appreciate the suckiness of his situation? Well, Benjamin puked all over Laurie's friend's house, had constant d-word (yuck!), and felt too crummy to sleep well. That's a tough combination even in the comfort of your own home, but when you're a guest in someone's house ... let's agree, that sucks!
In addition to the inconvenience of having your son puke all over someone else's house, Laurie was also facing a trip to the airport, through security, and on a plane to Chicago. A trip that had been her light at the end of the tunnel, they would finally be reunited with her husband and his daddy, had become a mommy's worst case scenario. A 15-month old puking, pooping machine confined in the cabin of an aircraft ... could she possibly pack enough plastic bags and changes of clothes? Should she even attempt such a feat? When we spoke on the phone, I could tell she was struggling to make a decision ... flying with a sick munchkin wasn't an appealing option, but the thought of staying in Texas - and away from her PIMP - until she could get booked on another flight was pushing her over the edge. She asked, "Would you take Natalie if it was you?" Without hesitation, I assured her that given the circumstances, I would risk the flight if the puking had stopped for at least 4 hours. The pooping could be dealt with ... and hopefully no one would get close enough to risk getting the stomach flu germs from her little man. And so, they did make the flight and at least their family was back together again.
But, the suckiness continued. The moving company was in an accident before the truck even got out of Texas, which delayed their boxes by two days. This especially sucks because Laurie and the PIMP and Benjamin are in their new place with a chair, an inflatable mattress, and a pack-n-play ... and a washing machine that isn't working. Oh, and the puking started again Wednesday morning. Benjamin managed to puke on the one piece of furniture in the house. Not to mention, their supply of clean clothing is dwindling to just about nothing.
I am sincerely hoping this is the end of Laurie's sucky-streak. I've said, "It can't get any worse," and been wrong too many times in this little tale. But for those of you who know Laurie and her family, they are alive and in Chicago ... and hoping for a puke-free day of unpacking tomorrow!
Caller 25. I just want to be caller 25. I've tried at 8, 9, and 10 this morning ... nothing but busy signals :( And yesterday when I was at the peak of discouragement, feeling like I was going to give up ... I was caller 21 at 11am ... so close! It totally sucked me right back into calling 13 times a day, listening to the awful busy tone, ... and when it actually rings, my heart rate goes off the charts. I want these tickets so badly!
Deb - Just to clarify, Nelly is my NKOTB ... are you feeling my pain?
Update: A huge thanks to my sweet hubby who is doubling my efforts by calling to win tickets . And he is having far better luck than I am today. He's been caller 5 and caller 12; you go, CPV!
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Today's experience was very different, and yet in some ways not that much has changed. First of all, we actually went to a Pumpkin Patch, a local farm called Jubilee. And the weather was gorgeous; blue skies, sunshine and temperatures in the low 60's. I am willing to bet this type of weather for our future trips to the pumpkin patch will be rarity at best.
Most of the time, Natalie was very serious. She has this adorable way of taking in what's around her ... observing and considering and studying. And her smiles were accompanied with babbles and signs and requests. She sat atop a John Deere tractor; her grampy will be so proud! She walked and tripped through the rows of pumpkins. She squatted - with a determined look on her face - and tried to pick up pumpkins weighing at least as much as she does. She got ridiculously dirty, ate some dirt, and drooled on a few gourds, too. She said, "neigh, neigh" as the horse-drawn wagon passed by. She entertained a small crowd while dancing to the music of two acoustic guitar playing musicians. And she did get hungry; we shared a banana and a little apple cider.
Just as Natalie is bigger this year than last, so is her pumpkin. The one Chad searched many rows to find. It's round - my shape preference - and smattered with a little unripe greenness and has a perfectly trimmed stem.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Do whatever you can.
Sleep with him if you have to.
We can't take anymore milk!
About three weeks ago, I signed up for milk delivery service. Yes, I have a milkman.
I can't help but wonder if he's the same milkman that fathered my dear sister - tee hee!
I also can't help but make the comparison between this milk delivery service and the 11 months I spent providing this service to my darling NHV. Mine came on schedule and in an insulated container ... but I never "delivered" more than we needed!
Ummmm, so what's the problem? Glad you asked ...
Thus began the delivery of 3 half gallons of organic whole milk ... every other week. Except, well, it's not every other week. It's every week. Every Friday three half gallons of milk are left in my handy-dandy insulated milk box on the front porch. "From, moo to you," indeed!
Oh, yeah, the problem ...
And now I am off to call the milkman ... again ... to explain my dilemma, offer sexual favors if it comes to that, and hope to put an end to this milk madness :)
Monday, September 29, 2008
I am wondering, darling, BB, does it count if you make them laugh?
Effective my discipline is not. Funny ... well, both Natalie and I usually end up giggling by the time all is said and done, so ... WHAT am I going to do?
Let me give you an example ...
Natalie has a darling little while rocking chair in her room. A gift from our favorite mom-of-triplets :) For quite some time, Natalie would just stand supporting her weight on the seat and stare at the letters written across the back. And I would spell, "N-A-T-A-L-I-E ... Natalie." Great fun. Occasionally she would pat the seat as if to say, "Hey, I'd like to sit here," and so I'd lift her and set her rear first in the chair where she would rock a little and then scoot to the edge and stand up ... looking all proud of herself. Oh, the good old days.
Now my sweet almost-15-month-old has figured out how to climb onto the chair ... not into but onto ... as in standing on the seat, holding on to the back, and rocking like she's on some sort of amusement ride done wrong! My reaction: a stern, "No, no, Natalie. We don't stand on the chair. We sit." followed by removing her from the precarious perch. Natalie's reaction: giggling, lots and lots of giggling, and more climbing back to that exact position. After we repeated this scenario a handful of times - and I was reduced to turning my back to her in order to giggle without being seen - I can't suck at discipline and be a bad role model - I put the rocker in the closet and closed the door. Not even that got a reaction, still no tears ... Apparently, my style of discipline involves putting things out of reach ... but in the future I should probably draw the line at putting my sassy, back-talking five year old in the closet ... don't ya think?
Well, that darling rocking chair simply could not STAY in the closet, which leads me to the next funny part of my tale. Every time Natalie approaches her chair, she looks over her shoulder, gestures with one hand, and says, "Naa, na. Naa, na." in this sarcastic and hilarious tone ... and then proceeds to climb onto the chair ... but she only "stands" on her knees. It seems we've reached a compromise, and that's something to smile about :)
This was a PD with a "higher purpose." This was a PD inspired by eebee's Adventures and focused on developmental play. I think the comment of one of the mom's pretty much sums it up, "Dana, you are such a teacher!" And a bit of a nerd, but I'm totally okay with that :)
So here's what I did ...
- Pouring and Scooping - two big bins filled with uncooked rice, all kinds of scoops and cups, and a big blanket to cover the floor
- Building and Stacking - a big bin filled with all the blocks and cups I could find and a collection of empty boxes (cereal, shipping, diapers, ...)
- Rolling and Sliding - a board made into an inclined plane by propping it against the ottoman, balls of all shapes and sizes, and a set of random objects for sliding
From there, we split into groups - two mamas and two babies - to rotate through the stations. Each station visit lasted about 10 minutes and then groups moved on to the next. The rice station was a big hit amongst the babies, but some moms seemed a little skeptical about making such a big mess. It did take me about 20 minutes to clean it all up after the PD, but I think it was totally worth it!
After 30 minutes of rotating, I brought everyone back together for snacks and conversation about what happened at each station, what observations the moms made, what ideas they would take back home with them ... that sort of thing. Oh, and while the adults talked, I popped in our eebee DVD and the babies got to watch other babies playing just the way they did at the stations!
Play can be fun and meaningful, and I am so glad eebee has taught me that lesson, and I enjoyed sharing it with other moms, too!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
And I love spending sunny days at the park with my baby girl!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
So ... why did this neighbor knock on my door and interrupt what promised to be a delightful morning snooze? To ask for "Chad's recipe for Texas sheet cake. The one he made for the 4th of July party." I immediately knew which sheet cake he was referring to - my mom's freakin' awesome, out-of-this-world, chocolate Texas sheet cake - the one I made and brought to our neighborhood 4th of July celebration this year. But I let the Chad comment slide ... until he said it again, "My wife and I have been talking about Chad's cake since the 4th." Let me be clear, Chad had absolutely nothing to do with the baking of said cake and the recipe is my mom's, one she is famous for at family gatherings. Wait, I take that back. Chad did carry the sheet cake to the party. I have yet to hear Chad's side of the story on this, but I assume there is one ... in the meantime, enjoy my mom's recipe, we like to call it Grammy's Incredible Sheet Cake:
Disclaimer: I do not recommend making this cake during a PMS episode ... you will eat the entire thing ... and that's 3 sticks of butter and like 5 cups of sugar!
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Nothing but ... Bananas Flattened
It seems like I think about food ... a lot ... lately. And my brain is not usually preoccupied for the sake of my own nourishment. No, I am constantly thinking about what to feed Natalie, especially when we leave the house for an extended period of time. There's nothing worse than a hungry baby melting down in public! Even if she isn't particularly hungry, it seems like food can slay the fussy monster before it rears it's terribly ugly little head. And before we leave the house, I arm myself with an easy-to-transport snack. Something like Gerber's Puffs; I like to pack a variety in the little container that once held three bottles worth of formula. Isn't that a clever re-purposing? I thought so, too. It has three sections and a little spout for pouring those puffs out in small "doses."
Nothing but ... Bs Flattened
Along those same lines, but definitely not edible ... Natalie has been completely weaned for six weeks now, and boy, did the girls pay the price for that little 11-month work load. When I look down - where my once perky size C rack formerly resided - all I see are Bs Flattened! I mean the flattened part is bad enough, terrible actually. But how the heck did I lose a cup size? Something about that just isn't right! But is does explain why so many of my mommy friends with babies the same age as Natalie are thinking about and even trying to have a second child ... they all want their voluptuous ta-tas back. And I can't blame them. I may even join them! Definitely something to consider ...
Thursday, August 21, 2008
So what's that have to do with anything? Good question. Well, Natalie has been running a fever for three days now - this is day three. She felt kind of warm to me during the day on Tuesday, but I never bothered getting out the thermometer because a) she hates to have that thing under her arm for the two minutes it takes to register ... and if she hates the underarm, imagine how she'd feel about the other option, which really isn't an option because it gives me the heebee-geebees hardcore and b) she was acting like her usual, high-energy self. And then at 1:00 am, she woke up crying, something she hasn't done in a very long time. At this point I did break out the thermometer; she felt hot rather than warm. The thermometer read 99.9, which I guess is really 100.9 after you add the degree ... so confusing ... especially when you're doing this stuff with one eye open! She got a dose of baby Motrin and a 30-minute snuggle with me and back to sleep she went. Same deal on Wednesday; she felt warm all day, I dosed her with Tylenol, and then we hung out again around midnight.
Today - day three - she still had plenty of energy and no other symptoms ... well, there were a few disgusting diapers, but she was eating, drinking, playing, and sleeping like normal. However, her fussiness has reached an all-time high and my tolerance has sunk to an all-time low. Hoping this fever takes a hike ... like soon!
"... damn pigs."
Update: No fever today, Friday ... woo hoo! Have heard from several other moms in my Mom's Group that this sort of thing seems to be going around - fever for three days with no other symptoms. Well, we're done with it ... on to the next baby with you, darn fussy-inducing fever!
Friday, August 15, 2008
And here's a list of 13 things I currently love about my 13-month old!
- My sweet baby girl says, "Hi!" all the time to me, to Chad, to Louie, to the flowers, ... but never in response to a stranger saying "hi" first.
- Natalie has been making some rather messy attempts at spoon-feeding, and she really loves to hold the bowl! Also, she signs eat, more, and all done with much zeal and pride. She can also drink from a Camelback bottle - bite valve, straw, and all.
- I am completely in love with her ridiculous snaggle tooth - no front teeth at this point, just the one snaggle. (But I could do without the baby mullet; wishing the front of her hair would grow in already!)
- It is so cute the way she bends over and looks at me from between her legs - where did she get that idea? Just looking for a new view of the world, I suppose!
- She drops her binky and lovey into her crib when we get her up; I know it isn't easy to leave those security items behind, but she handles it well and gets rewarded with lots of smooches!
- She adores her kitty cat lovey that I've named "Meow" - she chats with him and lights up when she sees him ... it's adorable!
- File this under random ... Chad and I have been saying letter names to her when we play with the blocks or foam letters, and when we say the letter "L," she totally cracks up ... why is that funny?
- I love her voice from her random babbles complete with highs and lows to her mimic singing of Aye, Aye, Aye and La, La, La.
- Her obsession with "balls" continues; too bad she always takes them from her playmates. We play "roll the ball" with her, and she really likes to sit between us while Chad and I volley a beach ball back and forth ... simple pleasures :)
- Taking things OUT is a well-honed skill ... books off of shelves, clothes out of baskets, plasticware out of cabinets, everything out of her diaper bag, ... yeah, she's got it figured OUT ... IN, not so much. I just love to watch how determined she is to empty whatever it is she's working on.
- This girl has some serious dancing ability. Gone is the nonchalant rocking back and forth, instead she's up on her feet bouncing up and down and shaking it ... as my sister might say, "She gets it from her mama." All those afternoon dance sessions are paying off ... thanks MTV online!
- Natalie loves the water. We frequent the neighborhood baby pool, and she splashes like she means it! Not mention how stinkin' cute she looks in her little baby bathing suit and sun hat. Seriously, it should be illegal to be this cute :)
- She is WALKING everywhere ... she does laps around the bottom level of our house. She takes off from the family room, walks into the living room, runs the corner to the dining room, and then heads into the kitchen ... and does it all over again. I want to strap a pedometer on her little waistband :)
Yes, this blogger is so very happy to be the mommy of an amazing 13-month old!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
But the actual traveling part ... pretty much sucked! Oh, by the way, it was my brilliant idea, or at least my conscious choice to fly with a connecting flight ... no one to blame but myself for this little misadventure!
Seattle to Dulles International via Newark
And so delightfulness ensued until we landed in Newark. Our connecting flight was a considerably smaller plane, which doesn't bother me in the least, in fact, Chad use to fly 50-seater jets, so that is not an issue. The issue was getting to the "tiny plane" terminal. God-forbid these freakin' airport builders, architects, morons would give a thought to how passengers with a baby and stroller might get from one terminal to the next. I can't imagine how people in wheel chairs must feel about this predicament; it is so infuriating! First we waiting in this tiny, disgusting room for a bus to arrive. Then I was shown to a freight elevator that hadn't seen a mop in a very long time. I somehow managed to get Natalie out of her infant seat, fold my stroller, and get everything on board the darn bus without so much as a mention of help from the driver or fellow passengers ... hello, rude! After a short ride, I again juggled all my crap plus Natalie off the bus only to discover 16 concrete steps. Huh?!? I mean, I can manage a backpack, a stroller, an infant carseat, a 22 pound baby, and my sanity when not faced with 16 stairs and no elevator! I just about lost it! Thankfully a baggage handler noticed my dilemma and rescued us ... and the many witnesses to my potential breakdown. He carried my stroller ... at arms length from this body ... as if it contained dead animal carcass or something ... but at least he took it all the way to the top.
Once inside the "tiny plane" terminal, things did not get any better. On the contrary, things just kept getting worse. Keep in mind that Natalie had only slept for a grand total of one hour at this point. Let's see ... how do I make this long story just a smidge shorter ... our one hour layover ended up to last a grand total of FOUR hours. And I could only keep Natalie up off that FILTHY, DISGUSTING, GERM-RIDDEN airport terminal carpet for so long. Eventually I had to concede and let her .... crawl around for a little while. Oh, it makes me sick just thinking about it! What makes it even worse is the fact that she constantly sought out and crawled to every trash can she could spot! We made many, many, many trips to the restroom to wash hands with soap and water - after the anti-bacterial wipes were all gone. Her cute little pants were absolutely black - or at least a very dark gray - from cuff to just above the knee ... YUCK! But we did meet a wonderful mom and her teenage son from Texas, and they kept us company during the long wait ... and gave Natalie a new object of her flirting affections.
The flight included an hour long sit on the taxi way before take-off, which sucked, but we finally arrived in Virginia ... at midnight. And my poor friend Heather had to roll out of bed to come pick us up. At least we didn't even have to think about airline travel for another 6 days.
The Return Trip: Dulles International to Seattle via Newark
Phew! That was a lot of typing and a lot of reading if you stuck with it. But I am blogging about this so I can remember the pain - I don't want to forget it like childbirth and foolishly decide to do it again!
Monday, August 11, 2008
Natalie had only a mild case of stranger anxiety during the exam and cooperated with most of the doctor's request. She was most disgruntled when having her ears checked ... and the vaccinations were awful - at least for me. Chad held her, and I turned my back and shed a few tears for her. Sitting on daddy's lap, clutching her lovey, Natalie was unbelievably brave and calm. She cried - hard - during the injections but then recovered within a minute or two. My sweet girl was even smiling by the time I got her dressed and out to the reception area. Overall, a very successful check-up :)
*Check out these stats:
Weight: 22 lbs. 4 oz.
Height: 31 inches
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup milk
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon salt
Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Use hand mixer to blend until liquid consistency. Let the batter stand, covered, for 1 hour. (The batter may be made up to 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled.)
To Make Crepes:
- Start with a heated a 9 inch skillet. Chad sprays the pan - just one - with cooking spray.
- Once the pan is hot (but not smoking), remove it from the heat.
- Stir the batter, fill a 1/4 cup measuring scoop with batter.
- Pour the batter into the pan. Tilt and rotate that pan quickly to cover the bottom with a thin layer of batter and then return the pan to the heat.
- Loosen the edge of the crepe until the underside is browned lightly.
- Flip the crepe - you can even get fancy about it - and brown the other side.
- Transfer the crepe to a plate.
- Serve with strawberries and whip cream, berries and powdered sugar, just powdered sugar, or maple syrup - these are the toppings we've tried thus far :)
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Rolling: Natalie rolled from back to tummy first, and she did this for a good long while before figuring out the other direction. Once she unlocked this little mystery, she spent a lot of time practicing in her crib ... when she was suppose to be sleeping! All that rolling led to our first "doctor's office" injury. Natalie dislocated her elbow, which sounds worse that it actually is - click here to read the story: Elbow Injury. Anyway, rolling didn't "change my life" but it did prompt a note to self: Don’t leave NHV unattended on raised surface.
Crawling: This was the next big "leap" in mobility, and I must admit, it rocked my world. It happened about a week after she turned 9 months. I couldn’t believe how tired we both were when Natalie first started locomotting on all fours. As evidence, her naps suddenly extended to a solid two, sometimes three, hours. And often times, I joined her for at least one of those naps! Clearly, the naps were a major benefit. But it also came with more than a few drawbacks. Gone were the days of plopping her down with a basket of toys and expecting to find her there three seconds later. Gone were the days of going to the bathroom by myself - although it does crack me up when she crawls around the corner and seems surprised to see me sitting there on the toilet! And I have never vacuumed, swept, and mopped more in my life. Now that we were spending so much time moving around on the floors, I couldn't help but notice how dirty they seemed - all the time. No wonder I was so tired, when I wasn't chasing Natalie everywhere, or resetting her to a safer, cleaner place, I was doing my best impersonation of Cinder-freakin'-ella!