The Climb

E: Look at you hopping up those stairs!

Me: Hopping?

E: Yeah, lately you only go up them once a day, to go to bed.

It's official. This pregnancy, albeit only 12 weeks, has been exhausting. Climbing the stairs is like climbing a mountain.


While the Cat's Away, the Mice Play!

Last week, we had strep throat. Me AND Greta. In addition to taking care of a sick 19 month-old toddler while also being sick AND in the first trimester of pregnancy, I've recently and frequently felt like a train has run me over. The exhaustion has been insane.

This week, we're on the mend, and I HAD to get out of the house today. The walls felt like they're closing in, and Greta is sooo done with all her toys. Needless to say, we're bored out of our minds. Plus, Eric's out of town, and knowing he's not coming home for the evening makes for a very long day in which I'm the sole person keeping the little person entertained.
So after midday napping, we headed to the mall. Believe it or not, I'm really not a huge fan of shopping, but I had some returns and purchases to make and was looking forward to getting them checked off my things-to-do list.

Here are a few pictures of the little lady. Despite being couped up in her stroller for a couple hours, she was a trooper. I think she needed the time out of the house just as badly as I did. Thank you to Julie and Mary and Apple and Coach and Janie & Jack and Macy's and Barnes and Noble and The Cheesecake Factory for lifting my spirits. Apparently, friendship, retail therapy, people-watching (and cheesecake!) fix cabin fever STAT.

P.S. Chocolate-covered strawberries for dessert
help make for a good day, too!


I've mentioned that Greta's latest thing is dressing herself.
She walks in on me while I'm going to the bathroom,
and she tries to pull off my underwear from around my ankles.
She wants to wear my underwear. Um, yeah.
I generally fold laundry in the great room while watching TV.
Greta will snag various articles of clothing and dress herself.
Here she is with her dad's Mizzou sock cap and one glove.


To celebrate our Mommy-style Mardi Gras playdate on Fat Tuesday,
I got out beads to decorate the house.
Greta insisted on wearing the beads.
Not just one strand and not just a couple.

Here's Greta with her Parents As Teachers parent-teacher educator.
Ironically, our educator, Mary, was being reviewed that day,
and her boss was watching her work with Greta.
Greta wasn't too interested in Miss Mary's pretend picnic.
Instead, she wanted to decorate herself in the beads.
I'm only hoping Miss Mary didn't flunk her evaluation because
my child had no interest in her activities and instead preferred to
pretend like she was at a Mardi Gras parade.
I'm telling myself that Greta's been watching the Winter Olympics with us
and thinks the beads are medals.
I'd rather her do what it takes to win an Olympic medal
than what it takes to earn that many beads.


Fat Tuesday.
Wear lots of beads.
Eat king cake.


Greta & her daddy monkeying around.


My Valentine.


44/365 -- 02.13.10

The day before Valentine's Day,
Eric surprised me with chocolate-covered strawberries.


43/365 | 02.12.10

Frustrated about some thing.
Since taking this photo, so many things have frustrated her,
so I can't recall what particular event caused this specific incident.
I lose track.

Thank You, Webster

I've decided that if I had to do a word count on my most recent blog entries, the most-used word would be squeal. Each time I type it, I forget, "Does it include a 'w' or not?" So I google the word's correct spelling, and I cannot decide if I am more saddened that I can't retain something so simple, or if I I'm more saddened that I'm actually tempted to bookmark it for future reference.

42/365 | 02.11.10

Have I mentioned that Greta is in ful mode of
When she puts her mind to something, she is not to be messed with.
In addition to insisting on dressing herself,
she also insists on putting her baby doll in her high chair.
I don't know why she persists with this activity.
Without fail, she gets ticked off EACH and EVERY time.
Because the doll does't sit right,
and she can't get the belt on her correctly.
I'm only guessing those are the reasons.
The fits and tantrums that surely ensue
have led us to hide the doll on several occasions.

41/365 | 02.10.10

When Greta was a little baby,
I'd sing her lots of silly songs.
One of those was Fats Waller's Your Feet's Too Big.
Why I thought this song was appropriate for a tiny baby
whose feet were like three inches long? I have no idea.

One of Greta's latest fetishes is trying on our shoes.
And this photo of her in her daddy's work shoes
reminded me when I'd sing to her,
I still love you but your feet's too big.
And, yes, I know the correct lyrics are
but what kind of mommy sings something so mean to their sweet bumpkin, right?

40/365 - 02.09.10

What I'm currently reading...


My sick baby girl.
We went in for her 18-month check-up,
and the pediatrician diagnosed her with strep throat.


02.07.10 -- Superbowl Sunday
That's not a boy.
That's Greta in her football attire. :-)
One of our friends brought along a mini-cooler,
and Greta enjoyed dragging it around the house.
And as if she didn't already look like a little boy,
we threw a beer bottle in the photo as a prop.



Here's Greta, trying to dress herself in her piggy pjs
even though she is already dressed in pjs.
That's her thing these days: dressing herself. In mama's undies. In Daddy's boxers.
Shirts as skirts. And SHOES! Anyone's shoes are HERS.
You try to help her get dressed, and she gets PISSED OFF.
How dare you.

In efforts to curb and manage these frequent situations,
we've been reading lots of articles and info on toddlerhood.
I remember as a new parent, I'd hear jokes of,
"Oh, don't you wish babies came with a manual?" And at the time, I did.
But we sailed those seas way quicker than I'd ever imagined possible,
and here we are in unchartered territory.
The time for a manual is NOW.

Toddlerhood with Greta is like this:
One moment you're laying on the beach, soaking in the sun,
enjoying a tasty pina colada and listening to the waves crash.
Everything is perfect.
The next moment, the pina colada IS NOT THE DRINK TO HAVE,
and the water, which is 20 feet away IS IN THE WAY. NOW. MAKE IT GO AWAY.
You can offer a new drink, seek shelter from the sun beneath an umbrella.
You can try to move further from the water.
None of it works.
And you have no idea WHAT would work.
Because you don't speak the language of toddler.


It's driving me nuts.
This is my master bathroom.
Foot cream, hair products, Windex, Oxyclean.
And, oh, yeah. Nothing makes you prettier than Old English furniture polish.
During the first trimester of pregnancy,
I've had NO ENERGY.
No energy to put the Oxyclean in the master closet,
which is ADJACENT to the master bath.
And no energy to open the cabinet below to put away the Windex.

I took this photo because I felt it really represented my January/early February of 2010.
And later, at the end of the year, when this Project 356 is over,
I will look back at photos like this
and think,
I thought THAT was bad!?!
I will then have two babies,
and I will redefine chaos.



Greta absolutely loves the phone.
She loves to pretend she is talking on it.
Even when there isn't anyone on the other line.
And if you take it from her,
or don't give it to her when she wants it,
she gets quite aggravated.
The thing is, when I do give her the phone,
to talk to her daddy or Mimi, she doesn't say anything.
She just listens intently.
And sometimes breathes really heavily like a prank caller would do.
Here she is, with a big grin on her face.
Daddy was on the other line, and she loved hearing his voice.

34/365 - 02.03.2010

How to make her happy:



This photo of my baby girl
reminds me of my oldest sister, Sondra.
I think they look alike.
Sondra's an awesome big sister.
Greta's going to be, too.


I love this photo.
And I've decided that if I'm ever in a bad/sad mood,
I am soooo looking back on this photo.
It's a photo of Greta hugging her little friend, Maddie.
Maddie's mom says, "Hugs and cuddles,"
and this is what you get.
If this doesn't melt your heart,
I'd hate to be you.





Self-photo of me and my one-and-only.
Date night @ The Cheesecake Factory.

When we first became parents,
several friends told us to remember to make time for US.
And to be honest, I really didn't get it.
I mean, of course we would make time for ourselves.
It's true though. We focus so much on Greta
and on work and on life and on everything else.
It's so easy to let things ride on cruise control.
Every time we do make time for "us,"
I'm reminded that we need to do it more often,
and I'm reminded why I love spending time with him.


currently working on problem-solving.
When something aggravates her,
she emits this annoying, deagening, high-pitched squeal
that brings all the neighborhood dogs running.
(Including our own.)


For all the serious looks she gives
(and they are plentiful!),
she makes up for it
with her occasional CRACKMEUP faces.
Silly girl.


My sweet Greta girl!


Let's be honest:
for the first few years of their lives
children are HARD WORK.
Sometimes, as a mom, you feel like all you do is
(Can you tell I am writing this on a particularly trying day?!)

This photo of Greta was taken after
we arrived home from shopping at Walmart.
Greta loves to help unpack bags of groceries.
She's so careful with each item
and so proud of herself for helping out.
She's actually quite helpful.
She hands me the items;
I get it all organized and put away.
At last, she's finally earning her keep. ;-)