Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Best Walk Ever

Too bad Grover is not in Disneyland. At least Kermit will be there. Penelope and I just had the best walk ever! That new road where no one goes yet is so awesome if you like to sing and dance and push the stroller and let go and dance up and ask, "Who's pushing you?" (This is our favorite game currently.) We had so much fun. It's a beautiful day! I was skipping and making up a walking song. Penelope was kicking her legs and bouncing in her seat and sometimes "singing" along. (I don't know why I put her vocal efforts in quotes. She sings about as well as I do.)

Then we came home to find Penelope's crib in our bedroom! She's getting too big for her little bed, and her room is too far down the hall! She was most surprised. I took lots of pictures, but my camera batteries died while I was uploading them. And I'm out of batteries for now. My eye is still a little uncomfortable but much less red after Claritin and Visine. (Of course, before it was the reddest it has ever been!) My crying at breakfast upset Penelope so much she refused to eat her pancake (but she ate it on the walk or at least got rid of it discreetly).


I think the reason it's so upsetting is that no one will tell me why it's happening--like how scary it was to live through my first major depressive and manic episodes with no name for what was going on, no idea why I was experiencing what was happening.


I am so sad. My eye is bright red again. It wasn't that way when I woke up. It got that way suddenly about 11:00. This has happened six times since Penelope's baptism, only to me, and always in the right eye. How can that be hypochondria? I'm upset now, but I wasn't until I realized my eye was bright red. Hypochondria shouldn't have physical symptoms. But I guess it does in some people.

If it is allergies, why does it happen so suddenly and only in one eye? I hadn't showered yet. I hadn't changed any poopy diapers since Friday (because Derrick is nice). I've gotten plenty of sleep and been in a good mood. Recurrent red eye can be a symptom of colon problems, but I've had no digestive trouble since I quit taking vitamins.

I guess it could be viral pinkeye, but then why does no one else get it? This has been such a great weekend, but now I just want to die. I feel bad for letting this affect me so much, but it bothers me that this keeps happening. It's demoralizing somehow. And I feel like I have no recourse. If I think it's a symptom of something, I'm a hypochrondriac. But then like in ten years if I get something, and they ask, "Did you have any symptoms," I'll be like, "No, except my right eye turned bright red for four days every two weeks."

I also want to know why I have allergies. Dr. Mills said pregnancy wouldn't cause that. I never had them before. Last year at this time, I did not have allergies unless Merry's cat was around. So why is it that if I don't take Claritin every day, I drown in drainage? It is all clear.

Then I think, What if I have strep but nobody ever tests me for it? But surely I'd be sicker.

I'm just really frustrated and confused and I feel like no one can help or even tell me that something is wrong. But if nothing is wrong, why does this keep happening? Isn't there some word for it other than crazy? It makes me so sad.

Another Show

Derrick and I are trying to show Penelope Disneyland Sing-a-Long Songs at least once a day, so that she gets used to the idea of people running around in crazy cartoon character costumes, and children being happy when they accost them.

But this morning (Day 2) when I put in the DVD, I found Penelope sitting on the middle of the floor, directly centered to see the TV, hugging Grover, laughing, and bouncing on her knees in excitement. She grinned up at me with such knowing glee that I felt guilty about putting in the wrong show.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Penelope Blows Her Nose (and other fun moments)

Penelope makes using the computer very difficult. For one thing, she ripped off the backspace key and broke it in half. Also, she always wants to watch that video of her laughing as Grayson carries her around. In her mind, if I have my laptop open, it's to watch that video. Plus she's really good at manipulating me. She has all her best, cutest tricks lined up, and she performs them one by one, hoping to get her way by charming me with her antics. I need to learn how to be a better disciplinarian.

She was so cute tonight, though. I was blowing my nose. Immediately, she grabbed two napkins, scrunched them up and pushed them into her nose. Then with her lips clamped shut, she blew as hard as she could to make a nose-blowing sound. She's so cute!

We've had a great day. This morning, we watched Disneyland Sing-a-Long Songs while we had breakfast, which Penelope got really into once she recovered from her initial disappointment that the FBI warning screen didn't turn into Sesame Street. Then we all went for a walk, and we actually went down the new road and saw our house from the back side.

Then, after Penelope had a little milk, we went for a drive and looked at the houses in Brushy Creek. We found this one neighborhood that was full of very unusual lots, clearly designed for the eccentric.

Some of the houses were so elaborate they looked like restaurants or missions. I joked to Derrick, "I live in the Alamo--and I have my own airport." One of the houses had two planes in the yard. Another house was really tiny--and then had a huge tennis court. And there was a couch on the tennis court! And then another one had an exciting solar-powered roof. And another one had a six car garage and garage apartment attached to a house about the same size as the garage. And then we saw a really awesome Corvet--and the owner was out driving around on an antique tractor for reasons not immediately apparent to passers by. Needless to say, this was a very exciting neighborhood, and we hope we're wealthy enough to live there one day. (We already feel we're adequately eccentric.)

We've had a really full day. We did a bunch of other stuff, too, but I can't remember what it was.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Hypnotic Power of the Monkey Dog

Derrick found the stuffed monkey his parents got Penelope for Christmas. At least, I think it's a monkey. He thinks it also has some marked features only a dog would have, so he has named it Monkeydog. He was shaking it at Penelope saying, "Monkeydog!" And she started shaking her head back and forth, too, and then fell over onto the floor. Now he's folding her up in the butterfly, and she's laughing!


All day, Penelope has been making that puffy scrunch face at me, and we make it back and forth at each other. Tonight, we went to Grandma and Grandpa's for macaroni. Well.

Tonight at the table, I started scrunching at her in excitement. She just stared, unresponsively, while I scrunched for like a whole minute. Then when I stopped, she cut her eyes over at Grandma and gave her this knowing look like, "See what I have to deal with? Mommy's crazy!" It was such a pronounced look.

All day yesterday at Grandma's, she refused to do it, too, but then all night last night and all morning this morning, she's done it to both Derrick and me. And she'll do it with Derrick over there, but not me.

Yesterday, Grandma said, "Mommy's crazy, isn't she?" So now she has some kind of inside joke going on with Grandma! That look was so pronounced. Everybody saw. So dramatic. The traitor!

My Cutie in her New Dress

World's Cutest Cutie Climbs Daddy

Our Walk

The Sneaky in Disguise

Penelope is so cute when she watches that video--but she's a monster when I don't let her rip off my keys, or when I try to do anything else on the computer.

Earlier we had a very exciting bath. As I lifted Penelope into the tub, a raisin fell out of her winki-doo! (I just realized I don't know how to spell that word--probably because it's not really a word, but it does remind me of a funny story.) She was most intrigued--mad when I wouldn't let her eat it--and then she kept looking for more until I distracted her with fishy cups.

Then half-way through the bath, I found what I thought was a puffer fish. It kept scrunching up its nose and puffing at me. It tried to drink some bath water which didn't seem to agree with it, and when I tried to console it, suddenly an arm came from nowhere and stole my glasses. And wouldn't you know it, what I thought was a puffer fish was actually that same ol' sneaky in disguise!

When I finally got my glasses back, they were decorated with lots of water splashes and all toodled up so I couldn't see. "You little sneaky!" I exclaimed. "You got my glasses all toodled up!" The Sneaky was very proud of its naughtiness and scrunched its nose at me some more. Then I got my revenge by turning on the faucet and dumping a cup full of water over its head!

(Penelope is very intrigued by the cup I use to rinse her hair and the faucet--I am pretty sure she is just biding her time waiting for the perfect opportunity to dump water over my head.)

The Friendly White Box

Penelope keeps pushing the eject button on the Wii, hoping it will give her a nice present when she pets it like it did the first time. Derrick asked the other night, "What DVD is she eating?" Actually, she was eating Mario Kart--which explained the weird noise I had heard moments before. She had this plaintive look on her face when I took it from her. Like, "But Mommy, that friendly white box gave it to me!"

In other news, we had an exciting windy walk followed swiftly by a tuna fishy lunch, and now we are about to take a bath!

Yucky Pierre

Penelope broke my keyboard for good last night, but I am trying to learn to improve my accuracy and type around the missing key. Right now, we're watching The Grouch Chef make Charles Chicken Soup. Penelope wants to watch the baby laughing. She laughs and scream every time we watch the video of her with Grayson. Now she's up to some other naughtiness. I'd better play with her!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Adorable Narcissist

Penelope certainly has no self-esteem issues--except possibly that it's too high!

We were sitting on the floor playing ball just now. I rolled it to Penelope. When she tried to roll it back, she kept hitting it, but it wasn't going anywhere. She started making all these crazy noises and bouncing, and then she made this really loud crazy squeal. When we started laughing and saying she was cute, she stuck her tongue all the way out and slowly tilted her head back and turned it around, like, Gosh, I am cute, aren't I?

My Self-Congratulatory Toodle

I just said to Derrick, "I don't think it's occurred to Penelope to walk." She loves to cruise and crawl, but I don't think she's considered not holding things as she walks.

I said to her. "Can you walk to Daddy? Walk to Daddy!"

She was standing on one end of the couch, and she cruised along the couch to the other end where Daddy was sitting. When she got there, she took her hands off the couch, turned, grinned happily at me, and started clapping her hands! Yea! A round of applause for Penelope! She walked to Daddy!

The Twin of Derrick

Penelope looks so much like her daddy right now. For a long time, I thought she looked just like me as a baby, but lately, I see Derrick in her face so much! In that picture where she's smiling at me at Friar Tuck's, for example, she looks like a miniature Derrick clone dressed up in pink.

Penelope Enjoys the Ploughman's Lunch at Friar Tuck's


I blew my nose this morning, and she did it because she thought I was doing it! (The scrunch-puff grin!)

Scrunchy Puff

Penelope does the cutest little grin now, an elaboration on her little scrunchy face. Now she puffs air in and out for several seconds, quite a performance! And you can always get her to do it by doing it at her first--unless you have a video camera in your hand! Here's a picture I took with my phone!

Soon, Grandma will be here. She's taking us to lunch today at Friar Tuck's Pantry! We're totally excited!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Playing with Bubby Video

Snowy Video

Hope I do this right!

The Naughty

Penelope used to turn off the speakers all the time, so now we put a box in front of the thingy, so now she stands up and turns off the Direct TV box. Daddy keeps telling her no.

This last time, she looked plaintively at me, seeking a second opinion. "Don't look at Mommy," Derrick told her. "Listen to what Daddy tells you. Mommy's not going to tell you anything different."

"No, no," I told her firmly. "Penelope! You listen to your Daddy. No. No."

Hearing this, Penelope scrunched up her nose at me happily and proceeded to play with the box some more after a smug grin at Daddy. Apparently, she thought I was saying something along the lines of, "No, no, Daddy. Don't interfere with Penelope."


"He's very slowly getting away! After him!"

To me, cross-country skiing is just not very exciting. Derrick comments, "It's kind of like watching a marathon."

"Yes," I protested, "but a marathon is a lot more exciting because they all look like they're about to die."

In the car, I told Derrick how much I loved him and loved being with him. He asked suspiciously, "Is something wrong? You're awfully lovey tonight."

"Well, I just want to make sure you know I love you," I said. "Sometimes I don't think I say it enough. I worry you won't know."

He gave me this incredulous look.

"What?" I said.

"You don't think you say it enough? You say it like 200 times every day! If I don't know, I'm a moron."

At least he knows.

Walk with Grandma, Part II

Walk with Grandma, Part I

Ringing the Doorbell

Mommy: Penelope?
Penelope: Yes, Mommy?

Mommy: Would you like to help Grandma ring the doorbell?
Penelope: YESSS!!!

Grandma: Ring the doorbell!
Penelope: Oh, that was so much fun! I rang the doorbell!

Hi, Shadow!

Penelope & Mommy: Hello, Shadow!

The Woman in White

The Woman in White is so good! If I'd have known how good it was, I would have borrowed it from my mom much sooner.

Penelope was so hooey when she woke up from her nap. Finally I appeased her with some Gerber Graduates cherry puffs. While she was eating those, I was eating rejected Cheerios on the TV tray. At one point, a spitty piece of puff flew out of Penelope's mouth, so I put it back in her mouth for her. She stopped chewing and stared at me in outrage, first looking shocked, then hurt. I was confused until her fingers flew to my mouth and tried to open it. Gradually, her facial expressions and actions convinced me that she thought I had taken the piece of puff out of her mouth so that I could greedily eat it myself. My explanations and protestations of innocence fell on deaf ears! Finally I could only appease her by offering her more toodle stars. (I call the puffs that because they're star shaped.) Delighted by my peace offering, Penelope started to grin and growl in appreciation.

That growl of hers is so funny. She likes to growl back and forth with Daddy, and she often growls when she's really excited about something. Grandma came over a little after one today, and the three of us took a long walk. Penelope got very excited because it was an especially shadowy part of the day. She kicked and growled the whole time. Then Grandma fed her some dirty, old snow which was also a big hit. (It wasn't really that dirty. I'm just a hypochondriac.) I took lots of pictures.


I just changed the scariest diaper ever! Penelope is now very pleased with herself because she sneakily found the remote control. She doesn't know I made it not work and hid the others from her, leaving that one for her to "find."

In other news, I'm so mad. Last night, I was giving Penelope a bottle and watching Olympic figure skating. I got really engrossed in the rivalry they were building up between the last two skaters. The first girl went and was phenomenal. Then when they were just about to show her score, Direct TV was like, "We know that you can't watch this channel." The broadcast never came back, so I never found out her score or got to see the other girl skate. At least I used the time to write three poems, but I was still mad.

This morning, my computer was eager to tell me that the last skater had the most awesome routine that was ever seen on earth and outscored her rival by some obscene number of points. Oh, but now Penelope is eating a doorstop. Perhaps I should make her some spaghetti.

Thinking About Contemplation

The problem with contemplation as an end is that any subject worth contemplating demands action. (I suppose contemplation can be an action, but probably not the way I do it.) I should ask my friend Sasha for her take on this. She's a nun (almost), so she should know. Nuns know everything--at least about contemplation.

Meanwhile, Penelope is spanking my toodlebutt again and laughing and laughing. She's so crazy! Now she crawled off with my phone and is grinning provocatively at me, obviously wanting to be chased.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Penelope is so funny! I was typing just now, and she came over and tilted her head sideways and stuck it in front of my face, and opened her mouth wide and grinned, and she just kept coming closer and closer, until she was putting her big smiley mouth on my face, and I couldn't see anything else.

I was like, "You crazy!"

She laughed and laughed and laughed and we went and rolled around on her butterfly.

Penelope Steals Daddy's Nana and Gloats About it From Across the Room

Daddy's Banana

Mommy: Look at the snow, Penelope!
Penelope: (in distress) OHHHHHHH!

Mommy: What is it?
Penelope: Daddy is eating my nana!!!!!!
Daddy: This isn't your nana, Nelope. This is Daddy's nana.
Penelope: Hooo.

Daddy: Okay, do you want a bite?
Penelope: I won't dignify that with a response.

Daddy: Okay, take a little bite. Take a little bite! Don't eat it all! She's EATING IT ALL!
Mommy: Of course!
Daddy: She can have the rest.
Mommy: I'll get a spoon!

Cool Snow Pix

Nell's Snow Day

Penelope was definitely not as excited about the snow as Daddy and I were. She was, however, very glad when Daddy finally showed up as I'd promised. I included one of these pictures because even though it's kind of bad, you can see a huge snowflake.