Archive for the ‘General’ Category


Friday, February 2nd, 2007


Mommy, juice for YOU!

Thursday, February 1st, 2007

Lauren woke up around 4 this morning. She came and climed into bed with me, but had a hard time going back to sleep. Around 5:30 she was finally sleeping, but then Ryan rolled over and woke her up again… aaaah! I gave up trying to help her back to sleep, and she got off the bed and ran off to do whatever it is that 2 year olds do best… which is usually trouble.

At 6 I asked Ryan to get up and go keep her busy so I could at least rest until 7. Moments later, Lauren reappeared in the bedroom saying, “Here Mommy, juice for YOU!” and plunk! plop! I felt a plastic bottle against my back. And then a second plastic bottle. Something *clicked* that this wasn’t right. Oh yah, then I felt the liquid. I screamed. Ryan bolted out of bed. I couldn’t roll over for fear of the mess I knew was growing on my back, and I couldn’t roll forward because of my big 39.5 weeks pregnant belly in the way.

Lauren had brought me 2 bottles of “juice” that she found under the kitchen sink. Well, like my mother, and her mother, I keep lots of things under the sink… dishwasher detergent, other cleaning products, extra sponges, trash bags, and oil. Yes, oil. Vegetable oil, corn oil, olive oil, things that drip and make messes out of pantry shelves…

And like any helpful girl, she had pulled the lids off in the kitchen, picked up both bottles, and managed quite skillfully to get them all the way to the bedroom with out spilling a drop. She’s been practicing this two-arm hold on things – carrying one item in each hand, sometimes a third in her mouth.. but with baby dolls and stuffed animals, not bottles of oil!

So like I said, I screamed when that *click* happened, and Ryan jumped out of bed, ran over, grabbed the bottles and RAN for the kitchen. He then slammed the bottles down on the counter or in the sink, and headed back for Lauren.

By then I had managed to roll over without rolling in too much mess, and was taking the sheets off the bed to start laundry for the day. Sheets in hand, I headed down the hall to put them in the wash, and I found oil dripping down the front of the dryer. Odd… especially since our dryer is stacked on top of the washer and I’m pretty sure even if Lauren had been using a super soaker to spray oil she wouldn’t have been able to hit the dryer.

Yah, odd was right. Turns out Lauren had hardly made any mess at all. There were little puddles of oil on the kitchen floor where she left the caps, and a big puddle of oil in the bed, it was Ryan running around and slamming the bottle down that made most of the mess. On the bedroom floor and the hall carpet he left drips. The resulting splash from the counter slam left oil on the hall ceiling, the walls, the washer and dryer, the kitchen cabinets, the fruit bowl and knife block, the fridge and light switches and sink, and then when he threw the bottles in the trash, he dripped across the floor and down the wall by the window.

So at 6 o’clock in the morning we are all up, and all cleaning. Laundry in, Ryan scrubbed walls and ceilings, I took my soap and rag to the cabinets and counters. There are still some spots in the hall and bedroom on the carpet needing cleaned, and still at least 2 or 3 loads of laundry to do. And no more oil for making cupcakes. I haven’t looked at the walls and ceiling yet to see how they dried.

How is it that my 32 year old husband makes 10x the mess of my 2 yr old child?

To make it more fun, after Ryan left for work Lauren was climbing up and down on her step in the kitchen… but I had pulled up all the rugs to wash them, so she was able to slide her step anywhere she wanted. She slid right over to the side she never gets to play on, and climbed up. And dumped and poured everything she found. Luckily the only thing she found that she could open was a cruet of vinegar, which was promptly poured all over the counter.

I gave her a dry rag and let her clean it up. At least that side of the counter (which actually didn’t get any oil on it) has now been properly disinfected with a vinegar wash.

Maybe she wasn’t wanting to give me juice after all, maybe she’s just aspiring to create a new and fantastic salad dressing?

Possessed or Just Two

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

At the moment there is a toddler with a purple playsilk over her head singing, “In the jungle lion sleeps to in jungle lions sleeeps toooooo” while she “rollerskates” on popcorn kernels. Now she’s singing, “got a friend in me, yes you do, got a friend in me, yes you do, you got a friend in me yes you do…”

I didn’t sleep very well last night, and Lauren woke up on the wrong side of the bed. We had a rough morning, and then went shopping just to get out of the house. We managed to stock up on Play-Doh and breathe some fresh air before coming home for lunch and a nap. In an effort to maintain my sanity we’ve watched TV and “cooked” some popcorn for a snack while watching Toy Story.

Oh yah, the popcorn kernels. That’s where I was going. While I was on the phone with someone from Toledo Children’s Hospital I heard this raining sound… and well, it was the sound of a beautiful fast rain, the kind that cleans cars and streets and makes me smile – until I realized it was popcorn. The entire tub, nearly 1/2 gallon, on the floor. Little tiny popcorn kernels… making little tiny raindrop sounds as they hit the floor and scattered all over.

And they are still on the floor. Why? Because it’s fun. Lauren is rollerskating, making little piles of them, sweeping them up with the broom, and probably scattering them to every corner so that we’ll be finding them for years to come. But that’s ok, because I’m really very tired and she’s really very busy without needing me for a few minutes.

Can I rent a maid and a nanny and take a nap now?

Happy Birthday Lauren!

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

My baby is two years old today. We’ve called a lot of people on the phone today to sing Happy Birthday over and over again. We called Nonno, Nonnie, Nona, Uncle John, Cole, and they all sang to Lauren… even Uncle John sang from his desk at work. Mommy and Daddy can only sing it so many times before their jaws are too tired. Tonight we will call Grandma, Grandpa and Alanna, and hope they sing for us too!

This morning Lauren woke with a muffled “heewwwwwwwppppp” sound coming from her bedroom. When she finally got her door open, she had a baby doll in one arm, a stuffed dog in the other, and another dog hanging from her mouth. Apparently they were all too precious to put down to open the door. :)

So we’ve been having an “anything Lauren wants to do” day (within reason). We filled the bathtub with bubbles and played for a long time this morning, had “yellow juice” and applesauce (and eggs) for breakfast, went shopping with the kid size cart (thanks Daddy for showing her that one) at Trader Joe’s, had lunch and then an entire container of raspberries and some cookies for our snack. We’re currently watching “Toy Story” and torturing poor Zoe on the couch.

Mommy and Daddy gave Lauren a kitchen set in her bedroom (pictures soon!) and we’ve played with that a lot today too.

Dinner is just about ready, and it’s pizza night (sans cheese), followed by Farble Mudge cupcakes and fruit sorbet (raspberry I think), and Daddy will put Lauren to bed tonight.
You’re only two once!

Shedd Aquarium

Sunday, January 7th, 2007

I bought a membership to the aquarium this week, and this morning Lauren, Ryan and I took a trip to visit. The aquarium is literally straight up the road from here – if you take the main street that runs east-west as far as you can east until you hit Lake Michigan, you are at the aquarium. The #12 bus leaves from the corner and goes directly there, it takes about 15 minutes, and costs $2 for each adult. Lauren rides free (and gets in the aquarium free too!) and it was SO easy.

The first thing you see when you arrive is a giant round tank with a sea turtle, tons of BIG fish, stingrays, and a green eel swimming around. It was feeding time when we got there, so we stood and watched the fish chow and a diver swim. Lauren was THRILLED. I think she could stand and watch the fish for days if we let her. We also toured one of the smaller wings, the Komodo Dragon (and other lizards) special display that is only there for a few more weeks, and watched the dolphin show. After the dolphins Lauren wanted to see the penguins, but once we got to their area, she was asking to go back on the bus. She was pretty darn tired, so we left, rode home, and had lunch and a nap.
Lauren talks to the sticky green lizard...

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

Well it’s been a whirlwind of a few days around here.

We came home from Chicago on Saturday 12/23, Lauren and Zoe and I in the van, Ryan in his car… we went to play with Nonnie and Nonno and had dinner with them, and then came back to the house for the night. It’s like camping – we have just a few kitchen items, sleeping bags, mattresses, and a handfull of toys, and just basic groceries to get us through the week. Lauren crashed right to sleep for Ryan and we all slept in.

On Christmas Eve we had haircuts scheduled at the mall for noon. I don’t know what I was thinking, going to the mall on Christmas Eve, but we did. While we were there we waved at Santa and Lauren got her finger stuck in the giant revolving gifts that were near the Santa picture line, we did a little last minute shopping, and then went to play at the bookstore.

We had dinner at Nona’s house that night, with John, Nicole, Evie, and Nona. Nona gave Lauren a game similar to Memory with wooden animals and houses, and a pink keyboard that is tons of fun. Lauren gave Nona some purple candles for her bathroom and a new address book. When we got home, Lauren and Ryan tried to go to bed while the magic of Christmas happened in our living room. Santa had to make a special stop to assemble a gift for Lauren and mommy had to help wrap all the gifts.

On Christmas morning Lauren slept in – it’s great that she has no memory of Christmas yet. We really enjoyed the extra hour of sleep. I remember getting up obscenely early when I was a child to unwrap gifts and play with toys.

Santa brought Lauren a table and chairs that she has been playing with every time we go shopping. She was thrilled and sat right down. Mommy and Daddy gave Lauren some dishes, pots and pans, silverware, and a tiny tea set to use with the table. We all ate breakfast and bathed and headed off to Nonnie and Nonno’s house for some more fun. xmas morning

At Nonnie and Nonno’s we had a HUGE lunch and some more PAPER! She likes to rip paper and throw each little piece on the floor and help everyone else with their paper ripping too. Nonno and Nonnie gave Lauren a new tricycle, which she LOVES (thanks to Uncle John for putting it together) and some new books, Uncle John and Nicole gave Lauren a HUGE Mr. Potato Head, that has 4 pirate themed tater heads in it, and for us, a membership to the zoo for the next year.

And then Lauren took a LOOOONNNGGGGG nap. We were really late to the Thornton Christmas since we didn’t wake her up.

We saw Grandma and Grandpa and lots of aunts and uncles and cousins and more, and Lauren got to open more presents and cheer for everyone else as they opened theirs too. Wooden play food, a new shirt, a dress on the way, and a set of percussion instruments were all part of her haul. And Ryan and I got a family pass to the Children’s Museum, which is a pretty cool place.

Maybe Santa left a family pass to the aquarium for us in Chicago…

Lauren had a long and busy day, and was wiped out and slept easily when we got home. And then today, the day after Christmas, we celebrated with Evie and made turkey corn chili with the leftovers from Christmas lunch. We ripped lots of paper and threw paper balls to the dog to chase and it’s nearly bedtime again, she’s tired and will hopefully sleep well again.

Tomorrow.. that’s when the FUN begins. We’ll clean house and pack stuff and drive a van full of stuff to Goodwill, maybe a second van to the computer recycling place, and then 2 loads of stuff over to my mom’s house to store and/or return. We have some of their furniture here, and it needs to go back.

I think we’ll fill the van and car up to take back to Chicago, and whatever is left here in the house will just have to be burned.

I don wan it!

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

That’s the sentence of the day. I’ve heard it at least 100 times.

“Lauren, do you need to go potty?”
“I don wan it!”

“Lauren, are you done eating?”
“I don wan it!”

“Lauren are you ready to go to bed with Daddy?”
“I don wan it!”

But it’s bedtime… so off she goes.

Flying Lessons

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

Ryan has been driving back to Cleveland (at first I typed “home” but I guess this is our home now, and we just own that house..) so he can take a flying lesson each weekend to finish his multi certification. He’s almost there, but I swear, this airplane has anti-Ryan karma that is just out to get him. Every time he can go fly it’s either broken or someone else has booked the plane for the entire week – every waking hour – and he can’t get on the schedule.

So yesterday he drove 5 hrs (yes, he can get from our condo to the old house in 5 hours.. scary!) and then another 40 min. on to the airport only to find out the plane wasn’t safe to fly. And they don’t know if it will be fixed in time for him to go fly over the week we are home for Christmas. I fear January will be too cold or snowy or both for him to fly safely, and the baby is due in Feb. so will he ever finish?

If you pray, pray to the gods of airplanes and fix-it karma that he can get it done in time!

In other news, Lauren has her very own bedroom now. When she was an infant we all slept in one big bed together. As she got older and wigglier, I had a really hard time sleeping with her, Ryan, and the dog all snoring or wiggling or rolling around at night and waking me up. When I realized I was pregnant (and very tired) we encouraged her to stop nursing at night and I started sleeping in the second bedroom (which was decorated to be a nursery) while she continued to cosleep with Ryan in the big bed.

Since moving here we decided to put a queen size bed in the second bedroom and the king bed in the master bedroom. Lauren has been sleeping in both beds for naps and at night, depending on the week and who was putting her to bed. She’s quite comfy in both of them, heck I’m quite comfy in both of them! And they are both big enough to allow either Ryan or I to sleep with a baby at night. That’s the best part – he can sleep with her in one room while I sleep with the new baby in the other, or we can all fit in the king bed if we need, or one of us can sleep alone in the smaller bed too.

So over the weekend while Ryan was off trying to fly, Lauren and I assembled a new bed frame to put under the queen bed (it’s been on the floor so she can get in and out) and last night she slept in it all by herself. I put her to bed around 9, and went to sleep in the other room, and around 4 I heard her talking, “daddy daddy, banket daddy, mommy banket” which translates to “Hey my covers are off, can someone please help me?!” and by the time I got out of bed and to her, she was back to sleep. She slept until 7:30 this morning, and so did I. Aaaah!

I’m sure it’s not going to be a permanent change, but I do appreciate the nights of good sleep I get!

Unpacking is going slowly, and the condo is beginning to look like an IKEA showroom. As I sit here on the couch I can honestly say that of ALL the furniture in this room (living/dining), only the TV cabinet, lamps, and desk chair are not from IKEA. Lauren’s bedroom is all IKEA except for the changing table and toy shelf, and well, no IKEA has made it into the master bedroom yet… unless you count the bathroom rugs.

My goal is to get everything unpacked and put away (or put back in the van to store in Ohio) before we leave next weekend to come home for the holidays. It would be REALLY nice to come back from a week away to find everything cleaned and picked up and put away and no cardboard or packing paper anywhere. Right now we have towers of empty boxes in all the corners that need to go to the recycling depot, and shreds of paper and styrofoam on the floor thanks to a little girl who thinks that rolling in packing paper is actually more fun than jumping in leaves in the fall.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas …

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

Is on the TV right now. Lauren is amazed.

We’re in Chicago, and it’s wet and windy here. Lauren has a cold, she’s actually a fountain of snot, which is pretty darn gross, particularly when she manages to rub her face on me or the couch or something else that needs cleaned. Most of the time she comes running and yelling “booooogers” with her nose up in the air to be wiped, which is preferable to her wiping it on me.

She discovered the wonderful world of marshmallows this week while I was unpacking. I think she would have eaten the entire bag if I hadn’t found her first. She still drags a stool to the counter and looks for the “mashmeeellooows” which aren’t there anymore.

Lauren is doing a lot better than I had expected in terms of adapting. She asks to call Nonnie and Nonno and the kitties every day, and we call them a lot, but she’s not doing anything crazy or having problems sleeping (beyond before we moved). I think some of it might be from a few trips out here we took for a day or three at a time to stay before moving. If only we could introduce her new baby that way!

Sometime soon (hopefully before Christmas!) we will have all our boxes unpacked and taken to the recycling place that is just a mile away. They gladly take anything we want to haul over there, which is nice since our trash can is only so big and gets picked up once a week by the city. There is SO much packing paper. We didn’t have leaves to jump in this fall, and we missed the big snowstorm, but packing paper is just as much fun as snow!
Lauren jumps in the paper!

We finally got internet access today, which beats using our cell phones for checking email. Lauren has an entire closet of toys (and baby storage) while we’ve managed to keep everything else in the master bedroom closet. I’m getting really good at fitting things into creative spaces, under beds and in little corners and more.

We need some plants. On the days that we have sun, the living room gets bright light all day, and if I can find a way to keep the dirt out of Lauren’s reach, a few green things will make it cheerful in here. We have curtains and blinds and most of our furniture now, though we still lack a table at which to eat dinner. Ryan promises he’ll take me back to IKEA this week or next week to get it, and then I should be done shopping.

More later…


Saturday, December 2nd, 2006

I’ve been really really really bad about updating things on here. I promise to try harder.

Here’s the newest news, and some not so new news too!

I’m pregnant. Very pregnant. Due in Feb. – around Valentine’s Day to be exact. Yes, it’s a baby. No, we don’t know if it’s a boy or girl, and we don’t intend to find out. Yes, we’ve found a new midife.

We’re also moving. Well, technically Ryan moved a week ago, Lauren and I are moving this Monday. We’ll be living in Chicago for the next few (or more?) years. Yes, it’s overwhelming. And it was pretty quick happening… Ryan will be continuing with his company, but instead of the NASA contract, he’ll be working on a contract with the City of Chicago. Specifically, he’ll be at OEMC, which is the emergency managment folks.

We found a condo to rent in a neat area… it was empty land – it still is empty land on google maps – the condo is part of the triangle of empty space that spreads SW from the arrow on the google page. Actually, we’re the last built unit, the next block is still empty.

It is in what was considered a blighted neighborhood, the condos sell for $300k, and there are intentional units of “affordable housing” between them. There is also an apartment building at the corner (the 1200 address) and a fire station nearby. Across the street is a parent participation preschool (parents are required to volunteer 2 days a month or take classes regarding nutrition, child development, etc in the evenings), and an elem. school as well.

The cost of living is crazy there… well, it’s very low in Cleveland, and very high in Chicago. So we’re downsizing to a little 2 bedroom place with no basement, no storage, no garage. We’re learning how to purge things quickly around here. It’s amazing what you can gather in your space in such a short amount of time.

Lauren is almsot 2, and with that comes the almost 2 behaviors. Her favorite things to do are throw blocks, bite small children, pull hair, and pinch.

I’m kidding. She’s actually a pretty great kid. She is throwing blocks right now, but not maliciously. I’d rather watch her throw blocks than see her climbing on the tables.

Her newest accomplishments – she plops belly down in the shower and says, “I’m swimming!” She can also count to 10, and knows some of the numbers to 20, but isn’t terribly accurate with those yet. She can say her alphabet as well, but doesn’t identify all the letters in print yet. She also likes to tell the dog that it’s time to go potty, sit, drop it, and NO!

She also still has some pretty bad food allergies, we keep hoping she’ll outgrow them in time, until then she eats what we make for her, and we make pretty good food!