Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

I'm pretty sure this will be the last blog post of 2010, so that's why I'm writing it. Not much to report. Currently, Grayson's playing Epic Mickey, and Derrick and I are feeling scared of how much work still needs to be done to get the house ready for his parents' visit tomorrow.

We drove up to Llano this afternoon to pick up Grayson and again had a nice time visiting with Aimee's family. Penelope really likes Jackson. Last night when we were saying our prayers, she threw in "Jack" while we were God blessing people.

On the ride home, both children noisily complained about being hungry. It's funny to hear the complains in stereo now. As usual, Grayson slept most of the way home, and Penelope glared at us most of the way home.

We stopped at the grocery store to pick up champagne and cookies, and then got Chinese for us and macaroni and cheese from KFC for Penelope. She ate her entire side of mac and cheese and then came to explore my General Tso's. I've discovered that this is what to order for Penelope when we eat Chinese: fried rice, General Tso's hold the chicken (i.e., a bunch of broccoli), and a pile of hot cream cheese covered in duck sauce.

We watched some Buffy while we ate, and then Grayson began to explore some of our new video games while I made cookies. We opened the champagne early because I didn't really want to try to kill a bottle of champagne at midnight. I also got some sparkling grape juice for Grayson and Penelope, but they were still drinking ginger ale and chocolate milk, so we haven't opened it yet.

This blog entry is turning out really boring. Penelope keeps telling us all "hi," but she's started calling me "Sarah Jane" out of the blue. Something really hilarious happened in the car, and we were all laughing out loud, but I can't remember what it was. Grayson said something, and Derrick said something back. Vague, I know...

So weird to think that two years ago, Derrick and I went to see The Reader at the Regal Arbor, and then ate dinner at the Brick Oven. I didn't risk having any champagne because I didn't want to hurt the baby. I had no idea at the time that she would be born two days later. I didn't even feel my first real contraction until the following evening. Amazing how much things have changed since then!

Ketchup and Ice Cream

Penelope really loves the illustrated The Tale of Custard the Dragon we got her for Christmas. My mom always used to read the poem to me (I still love Ogden Nash, and in grad school often took his complete works to bed), but we didn't have a picture book. This little story is lovely, and Penelope particularly likes the part about the "pirate climbing in the winda." She laughs out loud every time. She also likes Ink and Blink and is very sad she has never seen our mouse. She's very curious about him.

At bedtime, we've mostly been reading "Custard Dragon," and two different books of Mother Goose nursery rhymes. Her favorite is an illustration from the rhyme "Little Boy Blue." There's a picture of this huge cow, sitting on the edge of a field of corn, with a whole ear of corn in her mouth, but it's all peeled and ready to eat. That cow's just sitting there munching corn on the cob. We both find this hilarious. I always yell, "The cow's in the corn???!!!!!" and she shrieks with giggles, and we joke about what that ol' cow is probably eating now--pizza, doughnuts, an entire turkey. For Christmas, my mom got her a cooking pot that talks to you. One of the plastic food items in the pot is a small piece of corn on the cob, so she likes to stick that in her mouth in the daytime and ham it up, pretending to be the cow. Her other favorite game lately is to blame Aunt Merry when she toots or fills her diaper in any way. (Up until Aunt Merry showed up, she used to blame Santa Claus, which was pretty amusing, especially her wicked grin.)

Last night, we read another book she got for Christmas for the first time, Dragon's Fat Cat. Now that we've read it, she likes the stuffed Dragon that came in the box with it. At first, she was only mildly interested, but then we got to chapter 3, where Dragon takes Cat inside but doesn't know how to care for him. First he feeds him ice cream topped with ketchup. Then Cat pees on the floor, and then he falls into the toilet. Penelope was shrieking out loud with the wildest giggles imaginable, and she wanted me to read the part about the ice cream and ketchup over and over again. She woke up Derrick with her laughing, and that is hard to do. We seriously read those three pages about fifty times, and she never stopped laughing. She was really mad when we had to go to bed.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pink and Yellow

Derrick and I saw The Fighter yesterday, and we both thought it was awesome. Apparently, originally Darren Aronofksy was supposed to direct it, and I'm sure it would have been a much darker film with less outrageous humor. It's a good thing the directors weren't switched because a funnier, quirkier version of Black Swan would not have been good (not that they were necessarily in production at the same time).

Penelope is getting cuter by the day (and terror-y-er by night). Her first words this morning after she opened her eyes was "Aunt Merry." While her eyes were still closed, she said, "Apple." Currently, after a breakfast of blueberries, apple, tortilla, and toasty bread, she is opening and eating candy canes--one is pink and one is yellow.

"What the prettiest color?" I asked her, to see what she would answer.

"Pink," she answered sweetly.

"What other colors do you like?"

"Yellow." She picked those two out of her candy cane box, and just showed us how they match her blankies.

Here are some recent Facebook posts. Really everything she does is cuter than the last thing. She's getting so smart and often speaking in full sentences now, saying some rather surprising things:

Penelope: (running around wailing) Daddy!
Mommy: Daddy's coming right back!
Penelope: (wringing her hands and wailing) Oooh! Freaking out!

Tuesday at 2:01pm

‎"Kitty! (shaking the index finger on her right hand) No no no, Kitty! Other Kitty (shaking the index finger on her left hand) No no no, Kitty!"
--Penelope demonstrating her technique for Derrick after she overheard me telling him that she had been scolding Merry's cats (Kitty and Little Kitty) all evening

Tuesday at 12:26am

‎"Shooting! Uh oh! Bad guys! Shoot bad guys! Shoot shoot! Bad guys coming! Run! Oh swimming! Fun! Swim swim! Oooh! Lighthouse! Oh no! Bad guys! Shoot! Shoot!" --Penelope's thoughts on the ending of Shutter Island (which she persisted in trying to watch, thwarting Mom's efforts to distract her)

Monday at 9:41pm

Penelope just sat a baby dragon on top of a unicorn (both from her My Little Pony playset) and cooed happily, "It's Nellie and Grandma!"

Last night's night terror seemed long--until tonight's forty-five minute affair. This has certainly been an exciting week! Penelope slowly came to her senses and murmured in confusion, "Throat hurts." No kidding!

December 26 at 10:46pm

So...Another diaper explosion this morning, followed by my jarring discovery of a mouse in the bath tub! Christmas memories for years to come...

December 26 at 8:39am

Nelope is so sick! She kept trying to eat the play food Santa brought her, then finally wandered into the real kitchen crying instead of opening more presents.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Need Help

I keep thinking that my heart hurts, which makes me uneasy, but it's probably that I had to hold Penelope so much during those night terrors. It is probably just muscle pain. I don't like this higher dosage of medication. It makes it so I can't get out of bed, and my heart pounds all the time. I'm so dizzy and sleepy.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Shutter Island

This has been another weird day for me. Derrick woke Nellie and me today, and I was annoyed. "What time is it?" I asked him. When he replied, "12:45," I was pretty horrified. I moved from taking a lower dose of medication to the higher dose tonight, so this morning was a lot like the first day I was on the pill. Earlier, I thought I was having a heart attack, but Derrick said my pulse was only 105. I do think my blood sugar is weird, so I'm going to get that checked.

We've been over at Mom and Dad's most of the day (Nellie and me). She keeps scolding Aunt Merry's kitties. "No no no, Kitty!" and shaking her finger. Earlier today, five times in a row when I touched her, we both got a shock. I kept trying to explain I wasn't doing it on purpose. She kept looking up at me and saying woefully, "Oh sorry!" Poor thing!

This summer at Disneyland, Merry and my parents were watching Shutter Island in the hotel, but it cut off before the end, so they never finished it. Derrick and I got it for Christmas, so we ended up watching it yesterday morning after cleaning up Nellie's poop explosion and running away from the mouse. Nellie was asleep, but we watched it over here again tonight so Merry and my parents could finally see the ending. Penelope was definitely awake and very interested in the movie. Listening to her running commentary was so hilarious. Mom kept trying to distract him, and she kept watching and watching.

Christmas Morning: Santa Came! (And left lots of food for our starving child that turned out to be fake)

Christmas Eve Pictures

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Crazy Christmas Continues

Hickory Dickory Dock...

Who had the nastier shock this morning--Derrick or me? I vote Derrick, but the consequences of my trauma are still crawling around upstairs somewhere unseen.

Just before seven this morning, I heard Derrick say, "Oh no! No!" Apparently, he'd rubbed his face in his sleep and then smelled something stomach-churningly disgusting. Penelope had been sleeping between us again, and she had filled her diaper with explosive diarrhea again, and there was poop all over Derrick's face.

We had all been asleep. Penelope was calm and bewildered, as if she wanted to ask, "Why are you waking me up, Daddy? What are you going on about now? Why do you keep waking us up like this?"

"She's going to need a bath," he told me. I was very groggy initially. The Seroquel makes me much sleepier than normal. So then I walked into the bathroom, and underneath Penelope's bath toys, I saw something move. At first, it looked like some kind of disgusting bug. Then it seemed more like a worm, eel, or claymation snake monster. I thought of Medusa's hair in the original Clash of the Titans and wondered if the Seroquel was making me hallucinate.

But it was a mouse. When I turned the faucet on, it scampered away across the bathroom and hid behind a bag of trash in the corner. He left his droppings on Penelope's duckies, which was very upsetting. But I've never noticed mouse feces around before, so I don't think we have tons of mice--but I could be wrong.

My muscles are really bothering me today--neck to eye, neck to eye. I don't understand why no one can fix or identify that, but the medication makes me complain less.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

One Crazy Christmas

This has been one crazy Christmas! My psychiatrist put me on Seroquel, which I took for the first time Wednesday night. When I woke up Thursday morning it was after noon, and the sky was black. I felt like I was drowning in quicksand inside a plastic Easter Egg, like my brain had been pulled back into a ponytail wrap. After I took a shower, it got a little better, but I still had terrible vertigo, the worst I've ever had in my life. It made me want to watch Arrested Development. In all seriousness, it was awful, but I've adjusted surprisingly quickly.

Meanwhile, Penelope's been throwing up since Tuesday. I think she may be finally done. The weird part is, she seems to handle solids as long as she has no dairy. Last night, I was so tired and ready for Christmas. Penelope and I got everything ready for Santa Claus to come. We set out a plate of cookies for him on the hearth. She was very excited about them (and disappointed when they were gone this morning. I think she wanted to eat them herself). Penelope wouldn't go to sleep. Finally we put her in bed between us, but she was still restless.

At almost six o'clock in the morning, we woke up and realized we were covered in exploded diaper. It stank horribly, and Penelope was so upset. We had to wash the sheets and Febreeze and flip the mattress, among other things. Fortunately, she fell asleep again quickly in her daddy's arms and slept soundly until noon.

Initially, she was excited to see what Santa Claus had brought. Her leg shook in excitement as she explored her new kitchen set. But then she kept eating all the plastic food and wanted to eat the candy in the stocking right away. I told her to wait. Yesterday, she kept down white soy milk but threw up after having chocolate soy milk. She didn't seem to want to open presents. She would alternate between looking through her stocking and playing with her kitchen. She seemed annoyed with me for taking pictures.

Finally, as she was half way through opening a present, she walked away and hid behind the couch, murmuring. Then she wandered into the actual kitchen and started crying. I caught up with her when she was hanging on the refrigerator door, moaning, "Toasty bread."

I made her some toast, and for a while, we played in her kitchen. "What a nice picnic!" she remarked when she got all our hotdogs straightened out. But then her energy would wane again. She started wandering around in circles saying, "Need something. Need something."

She's been speaking in sentences a lot more lately. The other night, she told me, "I'm shutting the door," before shutting me in the bathroom with wicked giggles. Finally, we just headed right over to Grandma and Grandpa's for ham--partially unwrapped present and all.

When we first got here, she threw up a little bile and Tylenol. (We gave her some this morning, although we stopped and bought a new thermometer right after that, and she didn't have fever.) She was so hungry and distraught that we let her eat a little ham anyway. She ended up eating quite a bit of ham, some cranberries, and literally at least twenty olives if not more. She kept saying, "More olives!"

After that, she perked up a lot. She got engrossed in every present as she opened it, so she was still a little slow at that, but she seemed to be enjoying herself. The first present she opened from Aunt Merry was a Barbie with kitties. It's a rather odd concept for a doll. Barbie is a vet, and the mother cat is sitting on an ultrasound machine. When you push a button, you hear a heart beat. Penelope really liked that aspect. ("Like this," she kept saying.) Then you could hook up a monitor and slide a lever across it to reveal segments of a picture of a cat ultrasound, showing two kittens. Penelope loved that. She called it the "TEEvee." Two little kittens also were included and Penelope really loved them, but she kept losing them because they were tiny. She was engrossed with this for some time.

She also loved the talking soup pot and musical tea set from Grandma and Grandpa, and the My Little Pony multi-pack from Daddy and me. This evening, she's mainly been playing with the ponies (who also have a little dragon friend) and Mickey and Minnie in their little pink and red cars. She's finally fallen asleep now. I"ll blog more later.

Obviously my new laptop has arrived (which is fortunate because now my phone refuses to charge or hold a charge). I think I have an ear infection, but at least the brain pony-tail drowning feeling has faded. I told Derrick, "They should put on that medicine, 'Do not take this drug unless you are planning to sleep for fifteen hours and then wake up feeling like you're drowning inside a plastic Easter egg." It's much better now, though. I'm surprised at how quickly the oddness has lessened, but I worry terribly that something is wrong with my blood sugar because I'm always going crazy before I eat for the first time.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


We had a really good time in Dallas this weekend, despite my non-stop, unpredictable reflux and ear/throat pain and general craziness. Of course, I neglected to tell Derrick that we needed to get to the graduation by six. He thought we needed to be at the graduation by 7:00 and that arriving at the hotel at 5:00 would give us plenty of time to relax...haha.

Penelope stared daggers at us the whole way up. Well, she'd look off to the side with an expression of total boredom and disgust, but then if she caught you sneaking a peak at her, she'd immediately give you the evil eye--kind of the way Marion Cotillard looked at Ellen Page in that one scene in Inception. She did not enjoy the four hour drive--possibly because she hated my music selection. I decided to mix it up a little bit, and we listened to the Beatles, Nirvana, U2, and a Mariah Carey Christmas CD. On the drive home, the second I asked Derrick, "What shall we listen to?" Penelope yelled, "GAGA!" She sang along through several songs and seemed much happier.

Anyway, just as we were almost to our hotel (Hilton DFW Lakes resort in Grapevine), Merry called and said she'd forgotten her tickets at her apartment. After some hubub, we briefly said hello in the parking lot and then decided to meet them at the reception. Penelope was radiant with joy as soon as we got out of the car, and got very excited when she spotted "twinkles" lining the walk up to the hotel. "On!" she told me.

"I can't turn the twinkles on," I told her. "They're not my twinkles. But I bet they'll be on when we go to Aunt Merry's graduation." (They were.) She also loved the giant Christmas tree and red poinsettias in the lobby.

Upstairs, Penelope went into fits of rapture when she saw a photograph of running "horseys! wow!" above our bed. Then she found all the remote controls, windows, and a stuffed dog Merry had left for her. She was very excited until Derrick said to me, "She won't be happy when we have to get back into the car..."

Penelope heard that and screamed, "NO!" in a wail of horror.

Mom had given us directions to the UTA campus, but one of the roads we were supposed to take was missing. Then a guy came within about an inch of sideswiping us, and we missed another turn. Also, we had to stop for milk, and Derrick wanted to wait until we could find a place without bars. This took a while, so we were a wee bit late. Meanwhile, Penelope was singing in a whisper in the back seat, "Jingle bells! Jingle bells! Manger bed! Jesus. Nellie's milk! Chocolate! White! Jesus hungy! Poop! Secret! Shh!" (This little song went on an on, but those are some highlights.)

By the time we got there, of course, the parking lot was full. The thing is, Mom and Dad had our tickets. And so, Mom sent Dad down to the door of the auditorium to find us, but we couldn't find him, and they're sharing a phone now, and she had it. This was very frustrating. She kept texting, "The doors are around the building."

"Around the building from what?" I kept asking.

"The building," she kept answering.

The nearest parking was like ten blocks away. Maybe that's an exaggeration. I don't understand distances, but it was much too far to try to walk with Penelope. Wrangling her in the dark is tricky enough as it is. Derrick was going to drop us off by the door--as soon as we could find the door. We saw several doors, but Dad wasn't standing at any of them. He didn't want to drop us off in the middle of nowhere. Plus, Dad had his ticket.

We drove around the building for (literally) half an hour. Finally, Mom let slip the helpful trivia that this door cannot be accessed from the road. So Derrick ended up pulling into a circular drive, putting his flashers on, finding Dad...

These antics went on for several minutes. In the end, Penelope and I ended up sitting in the balcony with Mom and Dad, and Derrick went to park the car and then had to watch the graduation from the tent because they locked the doors.

Penelope was extremely impressed by the set-up. She's really never been in an auditorium, so the high balcony, huge stage, and dual projection screens really wowed her. In fact, the first thing she said (very loudly) was, "WOW!" She was very good the entire time, saying softly, "Baby," when she heard someone else cry. She walked around a little by our feet, sat in her chair (which kept folding in on itself), and our laps, and clapped and cheered very enthusiastically for Aunt Merry (no matter who was on the stage at the time). She actually began a round of applause at one point.

After the graduation, Dad treated us all to a dinner at Macaroni Grill in Merry's honor. He ordered two appetizer sampler platters with bruschetta as one choice. Penelope ate ALL the tomatoes. She also ate two cherries out of my drink and an entire cup of lemons among other things. She was very hungry and in a great mood and entirely well behaved.

We went back to the hotel and had a great time, until about 1:30 when I tried to go to sleep. Suddenly, my eyes felt itchy. "I'm allergic to the pillow!" I thought (because something similar had happened in Waco a few weeks ago). But then I decided I was being melodramatic. I would fall lightly asleep and wake up choking. I thought I was itchy, but decided it was nerves (in terms of which my cup runneth over this holiday season).

Well at 4:00, I finally got up and looked in the mirror. The whites of my eyes were the color of ketchup, both eyes were running all over my face, my nose was stuffed up, and my face itched terribly. I tried to find a tag on the pillow to see what was inside. I couldn't find a tag, but I found a black feather sticking out, which told me enough. I woke Derrick who called the desk. We learned their were foam pillows in the closet. I took one of ours and one from Mom and Dad's connecting room and expected to go to sleep. But one pillow wasn't enough to breathe, and two made me have a stabbing pain in my neck and back. Finally, I got comfortable. Then my arms started itching. I woke Derrick. "There wouldn't be feathers in the blanket, would there?" Surely that was in my mind! He answered, "Yes, it's a down comforter." We found another blanket. Anyway, I ended up storming out of the room and pacing around the hall three times and nearly losing control and finally falling asleep at 7:00. But then at almost 8:00 Penelope kicked me, and around 8:45, the maid came into the room. (I must have knocked down the privacy sign when I was going in and out in the night.)


I joined Mom and Dad downstairs for breakfast which turned out to be delectable. And about 12:00 we started trying to leave the hotel, and about 1:00, we actually left the hotel and drove to the Dallas World Aquarium (even though GPS first led us to an abandoned warehouse) where we met Merry and Lindsay and had a fabulous time. Penelope LOVED the aquarium so much! She ran through the rainforest part shrieking with glee. She really loved everything.

I need to get back downstairs. I will blog more later about me nearly killing a guy with our stroller, Lindsay finding an ant tree, blood dripping on Merry from somewhere unseen, and walking to Spaghetti Warehouse for lunch!

My Goop

Penelope woke up this morning by throwing up! It was very dramatic. She threw up twice more, and then I gave her a bath. She hasn't thrown up since then, so we'll see. She was very funny in the bath tub. Her duckies were peeing in the potty (or so I thought), but when I congratulated them, she told me wickedly, "Not potty...soup!"

"Oh no!" I said. "Duckies, why did you pee pee in the soup?"

"Poop!" went the duckies into the soup. "Toot! Toot! Toot!"

"Oh no!" I cried in mock horror as the duckies giggled wickedly. "Duckies, why would you do such a thing?"

"Goops!" answered the duckies proudly. (Penelope loves the poem "Table Manners" by Gelett Burgess. We read it three times before bed last night. We wandered outside around 12:30 to see if we could see any early moon shenanigans. It was too cloudy to see anything. However, the sky was unusually bright behind the clouds, as if it were nearly dawn instead of midnight. Penelope is still very excited about the red moon. She kept thinking she spotted in various places downstairs this morning.)

Anyway, we also pretended she was a ducky-stealing giant, which is becoming a new tub favorite, and we made soup with "caredits, rice, cabbage, milk" and "pacho." (When the soup got cold, I suggested it was gazpacho. So she likes to add "pacho" now every time.) Then we figured out how to use the holes in her little fishy cups to give all the duckies a shower.

One time, she got "fraid," settled herself down into my lap and kept saying, "Safe. Safe, tummy. Safe Mommy." But she didn't throw up again (although at one point she claimed that her "ankle hurt bad" because it had a "camp" What she meant, however, was that her knee had a bruise.

We stayed in the bath tub for literally two hours, which would have been long enough for her blankies to be dry if anyone had put them in the drier. She never fails to puke on her blankies, and then she gets so upset when they have to be washed.

I gave her a bottle full of gingerale when we got out of the bath to test her stomach. (I thought she'd be more likely to drink it out of the bottle.) Five minutes later, she followed me into the kitchen and began calling, "New bottle! New bottle!" as she snooped around the counters.

"You do not need a new bottle!" I said.

"Fountain!" she insisted theatrically.

Then I saw the bottle. She must have shaken it up. The bottle was sitting on the kitchen floor, and gingerale was shooting straight out of the top of it in a very theatrical manner. After I managed to make it stop, Penelope marched ("march, march, march,") around the living room for several minutes, periodically stopping to point her bottle at something and say, "Shoot! Shoot, shoot, shoot!"

In other news, I think I have an ear infection. Everything was fine until I ate a piece of toast, and now my right ear is totally screwed up. I think the agonizing pain in my upper throat when we went to the Master Pancake thing was really an ear infection, which seems to have come back.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry's Graduation

So...I am slowly descending into madness, but that's no reason not to have a fun holiday season! After having weird pains that rotate quickly between the right side of my neck and my right eye all week, Friday afternoon (just two hours before we went to see the Master Pancake Christmas show with our friend Chuck) I got the worst pain in my throat EVER! It was definitely a throaty thing, not a neck thing, but I couldn't figure out where it was. Eventually, later this weekend, Derrick and I figured out it had something to do with the eustachian tube, possibly a temporary blockage because I'd been having drainage at night from Penelope's little cold. Plus I'd been moving my jaw a lot to pop my ear and swallowing a lot to prevent reflux (which I actually think may be contributing to the reflux)!

At any rate, Derrick initially said that we would stay home this weekend after I went absolutely berserk on the car ride home. Saturday morning, I woke up feeling better--but then went absolutely nuts again while apologizing to him for going nuts the first time. I was supposed to be seeing my psychiatrist Monday, but his office called Friday morning to reschedule me for January 4th. At that point, I began sobbing hysterically. Derrick called back, and I am now seeing him Wednesday. Until then, the days are mostly pleasant...and then night comes.

Saturday morning, Derrick gave me four options: Go to the ER, go to urgent care, write an e-mail to my psychiatrist, and I forgot the fourth one. I decided on option five--get it together and go to Dallas to see my sister graduate. Needless to say, Derrick was a bit nervous about this trip to Dallas.

I'm much better, though, I must say when Penelope is around/awake. It is impossible not to be cheerful around someone who is so delighted to see you. We actually ended up having a fabulous time--in the daytime. I will blog more later. I am trying to get these pictures uploaded onto this desktop, so I don't lose them.

Penelope's Hair

My favorite thing that happened all weekend occurred Saturday night after the graduation and dinner when Merry came back to hang out in my parents' room for a few minutes. A few days ago, my dad trimmed Penelope's bangs for the second time, but Merry knew nothing about this. She just noticed that Penelope's hair is getting longer.

Staring at Penelope who was sitting beside her on the bed, Merry remarked, "Penelope, your hair looks so pretty."

Penelope ran a finger across her bangs and answered coyly, "Oh! Cut it," in the exact manner of a woman accepting a compliment with a disingenuous, "This old thing?" Cracked me up beyond belief.

Merry's Blog

Sarah here. My laptop is now only good for telling people, in print, "Your computer will not startup" and "startup repair for this computer has failed." If you would like to convey these messages to anyone and enjoy waiting while looking at black bars, please send $50 to me via regular mail, and you are welcome to rent my otherwise worthless laptop for twenty minutes. In that time, you will be able to do everything it does, but I warn you, the results will be anticlimactic.

I've been waiting for what seems like an eternity to blog about our weekend (mainly to tell cute stories about Penelope's hair), but when I woke up, I read Merry's latest blog entry on my phone, and it just blew me away. You can read Merry's blog, here:

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Black Swan

I really want to blog about seeing Black Swan, so I guess I'll break down and use the phone.  I was up for three hours in the middle of the night thinking about that movie.  I'm a lot like Nina.  You know, in that I'm a professional ballerina, and I look just like Natalie Portman, and I get an ironic thrill from stealing small items from Winona Ryder--but in less obvious ways, too.  I am a huge control freak, too, so realizing that, I keep asking myself, hmm, how can I control that.  I told Derrick that maybe if I got into self mutilation, I would stop having so many weird health issues.  Strangely, he was not in favor of that plan. 

In other non-news, I have the cutest little girl in the world.  She's been extremely adorable all day.  This phone typing is not doing wonders for my headache.  More later.

Broken Computer Again

That stupid computer is a lemon, and my eye hurts too much to blog on a phone!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Good night, Kids!"

Tonight when we were pulling out of Mom and Dad's driveway, Penelope called especially noisily out the window, "Good night, kids!" Grandma and Grandpa always say that to us. It was so funny to hear her say it, though.

My mom made the most delicious dinner ever tonight--pork roast, mashed potatoes, gravy, and guacamole. Penelope particularly liked the guacamole. I haven't blogged much this week because my neck is being weird.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Craziest Dream Ever

Oh, I forgot! I have been having the weirdest, most realistic dreams all week, but last night's took the cake. I dreamed that Sarah Palin moved in next door to my parents, but she was always trying to avoid them because she thought they were really annoying. They really wanted to be friends with her, though. At one point, my sister and I came home with new haircuts, and Sarah advised my parents, "You shouldn't send them out for expensive cuts. Just put a bowl on their head and whisk around with the scissors. That's the way to go!" There was more, but I can't remember it. Just the scenario itself was so vividly amusing!

King Kong!

Last night, Derrick ran out to the store late to get toilet paper. Meanwhile, Penelope jabbered away, bouncing on our bed.

"Which story do you want to read?" I asked her.

I couldn't understand her reply. It sounded vaguely like King Kong (although it wasn't, of course, because she'd never heard of King Kong).

To be funny, I cried incredulously, "King Kong???!!!!!"

Penelope thought this was the funniest exclamation ever and soon began yelling, "King Kong! King Kong!" nonstop.

I told her, "You don't even know who King Kong is. He's a big monkey," and I beat on my chest for effect. This seemed to make no impression.

She refused to pick a story and would only yell, "King Kong! King Kong!" Finally, she got down off the bed and started running around the room yelling, "King Kong! King Kong!" At one point, she was yelling it while staring right at me.

"Are you calling me King Kong?" I asked, pretending to be indignant.

At that, she pointed her finger at me and yelled derisively, "Monkey! Monkey!" and then started making monkey noises at me before she went back to her refrain, "King Kong! King Kong!"

Finally, I got her up in bed to read. We first picked a story that had nothing written in the name space in the front. "What's your name?" I asked her.

Predictably, she replied, "King Kong Jane Rayburn!" with a devilish expression on her face.

Eventually, she settled down...until we started reading Mickey Mouse's Mother Goose and got to the part about Old King Cole. Guess what his name became?

By the time Derrick got home, she was using King Kong as an adjective preceding everything she talked about. She found this all very funny. And it was funny. Her eternal energy was a little unnerving, but the King Kong stuff was funny.

It reminded me of how we'd play the baby name game with Grayson (based on the atrocious movie Are We Done Yet?), and he'd always suggest, "Charton Hesson!" after I reacted so strongly when Derrick suggested, "Charlton Heston" the first time.

Yesterday, she and Grayson played for a long time in the afternoon. They both had their shirts off to eat spaghetti, and this made her very happy--being identical to her brother. After lunch, they had a fight--i.e., Penelope chased him around with her arm extended yelling, "Fight!" When she feels it's her turn, she shakes her finger at you enthusiastically and yells, "Fight! Fight! Fight!" or if she's close enough, she pokes you while yelling, "Punch!" Then Grayson would chase her and she'd scream like nothing you've ever heard on earth while running away.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Cookie Party Pictures

Cookie Party!!!

We had so much fun yesterday! First we all went to What-a-Burger--the four of us and Grandma and Grandpa. Derrick and I thought it was so cute as we left the restaurant and Penelope called to the sparrows in the parking lot, "Bye diddle birdies!" She's been a maniac lately, though.

I actually have run out of blogging time for the moment, but I want to write about Mom's angels. The first angel she decorated ended up with huge red eyes. It looked like Satan. "I hope this angel doesn't come for me," she joked. It was really hilarious. Funnier still, for the next angel, she tried to use some black gel she'd just found in the cupboard. It had probably been in there for ten thousand years. She thought that would make better eyes, but instead, the eye just smeared all down the face and body, like the oozing blood of the Zombie Apocalypse! It was the freakiest angel ever!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

PJ's Night Terrors and More

I was doing better than ever before in fantasy football this year. I've been in the top four every week--until I fell to fifth place last week, and then this week is the last game. Really, I'm surprised I didn't fall sooner, though. I was just looking at my roster. I'm PJ's Night Terrors. Ironically (well, this is a clear abuse of the word ironic) Penelope had a HORRIBLE night terror last night. It was really intense and seemed to last forever.

Before bed, she was really cute, however. She was poking her fingers into the pockets around the base of the bedside lamp. (It's a desk lamp with little compartments.) "Ooh! Holes!" she said.

"What's in those holes?" I asked.

"Tums," she replied, and I remembered that there had been a few Tums in there at one point. I hadn't really expected an answer.

"Are there?" I asked. I thought I had removed them.

"Think so," Penelope surprised me by answering. "Looking! Looking! Fingers looking! Findit! Oh no! Gone!"

She's so funny!

Pretty soon, we're going over to my parents' house to make and decorate Christmas cookies, and maybe sing a few carols and be of good cheer. The thought of them potentially moving in the next month is so surreal.


Penelope likes to grab people's hands (or jump into their arms) and then stop supporting herself, so she can, "Swiiiiiiing!" I, however, am not so great at this game because of my bad back. I usually lower her to the ground gently, and say, "Mommy's weak!" but I often stretch out the word "weak" so she will be amused. I also kind of sway back and forth gently as I'm lowering her, so she gets a mini-swing, even though she's touching the ground.

Problematically (for me, not her) she now thinks of this as a new game we play and comes running up to me begging, "Weak! Weak!"

I asked her last night, "What do you think weak means?"

Gripping my hands while she leaned back (still on her feet, but using me to balance) on the kitchen tile, she cried jubilantly, "Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! Skating!"

So evidently, "wheek" is a variation on "whee" that one exclaims while "skating."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Facebook Posts

‎"That's the meaning of Christmas--getting everything you want. No, I'm joking. Christmas is all about the three wisemen finding Jesus--or the three wisemen findng God. Anyway, they found somebody. And that's the meaning of Christmas!" --Grayson explaining the meaning of Christmas (jokingly)

3 hours ago

Penelope: Bubby Grayson!
Mommy: That's right! Bubby's name is Grayson! What's Daddy's name?
Penelope: Daddy Jane Rayburn!

21 hours ago

Penelope: Bye, going Grandma's.
Mommy: Bye! Have fun at Grandma's!
Penelope: 'kay! Back soon!

21 hours ago

Why isn't my child ever sleepy? Clearly, I am sleepy. I just wrote this award winning sentence, "She saw consequences merely as events that would come about as a result of her actions." What's worse is that I keep asking myself, " What are you trying to say," and I think that IS what I was trying to say. Obviously, I should be asking myself, "Why are you trying to say things?"

Derrick: Should we watch an S-H-O-W for her?
Penelope: Mickey Mouse!!!!
Me: Which Mickey Mouse cartoon do you want to watch?
Penelope: Cubhouse!

Derrick: (tries to spin a Pooh top, but Penelope steals it) Hey!
Penelope: (giggling) Mine! Take away! (runs across the room with it, giggling) Take it away!!!!
But after a brief interlude of gleeful "tap" dancing, she brought it back for him to "spin 'gin" and is now saying, "Spinning! Spinning! Toy!"

Penelope: Tihtoe! Tihtoe! Shh! Gun! Gun!
Mommy: Why do you need a gun?
Penelope: Shoot wolf! (taps chest with grin) Peter!

Penelope must be wondering about the cultural significance of invoking the name of "Scooby" after every cough! (She's so cute, though. Most people just cough. She coughs, says, "Cough," covers her mouth, says, "Cover," then yells, "Scooby!")

I'm amazed that ever since I told Penelope, "Cover your mouth when you cough," she has covered her mouth every single time she coughs. On the downside, however, Penelope has a cough that seems to be getting worse. What bugs me is that it started the day after her flu shot.

Tuesday at 1:04pm

Penelope: (sticks a straw up her nostril) Noki!
Mommy: Get that straw out of your nose!
Penelope: Noki!
Mommy: Noki? Is that your way of saying, "No!"?
Penelope: Nocchio!
Mommy: Ohhh! You're Pinocchio! But you still have to take that out of your nose!

December 5 at 10:44pm

Penelope: Eight. Nine. Eight. Nine.
Mommy: Let's count your Cheerios together.
Penelope: 'kay.
Mommy: what?
Penelope: Eight!
Mommy: Eight!?! No.
Penelope: (points to the two Cheerios in my palm, sitting in such a way that they make a number 8): Yes! Eight!

December 5 at 4:49pm

Penelope thinks she is playing Soul Caliber Vs. Derrick. She doesn't know he's playing in arcade mode. She's pushing all the buttons, saying, "Push! Push! Fight! Push! Fight!" Then when the girl started beating up Derrick, Penelope turned to me in delight and gushed, "Oooh! Works!"

December 4 at 5:57pm

Derrick blew up balloons for Grayson and Penelope, but Penelope's popped. "Oh no!" she cried to Derrick. "Popped! Cried! Hoo! Hoo! Balloon!" He asked her, "Do you want a new one," and she answered, "Kay." Then as soon as she had it, she ran up and showed it to me, "New! Mommy! New!" Then she squealed, "Goody! Goody!" and started jumping up and down clapping her hands!

Penelope (toddling to the door with a casual wave): Bye! See ya!
Mommy: Bye. Where are you going?
Penelope: Grandma Grandpa's!

Penelope (toddling to the door with a casual wave): Bye! See ya!
Mommy: Bye. Where are you going?
Penelope: Grandma Grandpa's!

Penelope: Hungy! Cry! Hoo! Hoo! Tummy hurts bad! Fries! Nuggets! Apples! Dinners! Eat! Food!
My daughter is nothing if not dramatic.

You get the full effect if you know she was muttering softly in a mournful voice in the back seat.
December 3 at 8:06pm

Dr. Poopy and Mr. Hide

Penelope always lets Grandma change her and lies still like a little angel. But with me, the second I ask, "Are you poopy?" she yells, "Hide! Hide!" and makes a huge game of hiding from me. By the time I finally carried the writhing maniac over to the changing bad just now, she still wouldn't lie still. At first she did--to give me a false sense of security--but then she would randomly thrust herself up into the air and kick her legs. The thing is, I know that she's different with me because she's playing some kind of elaborate game that only she and I play. So in a way it's like a compliment, but in another way, it's very frustrating and quite hard on my back.

Earlier today, I thought she and I could do something Christmassy by wrapping some presents together. I asked if she wanted to help, and she very enthusiastically said, "Yes! Do!!!" But the thing is, she didn't really. When I took apart her "gun" (aka took the plastic off the Pooh wrapping paper and started using it as wrapping paper) she let out a shrill shriek like someone murdering a dolphin. Then she yelled, "Mine! Mine! Mine!" and started banging her face everywhere. (She pulled one of those the other day when she was mad at Derrick and slammed her face into the couch, not realizing the remote control was there.)

She really does not understand how wrapping paper works. I finally managed to wrap a present for my mom and dad. I always make tags out of scraps of paper cut into a heart shape. But once I made the heart, Penelope wanted it. I let her have it and made another heart tag. Then she ripped it--another disaster from her point of view.

Later in the day, Mom and Dad showed up. Of course, Penelope gave Grandma the heart. I knew that she would.

Derrick just ran out for some chocolate milk. (Penelope is so funny. She just gasped, "Buffy!" as the show opened.) I tried to spell for him to get pretzel M&Ms but got confused. Grayson then spelled, "And could you get me some B-I-G-B-L-U-E? And some tacks! Some white tacks!" He screamed that last part as Derrick was going out the door. It took Derrick a second to figure out he was talking about Tic Tacs.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Nellie and the Wolf

Penelope's peeved that there isn't any "more sketti." Originally, she told me that she didn't want any. Johnny Carino's has huge portion sizes. I ate half my chicken parmigina last night with Christina, and there was still enough left over for Derrick, Penelope, and me to have lunch today. (Well, in Penelope's opinion there wasn't quite enough.) She actually sat in a normal chair today, like a big girl.

In other news, she and I have together misplaced my rosary. I told Derrick last night, "I wish you could call a rosary," like a phone, you know. Penelope immediately started calling, "Rosy! Rosy!" Soon, however, forgot about the rosary and begin to "tihtoe" across the room toward the door, saying, "Tihtoe! Tihtoe! Shhh!"

When she got to the entry way, she started humming strangely and then began to call, "Gun! Gu-uh-uhn!"

"Are you calling for a gun?" I asked, wondering if I was misunderstanding.

"Yes," she replied.

"Why do you need a gun?"

"Shoot," she answered practically.

"But who are you going to shoot?" I asked.

"Wolf," she replied. "Shoot wolf." Then she patted herself on the chest and declared with a proud grin, "Peter!"

She and Grandma have been watching Peter and the Wolf this week, and I had been reading her the book earlier in the evening.

She's in the kitchen now, moping around, lamenting in a soft voice, "No sketti. Gone. Gone. Nellie hungy. Oh no. Tummy hurts bad. No sketti." Her hunger would be more pitiable if she were not reciting this litany of tortures in between bites of the apple she's eating.

We began the day with a bath at her very vocal insistence, but she already needs another one thanks to her artistic skills in the medium of spaghetti sauce.

"Sad. Sa-ad. Saaaaaaahd," comes the woeful voice from the kitchen. "No cookies, too! No cookies! Sad!"

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Penelope is so funny. Last night in the bathroom, she told me, "Oh no! Clothes gone!"

"Where did they go?" I asked her.

"Daddy took it," she said because he'd moved a laundry basket downstairs.

She desperately needed some A&D last night. While I was changing her diaper, she tried so hard not to cry, but her misery kept breaking through. Then she ran in and told Daddy, "Winkidoo hurts!" But we couldn't find our A&D anywhere, so Derrick ran out for some at about 11:00. Penelope was very sweet while he was gone. She kept coughing, and then saying, "Cough! Scooby!" She remembers to cover her mouth pretty consistently but usually covers it much too late. And she often says, "Cover," too! I'm sure she must wonder why we all invoke the name of Scooby Doo after we cough!

When Derrick returned, Penelope didn't want us to put the A&D on her. I know she didn't want us to touch her because her skin was so raw. She grabbed the tube, said, "Took it," and pretending to squeeze it on herself, saying, "Fix it! All done!"

She seems to cough the most in the morning when waking up and after eating. Her nose isn't running (at least not significantly), and she doesn't have any fever. But she most likely does have some little virus, accounting for the very acerbic diaper.

Yesterday, we went to H-E-B with Grandma and Grandpa. She got a red balloon and a sucker and was in high spirits, saying "hi" to several passing shoppers and commenting to me about the items in their carts. When we drove past Dell, she waved out the window and said, "Hi, Daddy!" although actually, Derrick was, I believe, picking up Grayson from school about that time.

She really loves Christmas and is always remarking on snow men with "caredit nose"s. I think she likes to look at "twinkles" (aka outdoor lights) so much because she equates them with stars. Last night, while watching for Derrick at my parents' front door, she pointed to the lights and said, "Lots! Red! Bue! Geen! Yeyow! Twinkle stars!" She probably likes them so much because she thinks they're stars we've captured or something. She also likes to sing "Jingle Bells." Her version is very interesting.

Tonight I am having dinner with Christina.