Thursday, April 23, 2009

Alphabet song, headbanging, and the great outdoors

Romelie can sing her ABC’s, sort of. We first discovered this in Houston. She was playing with this toy at Nanny Angel and Papa Steve’s home that sings the alphabet and was “singing” along, and I swear, the sounds she was making sounded a lot like the alphabet sounds. But no one else was around at that moment to hear it, so I figured it must be a coincidence.

The next day, Chason tells me that Romelie was singing along with a different ABC toy. This one has a ball that spins. You spin it, and it sings a little bit of the alphabet, and then stops. If you want to hear what comes next, you need to spin it again. Well, Romelie would spin the ball, and the toy would sing “A B C D E F G” and then pause. Romelie would then sing “H I J.” She also sang “Q R S” and “Y Z.” She’s done this a few times since without the toys – just singing along with mommy and daddy. We give full credit to Jen for this one; apparently, they sing the song every day during morning group time, and the older boys often sing it over and over again throughout the day.

She also has a new favorite song – something about five ducks that went swimming one day. I think it’s the duckie connection that she enjoys. Before our vacation, we went to an open house at this place called Musikgarten which does music classes for kids 0-5 years old. They sang that song, and Romelie loved it. I use it to calm her down or focus her when she’s getting upset, and it usually works. So we decided to sign up for a 6-week session of music classes this summer. I think she’ll enjoy it.

In other news…Romelie’s becoming more and more, what’s the word? Willful. We’ll go with that. She wants what she wants when she wants it. And if she doesn’t get it, she throws a tantrum. And when she throws a tantrum, she hits her head. Either she bangs it on the ground, or she hits herself in the head with her hands or whatever she happens to be holding at the moment. It’s not good. Her pediatrician said that it’s part of throwing tantrums for some kids, and we need to be consistent with how we address them or they’ll just get worse. Most folks recommend ignoring a tantrum and then addressing it calmly with the child after they’ve calmed down. But I wouldn’t ignore her hitting another child or hitting one of us, so I don’t feel right about ignoring her hitting herself mid-tantrum. But then I’m giving her attention, which is apparently what she wants. Any advice?

Meanwhile, we are trying a new tactic – give her whatever she wants. I’m not talking about buying her a Barbie when she throws a tantrum at Target (that hasn’t happened yet); I just mean we try to do what she wants to do so we can prevent her from getting upset and throwing a tantrum in the first place. So if we’re playing downstairs and she wants to go upstairs, even if we’d prefer to be downstairs where we have a TV and comfy couches…we sigh, stand up, open the gate and follow her upstairs. Or if she wants to go outside…or wants a snack even though dinner’s in 30 minutes…or doesn’t want to give up her Great Grandma’s cat’s toy when it’s time to go home…she gets what she wants. Sorry, Annie – we’ll give your toy back next time we see you!

And finally, we have warm(er) weather in Minnesota! Which means we can spend more time outside. Romelie really seems to enjoy herself outdoors. Chason took her to the park a bunch of times last week, and we’ve explored the backyard thoroughly. So far she’s eaten at least two pebbles, put countless sticks and leaves in her mouth, and has managed to get one rabbit poo in there as well (we got that one back before she could eat it). Kids are gross.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand words; here's lots of both.

I have too many cute photos to share from Houston, so this will be a big ol’ blog entry. Be prepared.

We got into Houston last Monday morning. Romelie was excited to see Papa Steve and Nanny Angel and Doc and Belle (their dogs) right away, so I think she remembered them from last October. Very nice relaxing day as Romelie got to explore new rooms and play with new toys and get lots of love and attention.

Tuesday we spent the day with Aunt Bronwyn, Uncle Shane, Cousin Greta and Grandmommie Diane as well as honorary Aunt Crystal. We went to the very crowded Children’s Museum of Houston (where I ultimately want to work when we move, though the hordes of shrieking toddlers made that dream a bit scarier) and to the Houston Zoo. That night we went out for Mexican food and Romelie ate an oily beef burrito. Which led us to Wednesday…
Remember Christmas? When nearly everyone barfed? Yeah…Wednesday we went into Romelie’s room to find her covered in barf. She proceeded to throw up two more times that day. I don’t know if it was the food or if she caught a bug, but I was dreading another household vacation epidemic. Luckily, no one else got it, whatever it was, and though it was pretty gross, it did pass. In between urps, we drove to Magnolia to see Chason’s Grandma Nona and some aunts, uncles and family friends. They had a big trampoline, which Romelie loved and did not throw up on. Thursday, Romelie was done blurping but ate weird all day. Basically subsisted on crackers, cheerios and applesauce. That night we had dinner at Crystal’s place and met her roommate Jaime and saw some old friends. As we were getting ready to leave, Romelie slipped, fell, hit her head, and bit her tongue hard enough to bleed. More Tylenol. This child had more Tylenol on this vacation than she’d probably had in her entire life. They say you can’t build up an immunity to Tylenol; let’s see if we can’t prove them wrong, shall we?

Friday was Chason’s birthday! Happy 29th, hubby. We met Crystal for lunch at Chason’s favorite restaurant, Phoencia (Middle Eastern food…delicious) and that night Chason’s aunt, uncle, and cousin, who came into town to spend the weekend, as well as his nephew James and the rest of the household, all went to the Texas Roadhouse for dinner. I then proceeded to eat 7000 calories. Not quite, but it was pretty obscene. I did weigh myself this morning and managed to only gain 0.4 pounds in Texas. Which is the opposite of what I’m supposed to be doing, but it’s better than I thought it was going to be. They have good food in Texas. After dinner, Chason and I met Crystal, Jaime, and Bronwyn in Houston to watch Shane’s band play. They. Were. AWESOME. So good. It was pretty amazing.

Saturday was the big Easter / Chason’s birthday celebration. More grandmas and cousins (hi Torin!) and friends and family came in to eat burgers and talk and hunt for Easter eggs. Romelie was a little cranky during the Easter egg hunt, so she didn’t really get into it, but she enjoyed holding on to an egg in each hand and playing with those.

And Sunday we had to say goodbye. We had a Home Alone moment of running through the Atlanta airport to catch our connecting flight home after our first flight was delayed over an hour, but we made it and got home safely where Grandpa Dan was waiting with Easter dinner leftovers. We ate, watched a movie, and went to sleep. Buh-bye, vacation. We had fun. Except for the barfing.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Vocabulary lessons

This morning, as I was getting Romelie dressed, I thought I’d try to teach her a few body parts. “Romelie, where’s your nose?” She looks at me. “Where’s your nose?” Look. I point to her nose. “There’s your nose!” She giggles. “Romelie, where’s your nose?” She points to her nose. “Yay!!”

It was so successful, I decided to try another body part. “Romelie, where’s your ear?” She points to her nose. “That’s your nose. Where’s your ear?” She looks at me. “Romelie, where’s your ear?” Look. I point to her ear. “There’s your ear!” She giggles again. “Romelie, where’s your ear?” She points to her nose. “That’s your nose. Where’s your ear?” “I don’t know.” I point to her ear. “There’s your ear!” “I don’t care.”

Swear to goodness. She said, “I don’t care.” At least she’s honest.

Romelie had a pretty good weekend. She stayed at Grandpa Dan’s house Saturday night and was pretty well behaved for him. Apparently she enjoys crawling or cruising in circles around his house or around the furniture. This pic is from the last time she stayed over – apparently it’s her 8th or 9th time rounding the chair.

She also learned a new word: duckie. My dad’s got lots of duck d├ęcor, so he took her around to different rooms where she would touch the ducks and say “duckie.” I got a very quick video of it before my camera batteries died:

So Monday morning, I brought her to her appointment with the dermatologist to look at the weird bumps on her leg. While we were waiting in the exam room to see the doctor, I showed her the picture of various loons that was on the wall. She’s point to a loon and say something, and I’d read what it said under the picture. Then she’d point to a different loon and say something, and I’d read the next caption. After five or six times, I finally realized that she was pointing to the loons and saying “duckie.” I was so excited, I certainly wasn’t going to correct her. “Yup, duckies! Good job, Romelie!” Incidentally, the dermatologist thinks the bumps were from insect bites and prescribed some kind of strong cortaid. I think that's wrong and the medication isn't going to work (we've tried OTC cortaid already), but I'm not the doctor so I'll give it a try.

She also did much better at Waterbabies this past Saturday. I brought a couple toys of her own so I never had to take them away from her. That seemed to comfort her and she enjoyed herself more and didn’t throw any tantrums. Yay. And I got a photo of her at the library playing around before Baby Storytime started. That’s all the photos I have for now; I desperately need to recharge my camera batteries.

Spring break is coming – 9 days off starting Saturday, and we fly down to Houston Monday morning. We can’t wait to see everyone. I’m crossing my fingers that Romelie takes her first real steps down in Houston – it’s only fair that the Texas relatives should get to witness an important “first” as well. See you all soon!!