Sunday, February 28, 2010

Her Poopyness: Queen PoopsALot

Hopefully, I am not violating some kind of blog restriction here, talking about fecal matter. But, Lola has pooped a ton in the past day. Her Poopyness reigns with 7 non-diarrhea related pooping incidents in the past 36 hours. And these were not minor incidents either. Fortunately, none overflowed (thank you cloth diapers), but Lola got to try out a different bath tub than normal after she befowled her usual one. All in all, there's not much to complain about (even though I am a sucker and change all diapers in the house). Lola has finally gotten well after about 3 weeks of being sick on and off. And with frequent freshly empty bowels, she was quite the joy this weekend.

As a side note I definitely had to check my spelling on a word here, noting to myself "oh that's how you spell diarrhea". It occurs to me that my never having cleared that up before now is probably a positive sign. Also, it seemed a little ironic since plenty of past campaigns taught us how to spell relief, but none taught us how to spell diarrhea. This would have been a much more informative.

Raina is fast

I have managed to come up with an excellent stall activity for Raina. Running laps around our house (the living room/dining room/kitchen loop). She'll say "Daddy I need roughhousing attention" (we've taught her to be very specific with expressing her needs). To distract her while I am finishing up what I am doing, I tell her to run some number of laps. She was hesitant at first, but now she jumps all over running the 25 laps before roughhousing.

Anyway, she is running a lot more than she used to, and I think it is showing. I am no longer able to keep up with her if I am carrying Lola. I suppose Lola's increasing weight plays a part as well, but nonetheless that kid is fast.

Hide and go seek

It used to be that I had to hold back pretty significantly when playing hide and go seek with Raina, otherwise she would get frustrated. Bulges under cushions and blankets are immediately spotted, if a tiny amount of me is uncovered it is a giveaway, and old hiding spots are routinely checked. Now I can't get through a game without her complaining "that was an EASY spot". I moved a couch a few inches from the wall and dropped in behind it, (not noticing objects having moved slightly is still a weakness), but still she still got it easy. Maybe Raina is just that good, maybe I am just to big to hide anywhere, or maybe its because Lola loves when we play hide and go seek. She follows me around and then stands next to me smiling/giggling while Raina is looking for me - even pointing sometime. Oh well, at least we are all playing together.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Lola's Birthday Mystery

Today is Lola's first birthday and she celebrated with a large pasta dinner, her own slice of bread, and a banana dessert. The real gift is switching her car seat to forward-facing; there's not a better gift (to all of us!) than a happier Lola in the car.

Lola received another gift too, but we cannot figure it completely out. In my school mailbox today was an official business-looking envelope. The return address was the Treasury Department, with the standard imposing font, and it was addressed to Lola White (and, in smaller font, at the bottom, Crystal White). I was furious and confused by this piece of mail.
1) Lola's name is not Lola White.
2) Lola certainly does not live at MICDS.
3) My first name was misspelled.
I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how this strange amalgamation of information ended up on a junk-mail list. I never pieced it together.

We opened the envelope at home tonight and -- much to our surprise -- determined that the mail is legitimate. Someone (and we don't know who) purchased Lola a $50 savings bond. Now comes the 2nd part of the puzzle. Who might have
1) known it was Lola's birthday and
2) felt compelled to get her a gift
3) worth a sizable amount
4) and not know much about her (or us, for that matter)?

We eliminated Eric's parents because they gave Lola a gift last week and my parents -- although my mom likes savings bonds as gifts, she does know Lola's real name and address. My extended family was an option but they never would have listed Lola as a White. In fact, most call me a Compton even though I have made a point for the past 10 years to stress that I'm still a White.

My best guess is that one of last year's students and/or parents gave Lola the savings bond as a gift. Very few of the kids know that my children and I have different last names, and it would explain the MICDS address. But, in the end, who knows?

If it was from you, we thank you very much. Claim the gift so we can send you a thank you note and resolve Lola's birthday mystery!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Princess Movies Re-Framed

Given any chance, Raina will watch a Princess Movie. (Or read a princess book, or play with princess toys, or ... you get the picture.) Raina is all about the Disney Princess brainwashing. We cannot figure out the appeal, but she's infatuated. Then I started to wonder if Raina's fascination with princesses was because each one has a female lead character. Even though the message in most Disney movies is terrible feminist-wise, they do involve girls and Raina can imagine herself in the story. (Pixar movies have more interesting plots, but rarely have female characters of merit. In the end, Pixar movies are all about male-to-male interaction.)

I decided that we needed a new type of princess movie: one that has a strong female lead, someone who could be a real role model for Raina. Our first movie is this new series was Whale Rider. Because the plot was more complicated, it required more active intervention from the adults to help Raina understand the cultural components. But she loved it, and I'm so much happier having her watch this movie (even though it's PG-13) than Cinderella.

We're at a loss, though. How many child-appropriate movies are there with strong female leads? Here's our list so far; please help us add to it!
Ella Enchanted
Bend It Like Beckham
Princess Diaries


Ages ago, when Raina was a baby, we babyproofed the house: toilet locks, outlet plugs, sturdier end tables, picture frames out of her reach, and poisonous stuff and plastic bags locked up. What we did was perfectly sufficient for Raina. However, it was not really babyproofing, as we discovered each time we had a little boy over. They immediately beelined for pulling out the board games and dumping out the pieces (a disaster with Axis and Allies!) and climbing up the bar stools to end up on the counters. Each happened in the the space of the opening five minutes of their visits, and I realized that having a little girl is significantly different from having a little boy.

But now we have Lola, and I'm realizing that having a little Raina was just different from most other babies. Lola delights in playing with things that we want her to avoid, and she leaves chaos and destruction in her wake. She stayed home yesterday with Eric because she was sick (and she's home today, still sick), so these are Lola actions not at 100%.

- repeatedly stuck her hands in the trash can, trying to pull out items.
- opened up the bathroom cabinets and dumped tampons all over the floor. Plus, she knocked the shampoo bottles in the bathtub.
- found her collection of bibs and burp cloths and spread them around the dining room.
- pushed the kitchen chairs all over the kitchen until they hit carpet and fell over.
- climbed up on Raina's rocking chair, stood up in it, and started rocking back and forth. She does the same thing on our floor-low rocking chair too.
- tried to eat her diaper / butt spray bottle (this one is a popular action).
- knocked all the books off the bottom two bookshelves onto the floor. (We have multiple bookcases, so she gets to do this a lot.)
- grabbed at the dog's food and tried to splash the water out of Roxanne's bowls.
- pulled back the covers of her favorite books and then stepped and bounced on them. Global Babies is in a sorry state.
- pulled apart our shoe racks, carried all the shoes to different parts of the house, and occasionally chewed on them.
- batted and smashed the window blinds until we pulled them out of her reach. Then she mouthed the window. (This second part is cute, because she's talking to the baby in the window reflection, but we now have mouth marks all over the windows and the TV as a result.)
- spun Eric's office chair -- even when he was sitting in it.
- moved the babyproof blocking of the entertainment center, opened it up, turned on the playstation, removed a controller, and started pressing buttons. (This one was earlier in the sickness week, but I'm still impressed by it.)
- took the mah jongg tile holders (big blocks of wood) and knocked them into things to make big sounds!

What's amazing to me is that she napped for 4.5 hours and ate for probably 1.5 hours of the 9 hours Samantha, Raina, and I were gone yesterday. Lola's remaining three hours were spent causing mayhem and headaches for Eric.

Although she's from the same parents as Raina, she's a completely different kid. But, on the positive side, Lola can occupy herself independently for hours! =)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sinus yuck!

The Whomptons have been sick for multiple weeks now. It started with Lola (fever, runny nose) and ends with Lola (runny nose, cough), although illness hit everyone else in between. Poor little Lola. Her immune system is struggling with its first real battle and now she seems to have a sinus infection. She probably has ear infections too, but that's hard for us to tell just by looking. We do see the sinus infection, though, because she's leaking green goop from her nose and her EYES! Yep, Lola has so much snot in her that travels out in any possible direction. I massaged her sinuses -- the pockets underneath her eyes -- and was amazed by the gushing that resulted from her nose and tear ducts. We've spent the last two weeks chasing her with so many tissues that she now says "no no!" shakes her head and runs when she sees us approach. I hope she clears up soon. She just looks and feels miserable all the time.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Lola Walks: The Evidence

Not only does Lola walk, but she speedily traverses the messiness of our house.

Lola Roughhouses!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Da Da!

Lola uses language somewhat effectively. She articulates "buh!" before tossing a book at you, demands "ba ba ba!" when she wants a bottle, and says "mama!" before running/toddling over to me and giving me a hug. (She also mournfully chants "mamamamama!" and cries when I leave her. Sigh.) And she'll say "dada" but hasn't used it in context much. She'll often say it on the drive home from daycare, maybe because we'll see dada soon. But just the other day, she used it in context.

Lola was home sick and I stayed home with her. Suddenly she started walking around the house, calling "da da! da da!" I was so impressed that I called Eric at work so he could hear her calling for him. When I picked her up next to the phone, I figured out why she wanted him so desperately. She was excessively poopy, and Daddy is in charge of diaper duty. I laughed and laughed, and then changed Her Poopiness. She's a smart kid.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Toddler Room

At daycare, babies are in the baby room, and toddlers are in the toddler room. The designation makes sense, but it's bittersweet when the baby moves up to the toddler stage. Lola loves walking, though, and will only crawl to get to a pulling-up spot so she can walk some more. She's a definite toddler, and she's moved up to the toddler room. We love Ms. Jen, her baby room teacher, and we're very sad to move on. Jen is sad to see Lola go too; in fact, she was teary-eyed when she told us the news. Our baby girl isn't a baby anymore. Sigh.

Tooth Trials and Tribulations

It's official, the tooth fairy came to the Whompton house last week. Raina had a wiggly tooth for a few months now, and then she brushed, and brushed, and brushed until it fell out Wednesday morning. (There was a LOT of toothpaste in the bathroom sink that day.) She was so excited that the tooth fairy would come that night, and she had all sorts of questions:
- How does the tooth fairy know that I lost my tooth?
- How will she get in the house?
- Do I have to put the tooth under my pillow? Will she reach under my pillow? Can I put it on the table instead?

In the end, she put her tooth inside of a plastic baggie (with her name and the date on it, so the tooth fair wouldn't be confused) and placed it on the dinosaur table in her room. She checked on it again before she went to sleep and anxiously awaited the next morning when her tooth would be gone and something special would be in its place.

Eric and I had decided not to give money, but instead to give little gifts. Luckily, we had ordered Raina a recorder instrument from Amazon and it was supposed to be delivered that day. Score! Unfortunately, it never arrived so we were somewhat scambling that night to find another suitable gift. We finally remembered that we had a punching balloon in the basement, which would be a good match. All we had to do was wait for her to be asleep and do the swap ...

Well, as parents, we suck. Raina came into our bedroom at 12:15 a.m. because she had woken up and noticed that the tooth fairy had not yet come and she was worried that the tooth fairy had forgotten about her. I assured her that everything was okay, that the tooth fairy still had plenty of time before morning, I tucked Raina back in bed, and silently cursed over and over again.

There was no way that Raina was going back to sleep, so Eric and I devised a plan. He claimed that he had heard a sound, and asked Raina to go with him as they searched the house for the tooth fairy. After he had extracted her from the room, I snuck in and did the swap. Raina was thrilled that the tooth fairy finally came and she was so wired that she didn't get back to sleep until 3 a.m.

Her smile is really funny now, with a gaping hole in the bottom, but soon she'll have a new tooth to replace it. She has three other wiggly teeth right now and she spends time each day poking at her tooth hole and forcibly wiggling her other teeth. Yuck.

Lola has had tooth tribulations too. She's cutting four more top teeth: two molars and the incisors. It causes her huge pain and she cannot find the right thing to shove in her mouth to make the situation better. I often push on or rub her gums in that area, which is fine and helps her. Unfortunately she has bottom teeth in that spot, so when she chomps down to make my help more effective, I yelp in pain and yank out my fingers. She has bruised the area around my fingernails multiple times. Two teeth are poking through now, and the other two are visible; I hope they make significant progress soon. Maybe Lola will have 14 teeth by her 1st birthday!

Lola, #1 Mischievous Baby

Since Lola has fully developed her walking abilities, she has no restraints on her impulses. She runs into and shoves open doors (like into Raina's room or the bathroom), laughs gleefully, and then runs inside to wreak havoc. She pulls out all the toilet paper, knocks the shampoo containers into the bathtub, yanks out dishes from the dishwasher and drops them on the floor, knocks over tables, stacks containers on top of each other so she can climb higher and knock even more things over, and opens and closes drawers. Her most recent discovery was that spare toilet paper rolls are stored in the bathroom cabinets -- that morning saw LOTS of paper strewn across the floor. Also, she has, twice now, opened up her clothes drawers and systematically extracted all of the clothes from the bottom three drawers (which included all of her socks). She delights in being a mischievous baby.

Raina and the Penguins

Raina's class spent the last month learning about polar habitats. Check out the voice thread to see paintings of penguins and the kids' sharing what they learned. Raina is second to last in the series.