Sunday, January 31, 2010

Penelope is furious with me because I won't take her outside. She doesn't understand weather. It's much too cold and windy right now, but last week we went out every day, so she doesn't understand, and she's furious.

She just stole my glasses, so this is getting hard oooootoo\

Friday, January 29, 2010

Miss Toodle Doo Tries Some Tortilla at Antonio's Monday Night

Playing at Grandma's On Monday Afternoon

Penelope: Downer of Ups

The Toodle Car

Penelope is currently trying to pull her toodle car over on her head. Earlier, she pushed it up to the edge of the couch, and then tried to use it to climb on the couch. She loves to ride around on it, but one of us has to push her. When we stop, she leans forward and makes this horrible screaming noise like some sort of gorgon. Her whole face turns red! It's rather alarming behavior, but translated into our feeble mortal language, this ritual seems to mean, "Go!"


Thursday, January 28, 2010

God Vs Godzilla

I was reading to Penelope, "God whispers to us in our heart..."


I was like, "Are you sure that was God? I think that was Godzilla! I think you're confused."

She laughed and laughed and laughed.

About an hour ago, we went for a walk, despite the ominous clouds blocking out the sun. Penelope seems to enjoy the horrible, overcast weather because that way she doesn't have to squint. We walked down to see the men making the road with their big rolly machine. This was highly exciting to us. After that, we came home and shared some cherry 'gurt.

How to Enrage Your Penelope

If you have a Penelope and would like to make her really mad, all you need to remember are these three easy steps:

1) Fasten her in her stroller so you can put your pants on, inducing kicking, screams, and loud wails of protest.
2) Then once you're ready, wheel the stroller outside so that she finally gets it through her stubborn head that you're taking a walk, the thing she loves most in the world.
3) Time all this so that just when you get to the end of your driveway, it starts to rain and
you have to turn around and go back inside.

She was like, "What?" Her reaction was so funny! (But she saw nothing funny about it!)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Cave

Penelope and I spent almost an hour this evening playing with shadows in the yard. The shadow was so friendly. It waved and waved to us and just kept waving, so we followed it. But then it suddenly disappeared. And then you'll never guess what! It was so sneaky. When we turned around, we looked back and saw that that shadow was following us!

Then we noticed that someone had put a 2 on our driveway, and--even more astonishing--another 2 on our house!

All the shadow play seemed amusingly fitting to me since I'd been reading about Greek philosophy in that Cahill book during her nap.

Spitty Cheerios

Penelope's new thing is offering me half of whatever she is eating. Like she picks up a Cheerio, eats half of it, then offers me the spitty other half. Considering that I always share my food with her, it's a very sweet gesture.

Yet Another Crazy Day

I was so worried about Penelope this morning, but then she had the world's poopiest diaper about half an hour ago, and now she's fine. I thought something was seriously wrong with her. But she seems fine. Now her clothes are another story.

Last night she gagged herself on her hand and spat up before bed, so we had to change her onesie. This morning she woke up sopping wet, so we had to change her onesie. Then came the world's poopiest diaper--another new onesie. And then Mommy got the bright idea to have leftover sketti for lunch. The shirt stays on, but it's looking kind of tie-dye, various shades of spaghetti sauce with a smattering of nana.

At least her mood had improved, though.

Seriously, that diaper--I swear she expels more food than she consumes. Too bad it can't fuel our cars.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Books Read So Far

Percy Jackson and the Olympians:
The Sea of Monsters
The Titan's Curse
The Battle of the Labyrinth
The Last Olympian

The Abstinence Teacher
Eleanor of Aquitaine

The Lightning Thief doesn't count because we finished it before January when I made the New Year's Resolution to read more. My best friend is "singing" to me while she plays with her rosary.

I am currently reading a book by PD James, that Reagan book, the Cahill book, and a book Merry got me about the murder of Christopher Marlowe. I'm mainly mentioning this for my own reference since this blog is the only thing I seem to keep up with these days.

Little Miss Naughty

Wish I'd had my camera ready! While I was typing about IBS, Penelope just ripped the cover off my Little Miss Naughty book and waved it around above her head. Seemed a fitting label. We just took a bath upstairs, during the preparation of which she was impossibly hyperclingy. It is rather hard to run a bath while your baby refuses to let go of your body or else screams insanely like a dying flamingo.

Now she is crawling all over and wants nothing to do with me. I'm scared she will hit her head again. The head doesn't seem to be bothering her at all, but the bruise sure does bother me. She took a nap earlier and I ended up reading that Cahill book about Greek civilization again. I just can't get into the Reagan book. It seems so superficial. The Cahill one seems like it is embalming my brain in a healing salve of joy. I really like it. It reminds me of listening to a lecture, like I'm auditing his Greek Civ class or something.

Ever since reading those Percy Jackson books, I've been so excited about the upcoming remake of Clash of the Titans. When we were watching the old one with Grayson, the part where he tames Pegasus made me think of my freshman year at UD when Jason Torres crashed through a plate glass window in the cafeteria, interrupting my lunch conversation with Christina as we (like everyone else) noticed glass flying everywhere. We were reading the Iliad at the time, so Dr. Crider dubbed him, Jason, breaker of windows. (You know, because, Hector, breaker of horses...) So funny!


I just read last night (while up with digestive problems) that serotonin problems have been linked to IBS. Apparently only 5 percent of the body's serotonin is used in neural functioning. The other 95 percent is in the GI tract. That is so fascinating and could explain why my irritable bowel flared up so dramatically just after I stopped taking Abilify for bipolar disorder. (There was also, of course, a huge stress trigger at that time since Dad was in dire need of a liver transplant.) Very interesting, I thought.

A Brief Exercise in Frustration Leading to Humiliation and Despair

So I tried to brush Penelope's teeth this morning. That did not go well.

Penelope's Head

Last night, right before bed, Penelope tried to pull up on the couch and slipped and hit her head on the corner of the couch, sharper than I realized because there's wood right under the apholstery. I totally freaked out. She only cried about 30 seconds. It looked really awful last night because she also got rug burn around it--really couch burn. This morning there's only the bruise.

Derrick asked me, "How do you think your mom felt when you fell into the fireplace?"

I remember asking her, "Is it cut, Mommy, or is it just a bruise?" and she burst into tears. Of course, my fall was much worse than Penelope's. I hit the corner brick of the fireplace at high speed, my skull was showing, and I had to have ten stitches from a plastic surgeon.

Still, it's funny how I always thought I was fine yet I always worry Penelope isn't. Quite a difference between being the parent and being the child.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Penelope's Ake

We stopped by Walgreens to get Nell a tooth brush and tooth paste. While Grandma was picking up Grandpa's medicine and secretly buying our stuff, too, Pip and I walked up and down the Valentine aisle. She was mildly curious about all the stuff--then she saw the ake. She grabbed it immediately and started waving it around singing, "Gaga gaga!"

(Last night, I was singing the beginning of Bad Romance since we were listening to Lady Gaga in the car, and Penelope got all excited like, "I can sing that," and started singing with me and clapping.)

So Penelope's snake is named Gaga. I snapped this with my phone in the car, not a great pic of the snake, but I think it captures Penelope's feelings about him (or her?).

Sunday, January 24, 2010

more zoo

Funny, at the time, I didn't think any pictures were turning out!

The Fifth Beatle?

Derrick is horrified by the way his hair looks in all the zoo pictures. I pointed out that my hair looks atrocious in the picture he took of Pip and me with the rhinos. The other day in the car when I said he was handsome, he said something like, "I'm fat. I have a bad haircut, and I need to shave." I said, "Well, what about me? I'm fat. I have a bad haircut, and I need to shave." Unfortunately, I'd already called my mom to tell her we were on our way and forgotten, so the phone was on my lap. She was going, "Hello?? Helloo?" So I picked up and recapped what we'd just said while laughing, and she was like, "Yes, it's twice I've heard that now."

When we arrived in Mom's driveway, Derrick was pretending to insult me in my voice, "You fat, hairy, need a hair cut jerk!" Then he was like, "Hopefully, you're not calling your Mom right now."

That doesn't look as funny in print as it was at the time.


My name must be "Yeah!" Penelope saw a picture of Grayson on the computer and leaned forward and yelled, "Bubby!" Then she saw Derrick and leaned forward and yelled, "Dada!" (Last night when we were trying to get her to go to sleep, she kept telling Derrick, "Hi, Dada!"

So I showed Penelope a picture of me and asked, "Who's that?" She yelled, "Yeah!" and clapped her hands.



Zoo: Part II

We tried to get Penelope to look at the animals, but she got really excited by three things: 1) Bubby 2) Her Keys 3) Other people. She really got excited and reached out her hands to talk to everybody. She also was fascinated by the vultures circling overhead.

Grayson had some intense spills, but he didn't seem to mind. We got to see lots of animals that don't come out when the weather gets really hot, and for the first time we saw the snake house, which seemed to be Penelope's favorite. She got really excited and tried to give her keys to an alligator, who was possibly communicating with her by mind control.

I got frustrated that Penelope didn't seem to care much about the animals. I thought she'd like them, but she was much more entertained by the people. She did, however, like several of the big cats. She'd lean forward and reach out for them.

And what did Grayson say that was so funny? Oh yeah. We were walking across the bridge that leads through the bird area, and Grayson said, "That water looks deeper than it looks." He didn't know why we laughed at that.

Bubby & Sissy: In Synch

Zooing: Part I

We had an exciting day at the zoo. Grayson pushed Penelope most of the time, which she found delightful. On the ride home, we gave Penelope a flashlight, so it didn't get too dark on her. That made her very happy. She stopped hooing immediately.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Rayburn Gang

I meant to take more pictures, but I banged my head on the edge of the table while retrieving the escaping kangaroo. Ouch!

Nelope and Nanny

I KNOW How to Eat Grapeyfruit, Mommy!

Penelope was very excited about sharing a grapefruit with Mommy this evening. She snatched it out of my hands in the kitchen and bit into it through the peel. Then once I had it peeled and we were sitting in the chair, she snatched about a third of it before I could stop her and wouldn't let go. She really devoured that grapefruit. It was so funny!

A Visit With Nanny and Papa Harley

Nanny and Papa came to visit us today. Unfortunately, I didn't sleep at all last night. It was horrific and unexpected and I think it may have happened because I took a Claritin-D at midnight because I'd forgoten to take it earlier. That's all I can think of.

At any rate, this has been a weird day for me. This morning, Nellie and I went for a nice walk down to the construction area with Nanny. Then we came back and opened presents, blocks for Nell Bell, GI Joe stuff for Grayson, and garage shelves for daddy. I hadn't been in our garage for like two years. No wonder I can't find all my books upstairs. Several boxes are still in the garage.

Then we all had pizza at the new table--well, it's the same old table but while I was upstairs trying in vain to sleep, Derrick cleaned all the junk off, put on the table cloth we bought for our picnic, and set the chairs from the dining room around it. Delightfully, now that we were all sitting at the table, Penelope agreed to sit in her high chair.

Penelope is so cute. She's sitting on the carpet, shuffling her feet back and forth to hear the scuffle sound her socks make. She's playing with the blocks Nanny and Papa brought her. She's been very vocal today.

I'm really upset and disturbed that I didn't sleep, but I guess sometimes that just happens. I took a nap for about an hour after lunch, but I expected to sleep longer. I got cold, and I think the neighbors' dog was barking. I'm not sure why I woke up.

I try to be so careful. I was up later than usual because I wanted to do the dishes and clean up a bit so Derrick wouldn't have to clean everything, but I don't know why I just couldn't sleep. I'm extremely tired now, so hopefully I will slept tonight.

I hope we can go to the zoo tomorrow.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Donald Regan: Ninja Assassin

In the car, I was talking about how as a kid, I always assumed Donald Regan was up to no good, some kind of comic-book-like evil doppleganger of the president. Grayson liked this theme and ran with it, confusing Reagan and Regan, and calling them both assassins. He made up this crazy story. It was very funny.

I know many people who would no doubt say that Ronald Reagan himself was the evil version of Ronald Reagan. I know just as many people who love Reagan and think he was one of our greatest presidents. That's why I wanted to learn more about his administration. So far I've learned that his father was an alcoholic. Margaret Thatcher's father wasn't. I don't know about Donald Regan's father.

Happy Toodle

Penelope is so happy that Bubby is here. Maybe I should spell it BoBe. I like that. While we were watching Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs earlier, she was trying desperately to get his attention. No matter where I put her, she heads for Grayson like there's a magnet connecting them. She's getting so good at pulling up, too.

Grayson apparently has a girlfriend now named Ireland, a girl in his class. Derrick asked him to describe her, and he told us that she's "sassy." This may explain his new penchant for saying, "Well duh," and, "Good for you! I was being sarcastic."

We're trying to get the house cleaned up because Nanny and Papa Harley are coming tomorrow, but that's been slow going.

Crazy Day

Penelope and I have had a crazy day. Apparently, half a carton of bluberry yogurt is not food because my vitamins say "take once daily with food" and when I did that, I got so nauseas ten minutes later that I threw up. This was unfortunate as I was standing in the living room holding Penelope trying to get to the bathroom.

It was so awful. She screamed and cried hysterically when I put her in the playpen and tried to clean up. I called Derrick in a panic who asked if I had a fever. Unfortunately, I had thrown up on the thermometer and short circuited it--which is so weird because that's the ONLY thing in the entire room that got vomit on it. Now it is beeping nonstop.

But I ate a cereal bar and took Penelope for a long walk and felt no more nausea, so I'm pretty positive it's the vitamin because it contains zinc and zinc on an empty stomach has affected me that way before. I just took it because I'm always forgetting to take them. I naively hoped the yogurt would be enough.

Meanwhile, our walk was lovely, but Penelope came back exhausted and ready for a nap. So she woke at 10:30, then went down at 1:00 and slept until 4:10--on my lap. While she slept, I read this book about Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. After reading about fifty pages, all I'd learned is that Reagan's father was an alcoholic and Thatcher's father wasn't. This fact seemed very important. It seemed to come up every two pages or so. I bought the book last year because I knew nothing about politics in the 80s and still don't. I just know marginally more about fathers in Illinois and Grantham and whether or not they were alcoholics.

I really liked Alison Weir's Eleanor of Aquitaine book, but that's over, sadly. She pretty much drew from chronicle sources, and it reads like that. I'm not sure about this other book. The writing seems suspiciously superficial. I can't put my finger on it, but I don't like it.

Anyway, I ended up reading a book by P.D. James Mom bought me for the last hour of Pip's nap. Last night Derrick and I decided to read A Wrinkle in Time after doing a first page test of several options when we finished The Last Olympian. I now regret it because I've never read the Magician's Nephew and I've been wondering all day what happened to Diggory.

Poor Nellie is so hoarse. She was so freaked out and screamy for so long this morning.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Spank Mommy!

Penelope is beating my toodle butt. Daddy showed her how, and she caught on a little too well!

Penelope Casts Her Spell On Me!