Polite

Okay, here’s a few things you know about Blair.

1) She’s cute. Gorgeous even.

Look at those brown eyes. Can’t stand it. I just can’t!
2) She will scratch your freaking eyes out if threatened. Seriously. Do. Not. Poke. The. Bear.
See that LONG scratch on my face? No, no – past the sunspots. Uh-uh, below the dark circles under my eye. (Good Lord, I look horrible!!!) Yep – the two part, deep scratch. From Blair. In this case, “threatened” was me daring to take a pack of gum out of her mouth. She had snagged it from my purse during the dolphin show at the Zoo. Needless to say, that’s the last second she saw of the dolphin show.
3) This is a new one – apparently, she’s polite! I don’t have a photo to go along with this to prove it, so I will illustrate with a story and you’ll take my word for it. 
The girls and I were at Paige’s swim lesson this afternoon, and while Paige swims Blair and I hang out in a viewing room. Today there were only two other Moms there, so Blair was able to be loud and go through people’s stuff walk around and stretch her legs a bit. 
And she was actually just sort of hanging out right in front of me. That is, until she discovered the woman sitting a few chairs down. She was on the phone (the mom, not Blair), and Blair toddled up to her. “Hi!” she yelled. Seriously. She yelled it. Over and over until the woman said “Hi, cutie!” Blair smiled, tilted her head to the side, and said “Ta tu”, or “thank you” in Blair speak. Then she toddled back to me. (Um, hello? Fish for compliments, much??)
Oh yeah, she had this lady hook, line and sinker (or do you say hook, line and stinker?).
A few minutes later she walked back over to her again and began examining her daughter’s hot pink sandals. Hot pink sandals with sparkly ice cream cones on them. They were super cute. Blair agreed. She picked them up (I am not even making this up) in one hand, flung them over her shoulder, stood up, smiled at the woman and shouted “Bye!” over her shoulder as she toddled away with what I’m pretty sure she thought were her brand new shoes.
Um, I can’t say I don’t understand her obsession with shoes. She gets it honestly. And, at least she was polite? I guess?
So she’s got that going for her. Which is nice.

It’s Probably About Time

Well, it finally happened. It really shouldn’t be a surprise, not with the past few week’s, um, issues we’ve been having.

Yes, I’m talking about Baby Blair.

She’d had a rough morning already (which is what I told her would happen if she insisted on waking up at 5:30 am – she obviously didn’t care to listen to me). About 5 minutes after breakfast (so around 6:00-ish) I tried to read a book to she and Paige, with both girls sitting on my lap. Blair either didn’t want to share the book or my lap (most likely both). So she gave Paige a shove and turned around and gave my face a pinch. (Actually, a surprisingly hard pinch for a 15-month-old. I might want to ease up on the milk to weaken those muscles a little.) I immediately put her down on the floor and continued reading to Paige. Although it was really more like shouting the book to Paige at that point, as Blair’s screams were reaching an all-time height in volume.

Yep. Baby Blair experienced her first time-out this morning. She was NOT happy about it, but she had pulled her sister’s hair YET AGAIN. And, Paige decided to give her a well-deserved smack, so we actually had a tandem time-out. (Obviously, not in the same spot. I’m not starting a toddler version of Fight Club here, people.)

She knew she was wrong (I really, REALLY hope she knew she was wrong), but I’m a little frightened to report that the general mood of her time-out seemed less sorry and guilty –  and really just pissed and plot-y. 
Lord help us all. But especially Paige and Mommy.

Alarm Clock

By now you all realize how much I dislike the morning. Or, at least a lot of hubbub in the morning. I need just a teeny bit of quiet time to get moving (and happy). And you also realize that I married a man who jumps out of bed ready to face the day. Regardless of what time it is.

By some cruel twist of genetic fate, my girls have gotten both of these traits. They are up with the roosters … and yet they are in HORRIBLE moods. Seriously. Every. Single. Day.

In fact, just this morning I said to Derrick “Just once I would love to wake up hearing cute giggling, not screaming. Perhaps it might make me in a better mood.” (His smirk and lack of comment suggested otherwise.)

Each morning Paige sits in her bed and screams “MOMMY! MOMMY! I’M AWAKE! COME GET ME! I’M HUNGRY!” Then she realizes she’s barking (or, er, screaming) up the wrong tree and the shouts change to “DAAAAADDDDDYYY! DADDY! I HEAR YOU OUT THERE! I’M HUNGRY! COME GET ME!” Which, if he has the audacity to actually finish whatever he’s doing before going in to get her, quickly becomes “I MEAN IT! GET IN HERE! RIGHT! NOW!” (See? Sounds pleasant, doesn’t it? Keep in mind this is typically around 6:15 am).

So, we came up with a plan (Derrick and I, not Paige and I). We needed for her to realize when it was okay to yell for us, and when it was too early. (Yes, as I’m typing this I see it sounds ridiculous. But trying to just teach her not to scream is a task I’m not willing to undertake. I’m not Jesus. No miracle-working here.)

We bought her a clock. A “Tot Clock,” to be specific. It plays songs when it’s time to go to sleep. The face of the clock turns a light blue for naptime, and a dark blue for bedtime. You can set a timer so it stays blue for a certain amount of time during nap. And you set a different ‘alarm’ so that when it’s time to wake up, the face of the clock turns yellow.

It’s pretty freaking cool. And it was NOT cheap.

So, obviously, problem solved, right?

Wrong. What happens now?

The screams sound like this “MOMMY! MOMMY! MY CLOCK IS STILL BLUE, MOMMY! MOMMY, WHEN WILL IT TURN YELLOW?? MOOOOMMMYYY! I THINK IT IS STILL TIME TO BE ASLEEP, RIGHT?” Then change to “DADDY! DADDY! I HEAR YOU OUT THERE! MY CLOCK IS STILL BLUE! WHEN IS IT GOING TO TURN YELLOW?” And finally, to “GUYS! I MEAN IT! THE CLOCK IS NOT GOING TO TURN YELLOW! IT IS BROKEN! IT’S … OH!!!! GUYS! THE CLOCK IS YELLOW! IT’S YELLOW!!!! IT’S MORNING! TIME TO GET UP!!!”

Every. Single. Morning.

Bully

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this or not, but Blair has a secret. She’s super duper cute, gives the best kisses, has the cutest belly laugh … honestly, you would think she’s the sweetest little girl ever.

And that’s where you’ve made your first mistake.

That little girl will turn on you in a second.

Let me illustrate: she made Paige cry four times today. Nay – four times today before breakfast. Paige wouldn’t let her have her “sippy dip” (chapstick), which was actually per my instructions. Blair’s response? She simply leaned forward, grabbed a chunk of Paige’s blond curly hair, and pulled. I mean, pulled really, REALLY hard. Like, ended-up-with-a-handful-of-hair hard. Derrick and I can’t be certain, but we’re pretty sure Blair looked at the hair in her hand and seemed almost disappointed with her yield.

So, next Blair decided to go after the entire “sippy dip purse” instead (a sparkly purple purse that Paige carries EVERY-FREAKING-WHERE). Paige yanked it away and said “No, Bear!” Blair leaned forward, grabbed her big sister’s arm, and placed it in her mouth. And bit down. Paige screamed (duh – it’s Paige we’re talking about here) and I tried to break things up by pulling Paige’s arm out of Blair’s mouth. Blair’s response? That little stinker (not the actual word I wanted to use here) went after me!! Seriously – mouth wide open, trying to get to me as fast as she could (it doesn’t help that she has a mouthful of teeth – we’re pretty sure she’s part shark).

Fast-forward about 30 minutes, and Blair is literally chasing Paige around the kitchen trying to bite her. I swear to God, my advice to Paige was “Run away! Paige! Run away!” It was seriously like a Monty Python movie in our house this morning.

This? Does NOT bode well for our future. A cutie pie who is secretly a sometime-cannibal?

People – consider yourselves warned.

So freaking cute, right? Don’t be fooled – this is a professional photo shoot, and this girl is a professional charmer. It’s how she lures her prey…
Plotting her next move … 

… which was trying to steal my coffee, then attempting to bite me when I told her she couldn’t have it.

Sandy Shoes

The girls and I went to the park for our playgroup today, and we were joined by Paige’s friend Griffin (Blair’s friend too, she just doesn’t know it yet). This park is AH-MAY-ZING. No, no, silly fools – it’s not in Marion County. It’s in Carmel (duh). 

At said park there are lots of faux rocks to climb (what, you don’t refer to playground equipment as faux?), bridges to run across, swings to swung? swing? Well, you get the idea.
There is also a large “sandbox”-y type thing that runs through the heart of the park. The kids LOVE it in there. They are constantly running in and out of it. Taking shoes off and putting shoes back on, times infinity. In fact, our little friend Lucy even buried one of her socks in the sand today (although, I’m pretty sure that’s just because she wanted her mommy to take her shopping for new socks). 
 
Paige was so dirty that before we had our picnic lunch (see what a great mom I am? I mean, a freaking picnic? Come on!) I had to take everyone into the bathroom to wash off their hands and feet. (Don’t gross out – the bathrooms were pristine. Remember – I said we were in Carmel?). 
And even after the cleaning, their shoes and feet were still disgusting. So disgusting, in fact, that I plopped both of the bigger kiddos into a shallow tub to wash their arms, legs and feet after we got home (which obviously necessitated a wardrobe change for Paige – I think I splashed a drop of water on her shorts).
Fast-forward to later this afternoon. Paige and Griffin wanted to play outside while we waited for his grandma to pick him up. I asked Paige to put her shoes on. The EXACT same shoes she had worn to the park, put on after I washed her feet, and wore all the way home. Without a word of complaint or even a whine (or, even really a comment for that matter).
Well, apparently these shoes were now unwearable. In fact, Paige yelled “These are DISGUSTING, Mommy! They are full of sand and are so dirty!!!” She proceed to throw a fantastic fit about “absolutely NOT putting those yucky shoes” on her feet until I washed them out. And, instead, put on her ballerina galoshes.
Yep. MUUUUU-ch better.

Poop – Take 357 (or something around there)

If I could turn back the clock to when I was in college or graduate school, I really only have one thing I’d say to my professors:

“Where the hell are the classes about poop?”

Seriously. I spend more time talking about poop, thinking about poop, worrying about poop and, (let’s face it, smelling poop) than I ever thought possible. My efforts to get Paige to poop on the potty have been exhausting, and imma bout to throw in the towel (or the toilet paper, I guess).

We’ve tried everything. To recap:

Told her she could only play with a brand new sand table when she pooped in the potty. She decided she didn’t need a sand table to have fun (literally people, her words – not mine).

Offered up sweet delights that should tempt anyone (mini peanut butter cups, anyone? No? How about cupcakes from Gigi’s? No? A cookie?). Nope. Doesn’t want that anyways.

The words “Seriously. What do you want? I will give you anything you want if you poop on the potty,” have left my mouth. Her response? “I just don’t want to do it, Mommy. Just stop it.”

So, things have taken a … how you say? Threatening tone around here lately.

First we told her we were going to take books out of her bed. You guessed it – she doesn’t want books anyways. We took things away until all she had left were her pillow and her comforter, and I’m pretty sure making her sleep on the floor is child abuse (and would break my heart).

Then we switched to pull-ups. We told her she couldn’t poop in them because they were just like panties. That worked really well – for the first day or so. Then she realized we were idiots. ‘These aren’t panties, morons!’ she thought. ‘They’re just less-paddy diapers. Let’s see. GRUNT. Yep. They hold poop just fine!” Oh, and then she also peed THROUGH the pull-up and her sheets while she slept. Because…well, because they’re really just less-paddy diapers.

Then Nani got involved. Paige does NOT mess around with Nani, and Nani had had enough of the poops (not the first time, but bless her heart – she still has faith that ol’ Paigers can do this. It’s nice to know someone does). The new plan hatched itself on vacation. I brought Paige upstairs to change yet ANOTHER poopy pull-up, and Nani stepped in.

She decided that if Paige chooses to poop in her pull-up then she should change it herself (which, incidentally, is what the pediatrician may or may not have suggested to me 7 months ago at her 3 year appointment. However, this advice did not come with an offer to come to our house and clean up what I could only imagine would be a poop-covered bathroom.). But Nani persevered, and told Paige to follow her upstairs.

She also said she would handle it, so I told her she was a rockstar and walked downstairs to where I hopefully couldn’t hear the screams (Wait? Have I met that child? I could have come back to Indiana and still heard the screams).

SIDE NOTE: To those of you thinking “wow, that seems a little harsh,” let me explain something. This child is WAITING to poop until she gets into bed. She knows she has to go and says she’s tired (and this goes on for HOURS until her actual bedtime). We are constantly making her sit on the potty. She has somehow figured out how to sit there, fake push (I’m not kidding), then go into her bed and poop after a minute or so. It’s insane. And also, a little admirable. You gotta admire her willpower. 

Nani literally stood just outside the bathroom and made her do all the work – including cleaning up the inevitable, uh, mess that results when a 3 1/2 year-old changes her own poopy diaper. Lots of dry-heaving and near-pukes by all involved. So, you probably think that this is where the story ends. That obviously this would have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, and now Paige poops in the potty.

You’d be wrong. This happened all week. She screamed and threw fits, but old girl keeps on changing her own poopy diapers. Yesterday? She actually pooped a little on the potty, then went ahead and filled her pull-up during her nap. I may or may not have told her I was going to put her crib back together because she was obviously a baby and needed to do baby things again (note: this might have been a horrible idea. Paige knows to call my bluff, and I’m worried that sleeping in a crib actually sounds like a great idea to her).

My last option is to put her in bed without anything and let her either become so constipated that we have to go to the hospital, or let her bed become so gross that no one in this house can ever make eye contact again after the clean-up process. For God’s sake, she has a white rug in her room and it’s my favorite one in our house!

I don’t like my options, but I also don’t like losing.

Um, Nani – any chance you got this one, too?

Vacation Recap

Don’t worry! I’m here – just trying to catch my breath after our week-long vacation to Hilton Head! Phew!

In short, it was ah-ma-zing. I will keep the details short-ish, because you know me. I tend to ramble and really could go on forever.

First things first – Paige got to share a bedroom with her 8-almost-9 year-old cousin, Gracie (or, Gigi, as she’s known to all of us). Let me paint the picture for you of just how excited they were. When they discovered they’d be sharing a room, they tightly hugged, squealed like the little girls they are, and jumped up and down for a good 30 seconds (which, in girl-squealy time, is an eternity). They were so freaking cute, I could hardly stand it. We’d often find them in their room with the door shut, cuddling and watching TV, playing on Gracie’s iTouch, or sitting quietly on the floor playing. It was like having a babysitter. But free. (Oh, and I think the excitement probably waned a bit for Gracie when she discovered that Paige likes to wake up at the ass-crack of dawn and either scream for someone to get in bed with her, or crawl into whichever bed is closest. While wearing her pee-soaked diaper. And Gigi and Paige had twin beds. Never fear – their friendship is still as strong as ever).

But, I digress. See? I warned you!

Here are a few pics to provide a brief recap/overview of the fun had by all (or, most, in some cases):

The hotel we stayed in after leg one of the trip (let us not speak of that again) had a pool. This is the view from our hotel room window. Note the obvious absence of Feldmann children. They are in bed. Possibly without dinner. And this photo was taken shortly before 6:00 pm. 
We visited the Biltmore Estate, where (shockingly) our girls were terrific. I guess seeing how Mommy and Daddy would like to live one day when we move in with our children is humbling. They’d better get their shit together and get into a good Kindergarten if they’re going to make anything of themselves. I mean, this waterfall was just hanging out in the Vanderbilt’s backyard, girls! Come on!
Our “beach house” (as Paige called it) had a pool in the backyard, which was PERFECT! We never had to load up bags of crap pool-going items, and we could just feed the kids lunch right there on the deck. And it was shaded a large part of the day, so we didn’t have to ‘grease the pigs’ quite so often. (And, for those of you paying extra-close attention, yes – those are indeed pool rings on Blair’s head. A fun-filled activity invented by her cousins and sister and enjoyed all week)

As you can tell by the old bag ‘o bones on the left (your left, not mine in the picture!!!), no make-up was worn and it was terrific (I say as if I ever really wear make-up. Sorry Derrick – you gotta take me on a date to see me ‘fancy’.) It’s not everyone who is lucky enough to have their brother marry their bestest friend – we get to do everything together (although that includes the good and the bad, but that’s what friends are for, right?) And Gigi took this picture – a future photographer in the making?

Fun was had with Uncle Jay-boy and Aunt Jenny. And, bless their hearts, they were INCREDIBLY patient being in a houseful of kids! However, we did notice they were hard to locate between the hours of 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Smart, smart Uncle Jay-boy and Aunt Jenny! (Actually, they were even there during the ‘witching hour’ almost every day. Typically with a large alcoholic beverage for everyone!)

Blair and Nate continued to made huge strides in their relationship. And by huge strides, I mean she only raked him across the face a few times, and she even gave him kisses and shared some toys with him. He might be a tad less scared of her after this trip. If he’s smart, he’ll continue to keep her at an arms-length.
Nothing funny or any real story to go with this pic. I just seriously think my nephew is one of the cutest little-old-man-stuck-in-an-infant’s-body I’ve ever seen. Can. Not. Stand. It. And, seriously. He is smiling like this almost constantly. 

Paigers having fun in the pool. She was a little fish, and even did some swimming without her Puddle-Jumper! (The best invention ever, in case you’re wondering). Look at that face. I could just smooch her all day long!!

Blair and her daddy perfected their “weekend hair” and Blair discovered the magical world of sunglasses. She even put them on top of her head one day, but I wasn’t fast enough to get my camera! 

Our room had a huge garden tub, which usually meant the girls got to take a bath together with plenty of room to “swim.” In fact, they loved it so much that my presence in the tub was often requested. Fortunately for you, I’ve cropped myself out of this picture. Unfortunately for my older brother, he made the mistake of walking into the bathroom one evening while I was in the tub with my girls. I’m pretty sure his eyes are still burning. No one needs to see that.
All in all, it was a fantastic week. 
In fact, in the days since we’ve been home, Paige has announced each day that her favorite part of said day was “building sand castles on the beach.” 
She has also packed her suitcase multiple times to go on vacation. Which, for those of you looking to join her, is apparently located at 245 456. Sorry, that’s all the info I could get from her, but I do know I’m not invited, so she’s taking a taxi (I told her she couldn’t walk since I wouldn’t be there to hold her hand).  Maybe you can split the fare with her.