Sunday, December 28, 2008

More Bedtime Adventures

It's official, she wants to hear me typing on the computer now. Each time she realizes the end result is the same ... her going to sleep on her own ... she grabs at anything else she can think of to change it or stall it.

(see 2 posts down for the beginning of this story)
Reagan sings Frosty The Snowman

Reagan and Too Much Christmas

Starting on Christmas Eve, Reagan was excited to wear her Christmas dress that I found several months ago (on sale for $12!). After asking if she'd like to wear a dress, she said, "how about my christmas dress because it's almost christmas time!" We ate a wonderful Indian meal at Rani's house, watched a Frosty the Snowman show on TV, and exchanged a few gifts. Rani, Ganga, Lali, and Pavan gave Reagan this adorable holiday dress and headband. Christmas morning was just us opening our stockings and presents followed by my family tradition of having crepes for breakfast (which I've never made before and must say I did a good job on ... they were slightly thicker than they should have been, but tasted great ... and I added flax seed meal for a little added health cause they otherwise have very little). I also added vanilla (sorry Mom), but only a little capful (sorry Dad) :-). We only gave Reagan about 3 presents last year and bumped it up to 5 this year plus 4 small stocking gifts, trying to keep things reasonable ... but by the time friends and family gifts were added in, she was swimming in gifts anyway! We got her a tool set with battery operated power drill that works just like Daddy's, a cash register with a scanner that beeps and has play money. It also operates as a real calculator. She was pretending to ring up all her gifts with the scanner. We also got her a little laptop with games on it, a ballet outfit for barbie, a ribbon wand (like they use in the Nutcracker), water paints and multi-colored pencils (just to help fill the stocking mostly), and finally, a stack of Berenstain Bears books, her new favorites, that she had to go on a scavenger hunt for ... Cam set that up and she had fun finding them all around the house.

Uncle Brandon and Aunt Danielle got her this cute ballerina tutu, "twinkle toe" shoes (which is what she calls them now :-)), and this super soft, cute bunny that came with a little coat, but Reagan said it was too warm for the coat, so it came off immediately. From her friend Jack (and his Mommy and Daddy), she got a little Polly Pockets doll and the game Hi Ho Cherry O. She's somewhat interested in playing the game, but has been obsessed with all the little plastic berries that come with it. She's cooking them in her kitchen, serving them, separating out the green ones cause they're "sour-y" (how she knew to associate green with sour, I have no clue) and pouring them from container to container endlessly. Cam made a chute out of blocks and a cardboard tube for her to send them through.

From Grandma Connie and Grandpa Don, she got a mix of things, Barbie dog show set, the game Thin Ice, little kitten and cat figures which have become the Barbie's pets, a little doll and bathtub set which she wanted to play with immediatly and the bathtub has also been a container to pour the plastic berries into, and a cute backpack which she's wearing here while playing with her new laptop:From Grandma Laurie and Grandpa Martin, she got these sparkly ballerina jammies and the soundtrack to the Lion King (my mom was trying to remember the words to the song Circle of Life on our trip ... which stemmed from a long explanation involving the earth and sun and the days and nights and things living and dying ... which all stemmed from watching the sun set and seeing both live and dead sea life on the beach in Florida. Reagan was very intrigued with it all.) Here's a video of her singing her made up song, Twinkle Toes, to the tune of Jingle Bells, after pairing her sparkly jammies with her twinkle toe shoes:

Christmas afternoon, we headed to Uncle Jim, Aunt Stephanie and Cousin JT's house where my grandparents are staying. We had a great meal (mmm... my Grandma's stuffing, I've missed that) and brought a cheesecake for dessert that ended up being cheese soup .. oops! But it still tasted good. They all got Reagan a big stool-size soft cube with shapes and colors that plays music. The new baby will enjoy this one too!

Dec 27th was our final celebration with Cam's extended family who live locally. It's his Grandpa's brother's branch of the family, so it's his Dad's (Gpa Don) cousins and their families. We had a great meal there with chicken and ham .. delicious! Afterward, the two little ones, Reagan and Tessa (a year older than Reagan .. 3rd cousins), were showered with gifts ... so generous of everyone! Then the adults did a white elephant/pirate type exchange. I was able to steal and lock in (2nd time stolen, so cannot be stolen again) a $25 Macy's gift card along with a bag of M n M's (my fav!) and some Trader Joe's candies. Cam got car cleaning products - chamois's, interior wipes, wax, soap, etc. Kathie and Kristen also got me a Pashmere scarf, it's very pretty!

Here's Tessa and Reagan playing with Reagan's laptop before dinner. Reagan was quite upset at the end of the night because we weren't going to Tessa's house, just to our house. She suggested that she get bunk beds so Tessa could sleep on the top and she could sleep on the bottom. I don't know how she knows what bunk beds are, but that was super cute!Here's the whole bunch (from left bottom row: Kathy, Donna, Emily and Tessa, Me and Reagan, Kristen, Dan. from left top row: Kathie, Jerry, Debbie, Jerry, Karen, Ken, Cam, Jim.) Reagan made out like a bandit: Aunt Kathie and Cousin Kristen got her butterfly wings, a fuzzy tiara, some princess stickers you scratch off to reveal sparkly stuff (she especially thought this was pretty cool), and a little purse and play pearl necklace. Aunt Debbie got her a bouncy ball and a Mickey Mouse backpack/gamepack with tic tac toe, card games, etc. Aunt Emily got her a fleece GAP sweatshirt and a Snow White Polly Pockets type doll with changes of clothes.

After all those gifts, Tessa and Reagan had the most fun with this big box ... of course!

Emily (Tessa's "Omy" or Grandma) played with Reagan and Tessa a lot and they loved it. She had them perform some songs for us (Reagan was still too shy to sing along, but she rang her bell):

THANK YOU TO ALL for the great food, gifts, and company!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Adventures in Putting Reagan to Bed

Ever since our trip, where Reagan understandably had sleeping difficulties (strange place, so much stimulation, so many people, etc), we've had continued issues with her not wanting us to leave the room. She insisted on Mommy laying next to her a lot on the vacation and at home now. A few nights ago, after reassuring her over and over again that I would check on her, that I loved her .. the usual stuff I say, she just whined "nooooooo" and when I finally left the room and told her to just go to bed (I was done), she got more upset and declared through cries that she was going to sleep on our floor (something we offered when she had a bout of episodes with going to bed a couple months ago). I said, fine, sleep on my floor. It was going on 10:30 at this point, so I got in bed and let her set herself up on the floor. She spent a good 10-20 minutes trying to convince me that she could just lay in front of me on the bed (the space in front of me was about 2 inches wide). I held my ground and she finally laid on her pillow but only if she could pull my arm down to hold my hand. Cam came to bed around 1 am and she was sort of awake and readjusting at that moment, so he told her, let's go sleep in your room, you won't be comfortable here all night, etc. She threw a little tantrum even though he was offering to sleep with her in her room. That wasn't enough, she wanted to see Mommy. I listened in the monitor as they repeated this conversation several times:

Reagan: "I want one more hug from Mommy" [whine, whine, cry, cry]
Cam: "If Mommy comes in here to give you one more hug and then goes back to bed, is that going to be ok?"
Reagan: "No" [whine, cry]

He managed to calm her down and convince her to lay next to him and they slept there all night. The next night, he's putting her to bed and she's not wanting him to leave after the routine and he tells her he just has to go wee wee, put on his jammies, and check some things on the computer and then he'll come back to check on her. She's totally agreeable to this, though insists she's going to sit up until he's back. Well, that didn't last long and she was soon asleep.

The next time I'm putting her to bed, I'm doing the usual routine and when I'm ready to leave and she's not wanting me to, she asks, "can you do like Daddy and go wee wee, put on your jammies, and check some things on the computer?" um, yes Reagan, I can do that! Wow, this is our new trick! Cam and I had a good laugh about that. So this has been working for a few days.

Then yesterday, she realizes she can't hear me go wee wee and wants me to leave her door open so she can hear it. So here we go ... I don't even know how yet (she's outsmarting us slowly), but I do know our new trick isn't going to last much longer, she's dissecting it already. So, all is well as long as she hears me go wee wee and I come back and hold her hand again before telling her I'm going to check some things on the computer before coming back to check on her. (Good thing I'm pregnant and always have to pee)

Moving on to this morning at 5 am: She woke up and got upset that I wasn't there checking on her. I settled her back down and did the hand holding for a few minutes and then told her I was going to go wee wee and then rest for a little bit since it was still the middle of the night and then I'd come back to check on her. That wasn't flying at all. She wanted me to check some things on the computer and I tried to explain that it was night time and that I needed to sleep right now. Nope, too upsetting. I finally said, "Do you want me to go check some things on the computer instead?" "Yes." Alright, that's what I'm gonna do then ... wink, wink.

Hopefully this is either just an age thing or a combo of that and anxiety about the baby that's supposed to come out of my tummy soon ... so hopefully it'll subside after the baby arrives. Am I being naive? I can't deal with this when the new baby is here!
Christmas Tree Time

We got our tree on December 15th, I'm just finally blogging about it. It's really nothing special to blog about cause every year (well, only the ones that we've been in town) we go to the Rite Aid 10 minutes away and select a tree from their small pile of look-alikes and then come home and put the most standard basic things on it ... colorful ball ornaments and white lights. Boom, done!

Reagan did a great job hanging ornaments this year and only broke one in the process. Oh, we also had the chocolate ornaments from Augie to add this year and she only talked about eating them 20 million times for the first couple days and hasn't said a word since. This picture reminds me a lot of a picture of myself when I was about this age, reaching toward a christmas tree like this with short curly hair in a white turtleneck ... maybe we don't look alike, it's just all the other coincidences :-) Adding this pic just to document my 6.75 months (29 weeks) preggo belly.
Getting Ready for Baby Bwuzzo

The guest room is being transformed into a second baby room. I got all the painting done in November and all the clothes we have so far hung in the closet and organized in the drawers. The crib will go in as soon as we get a new bed for Reagan. Here's Reagan "helping" me paint.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sanibel Island Beach Vacation

The first week of December, we spent a week on Sanibel Island on the Gulf side of Florida. It was great weather, very relaxing, and so fun to spend time with family as always. We stayed in beach-front cottages and here's Reagan walking down our beach path the first morning. It was cool in the mornings and evenings, but got nice and warm during the day.
"Shelling" was the main attraction and 7 am was apparently the magic time to get up and go - the tide had washed in new ones I guess. At that hour, I chose to continue dreaming, mostly about how nice it would be if all the shells were raked up so they wouldn't be in my way :-) Ok, that's an exaggeration, but I was pretty unamused by all the shells. Being over 6 months preggo though, just relaxing and hanging out felt great. We swam at a local resort pool one day, played on the beach, did a little island thrift store shopping, and gave ourselves mud spa treatments from the Dead Sea mud Aunt Augie brought from her recent trip there. Reagan, Christie, and I were the "Mud Sista's" together one morning.Reagan really loved playing in the sand and especially loved when Uncle Danny and then the next day, Daddy, dug a huge hole for her to slide into. Here's Reagan and Faire playing in the hole.

We also got showered with German chocolate from the suitcase full Augie always brings along when she sees everyone. She even set up a little scavenger hunt where finding euros (in chocolate) outside the cottages bought you real chocolate and packages of gummy bears. We also had a chocolate tasting contest where you had to list 8 kinds of chocolate in order from lightest milk chocolate to darkest dark chocolate (ranging from about 30 - 80% cocoa ... I like the darker ones the best). Becky (Uncle Steven's girlfriend) got every single one right and a few of us, including myself, only flip flopped 2 of them.

Here's Reagan's huge, soft dolphin from Great Grandpa Andrew and Shirley that she had to hug during nap even though it's as big as her.
Reagan's way into this Dr. Suess book Shirley's reading to her.
Cousin Faire in a big beach hat - too cute!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hopscotch Just Like Elmo

In one of Reagan's books, Elmo is playing hopscotch and the picture is of him balancing on one foot while reaching down for the stone so that was the most important part for her. I don't actually know all the rules to hopscotch, so I sort of made things up, but here's Reagan trying it:

Happy B-day Cam

Reagan helped me make this cheesecake for Cam's birthday (11/13). That's 3 candles together and then 1 candle for 31 :-). We went out to eat and my gift to Cam was a cooking class we took together the following week while Reagan played at her friend Wesley's and had a great time.
Here's Wesley and Reagan eating lunch when we were watching him another day

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Our Halloween Week

Carving our pumpkins ...
We planned on Reagan being a cheerleader since Grandpa Don and Grandma Connie found a great Illini cheerleading outfit, but every time I talked about Halloween, Reagan talked about wanting to be a kitty cat. So I bought the accessories (ears, tail, collar) to pair with some black clothes, a pink nose, and black whiskers and figured we'd wait and see. With 3 parties and trick-or-treating, we did the kitty 3 times and the cheerleader once. We don't watch sports that involve cheerleaders, so she had no clue what one was. We showed her YouTube videos and that got her just excited enough to do the costume at one party knowing she would be a kitty again that night for trick-or-treating. Both were very cute!

On our way to Stepping Stones (like preschool but with parents there, we go 2x/week)
Heading into the grade school classrooms to parade their costumes (Stretching like a kitty, she thought of this herself)
Sizing up the dog (her friend Adrian) ...
On our way to our playgroup party 2 days later, it's cheerleader time ... rah! rah!
All the playgroup friends (or as many as we got to stand still in a line all at the same time)
Halloween Night, ready for trick-or-treating... (any guesses on my costume .. those that don't already know.)
Her and her friend Jack (race car driver) trick-or-treated together and got good at it. After a while, we could stand back and they had it down.

The night after trick-or-treating, my friends threw their usual major Halloween Bash and unfortunately, our camera was crapping up and we didn't take any pictures of their super elaborate decorations/set up and some really great costumes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bump In The Road

Between the end of September and mid-October, Cam traveled 3 out of 4 weekends and I think it's at least partially what caused a rift in Reagan's great sleeping habits. The same day Cam returned from his 3rd and final trip, we also had her 2 1/2 year check up at the doctor. He explained how 2 1/2 is the real "2's" and how she'll tend to answer no to everything and how we can help her get through the next half year with minimal frustrations, etc. That very night (as if he's psychic ... or maybe she listened to what he said!), I got about as much sleep as when she was an infant. Twice in the middle of the night she woke up very upset demanding to sleep in our bed and both times after an hour of attempting to reason (it always worked before!), we ended up in some compromise just short of her actually coming in our bed. She's asked this before and has gotten to on special occasion but has always listened to reason when we tell her she can't. There was no reasoning with her this time. She was beyond distraught about me leaving her to go to sleep and I wasn't ready for an all out tantrum at that hour. She finally reluctantly ended up on our bedroom floor when it became clear to her that I actually wasn't going to let her sleep in our bed.

It took a few days, but things have settled back down and we've worked out a new "deal". As long as I hold her hand for an extra minute and tell her I'm going to check on her "lots of times", she's perfectly fine with going to sleep on her own in her bed again. Phew!
Big Girl Bed

This is a bit older news, but we converted the crib to a toddler bed in early August and here's Reagan proudly standing on it the first night. She continues to call for us when she wakes up as if the crib rail is still there ... although if she sees something in her room she wants to look at or play with, she'll get out of bed, grab it and get back in to wait on us.
Reagan's Current Fling

Jack is in our playgroup and is about 3 months older than Reagan. They always have the best time together.
Angel Island September 6

Cam's company had their family day there and it was perfect weather! We took the ferry over, hiked to the top and back down the other side where the company picnic was taking place. Reagan even ended up in the bay water up to her rib cage .. brr!

Here's Reagan with each of us at the Tiburon harbor:
This is before she insisted that all her clothes be stripped off so she could go in further (you can also see my 3 months preggo bump):

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mommy Needs Block-Building Lessons

Reagan: "Mommy, can you make me a train for mommy-doll and daddy-doll?"

Melanie: "Um, ok, let's see... Daddy could probably make this better"

Reagan: "Mommy, can you make me a real train?"

Melanie: "Ask Daddy to make you a train." (I might have been able to do a better job than this had I not already known I was going to have her ask Daddy to make one) :-)

Reagan: [walks over to Cameron] "Daddy, can you make me a train?"

5-10 minutes later ...

Reagan: "Oh... that is a real train."
Reagan Teaches Us Now

Reagan confidently told Daddy that unicorns are called unicorns because they have corn in them, but you just can't see it. She completely came up with this herself. I had just taught her what a unicorn was the day or two prior and had specifically explained that they "had a horn on their head and were a pretend animal".

Also, there are a lot of corrections:
"No, that is a skirt, not a dress."
"No, that is a jacket, not a coat."
"Those are not shoes; those are sandals."

Reagan: "What are you eating Dada?";
Cameron: "pot pie, just like you"
Reagan: "Why did you say 'I am eating pot pie just like you?' I am not eating it yet because it is too hot."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Reaching Goals!

With I lost 13 lbs! Before, without any accountability or deadline, it was waaaay too easy to spend all my time planning the perfect workout schedule rather than just doing things each day to go in the right direction. Having the visual aid of the "Yellow Brick Road" with Kibotzer not only made that shift happen automatically, but also continued to show me the big picture, reminding me that progress was being made, something that's very easy to second guess. Looking at the road, you see the progress you've made and it reinforces that what you're doing is working and motivates you to keep it up. It was really the key to my success!

My brother, Danny, created the graphs and he and his wife Bethany have been creating a website out of it, with some help on non-technical things from me and technical things from other friends of theirs.

It's a really simple process: sign up on the site with your email and your starting value for your goal (whether it's increasing the number of pushups you can do or decreasing the number of cigarettes you smoke a day or any other goal you can dream up, basically) and a graph is created for you, with its own unique web address. You receive a daily email (from the "bot", named Kibotzer) asking for your data and within seconds of replying, you receive an email with a link to your graph (which remains private unless you want the extra exposure for more motivation). You then check it out, see the progress and stay motivated. Voila!

Bethany used Kibotzer to successfully lose weight too - 4.5 kg's (about 10 lbs). Check out our progress, past and present, with our Kibotzer badges (Bethany created this feature so people could show off their work on blogs or webpages)!



Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Famous Aunt Augie

So as my parents were driving through Kentucky on their way to Georgia to see my Mom's family for the weekend, they were listening to NPR's coverage of Obama's speech in Berlin today. There were excerpts of his speech along with a discussion panel and then they took callers. Next thing they hear is, "we have a caller, Augie, from Berlin" and it was undeniably Augie's voice, giving her thoughts on his speech. A bit of a surreal experience when you're bored and driving.

Listen for yourself..

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Random Reagan Funnies

On our trip, we told Reagan that Grandpa Don puts whiny girls to bed (she was still a little nervous of him) and Dada puts good girls to bed. This conversation was days later back home ...

Reagan: [whining]
Melanie: "You're being a whiny girl, Reagan."
Reagan: "Gwampa Don puts whiny goes (girls) to bed."
Uncle Brandon wore khaki shorts most every day we were with him and when I put some khaki shorts on Reagan the other day, she says, "jus yite (like) Un-toe Bwandon's soats (shorts)"
Reagan hit a beaded wand against Cam's chest, not knowing how much it would hurt. His reaction left her very upset that she hurt him, so he comforted her, explained he was ok and that she needs to be careful, etc. Later that day, she came up close to his face and said "I'm soo happy dat you're ouchie is all betto (better)". It was so tender, the sweetest thing we ever heard!
Cam laid on the couch after playing with her all morning and she says, "you need a bwanket, Dada?" She offered me the same when I laid down on her play carpet one morning.
Reagan: "Whoa's (where's) Dada going"
Melanie: "He's going to return a movie, but he'll be right back"
Reagan: "What's 'wetone'?"
Melanie: "It's when you borrow something for a little while and have to take it back"
Reagan: "Umm... Yite Un-toe Bwandon and Aunt Danyeow" (like uncle brandon and aunt danielle)
Summer Illinois Trip

At the end of June, Reagan and I spent 2 weeks in Illinois and Cam joined us the 2nd week. We spent a few days in Chicago at Rikki and Chris's house with them and Morgan, Cameron and David.

Here they are playing dress-up. Cameron (little Beans) was so excited to play dress up with Reagan cause she's a girl, not like her brother David. After that, they colored at the table together.
Then we took the train to Peoria and spent the rest of the time there. It was much more low key this year since we slept in only 3 different places (2 in the same city - both grandparents). This is opposed to last summer when we slept in 5 different places and changed locations 7 times (in 3 weeks instead of 2, but still ... ridiculous).

It was relaxing, just a lot of hanging out with family and friends ... sometimes in big groups, sometimes small. We celebrated my Grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary and rewrote the words to "You Are My Sunshine" to reflect their 60-year journey. My Mom and brothers and I sang it in 4 parts as a quartet - a quartet we should start touring with - cause damn, we sounded good! As my Mom says, it must be blood harmony. Next time we're all together, I'll have to get video of it and post it here :-)

Other than that, friends visited, I had a Lia Sophia jewelry party one night - can't get enough of that stuff, we went to the zoo one day, took Reagan mini-golfing, went to the bars one night with my younger brother Steven and friend Heidi (and felt old), and otherwise talked and ate, what we do best :-) ... like Avanti's gondola subs - the best ever, Bob Evan's turkey dinner, and my Dad's spaghetti followed by Doug's great idea to make a veggie - well mostly veggie - lasagna out of the meat sauce the next day. I almost felt like a real cook even though Doug was running the show and I wouldn't have had a clue without his help.

Reagan got a hole-in-one every time:
Uncle Brandon & Aunt Danielle Visit

June 5th, our first day, we toured San Francisco. We saw Grandpa Don's old house, Ocean Beach, ate at the Cliff House, drove some steep streets, then crossed the Golden Gate Bridge.
Later that day, Reagan climbed Mount Tam for a view of the entire bay area.
Here's another tough hike, this time in Yosemite. Uncle Brandon will help.
Uncle Brandon and Cam climbed Yosemite Falls, a 2500 ft waterfall. Here's Brandon at the top.
Looking back up at Yosemite Falls from halfway up.
Danielle, Reagan, & Melanie at Glacier PointToo much drivingReagan & Uncle Brandon on the Merry-go-round at Fisherman's Wharf. Reagan could choose 1 of us to go with her for free and she chose Uncle Brandon ... so cute.
Soccer Practice

I decided to give Soccer a try when I found out about the Parent & Me class. It was fun and she was always excited to go, but just as excited to play on the playground after the 25 minute lesson. Not worth it again until she's over 3. She had just turned 2, it was in April and May for 8 weeks.

Action shot.

Reagan, still in the green, listening to Coach Al ... or watching mommy & daddy behind him.