Friday, April 30, 2010

Scrunchy Phone Pictures

For some reason, when I upload pictures directly to the blog from my phone, they turn out all squinchy. Also, Penelope has somehow changed the font of all my google applications (or at least the way they appear on the screen). Anyway, she's having lots of fun crawling around the room, throwing various soft objects on top of her head to play, "Where's Penelope?" She laughs and giggles and shrieks and thinks this is the most fun!

Colors Penelope Knows

1. Red

2.  Bu

3.  Dahdow

4.  Burpah

Earlier as I was getting lunch ready, I heard telltale sneaky giggling, a sure sign Penelope was up to something naughty. 

I tried to find her, but she kept evading me.  Finally, I felt a tug on my pajama pants. 

She was grinning up at me, most of her face covered by the translucent purple lid of a plastic snack cup.

"What is so funny?" I demanded.

"Burpah!" Penelope cried in delight pointing up at my face.  Apparently, through the cereal cup my face looked "burpah," very funny indeed.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Penelope's Powers of Psychokenesis

A ball--a blue ball that appears to be from a ball pit--followed us on our walk today. Penelope was very excited to see it. She screamed, "Ball!" and reached out for it. I told her, "No! No! That's not ours." But then it followed us for a block and a half--even around a corner! I guess it was the breeze. Finally, I let her have it. She was very pleased.

She's been very vocal on our walks lately. Yesterday, she went, "Ohhh...Ohhhhhh... OHHHHHHHH! OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH"

"What's wrong, Penelope?" I asked her.

"GOVER!" she said emphatically. Sure enough, Grover was half a block back on the ground.

Today I thought I heard a hyena dying, but it turned out Penelope was "singing" on the walk.

The Search for Dada

Yesterday evening Penelope was being naughty in the kitchen.  Derrick picked her up, and she threw a fit.  Miffed (and hot from mowing the lawn), he went up to take a shower.  Moments later, Penelope disappeared while I was throwing away her diaper and I found her over halfway up the stairs.

"Where do you think you are going," I asked her.

"Dada," she replied.

"Oh are you going to apologize to Daddy?  I don't know if that will work.  You were pretty rude to him."

Penelope scrunched her nose and gave me a sly smile, as if to say, "Don't worry, Mommy.  I know what I'm doing."

She finished climbing the stairs with me right behind her.  At the top she gave me a sneaky little smile then poked her head around the side of the wall into the hallway that leads to her room.

Then she looked back at me, crestfallen with disappointment.  For some reason, I think she'd gotten the idea that Derrick was hiding over there waiting to make funny faces at her.  I have no idea where she got that notion.  Anyway, Derrick coughed and then she crawled into our room and found him.

The Creepy Kid in American Beauty

As I was lurking around Walgreens, trying to use my phone to take pictures of a dead butterfly blowing around the sidewalk in the wind, it occurred to me that that's what I must look like to passersby staring at me.  Or maybe they were just staring because my pants were falling down.  Or maybe they thought I was Joel Grey and wanted my autograph.  It is so windy today!  We are actually under a severe weather advisory.  Hutto is going to be warm and breezy all day!  (You can see, of course, why they'd want to warn us about that!)

Anyway, at Walgreens, I picked up a pack of rubber duckies (a mother and three babies) for Penelope.  She was quite thrilled when I showed them to her when I got home.

I set them in the bath tub and started running the bath.  Penelope freaked out, quite distressed because the duckies were taking a bath without us and we wanted to play with them so much, but we soon joined them in the tub and she calmed down.

She played with them the entire bath.  Normally ducks say, "Quack! Quack!Quack!" but hers said,"Duck! Duck! Duck!" as she swam them around the bath tub.


Well, I went back to the ENT this morning.  He says it sounds like I had an allergic reaction to the nasal antihistamine--which is pretty much what I had concluded myself.  Since I shot it right into my sinuses, the reaction was pretty dramatic.  He looked in my nose and said I looked very allergic.  The whole thing took five minutes and cost $55.  It's frustrating because the day I actually saw him first I was feeling better and only had a very little bit of pain in my cheek occasionally.  Now my eye is all messed up, my whole face aches, I have a cough and I look like Joel Grey in Cabaret.  (There's some kind of gelatin in these fake tears which is making my eyelashes look like I spent hours covering them with wax and trying to fan them out.)  And the spray that did this cost $30!  I guess it is good to rule out the possibility of a nasal antihistamine since he says I would probably be allergic to the others, too.  I guess I could carry it with me to shady parts of town and use it as mace--except with my luck the muggers wouldn't be allergic.  They'd probably be like, "Hey thanks for clearing up my allergies!  That mace works much better than Claritin."  Sigh.  Maybe they'd be so grateful they'd invite me to join their gang.



Tuesday, April 27, 2010


More Butterfly Fun

Butterfly in Flight


Our entire neighborhood is full of white butterflies. Penelope and I noticed that on our walk today. She'd get very excited and yell, "Buh! Buh!" Then when I (like a total jerk) refused to follow the butterflies away into the air, Penelope would make lots of complainy noises and groan in disapproval, "Ohhhhhh!"

We always walk past a weeping willow on Peaceful Haven. Usually, it is blowing in the wind, so we wave hello to it. I was distracted today, but Penelope stuck her arm out of the stroller, opened and closed the hand several times in a wave, and said, "Hi, Dohdoh!" It was so cute.

My eye was so bad last night that I called an opthamologist this morning. They saw me at 10:00. The doctor said my eye was inflamed but he didn't know why. He gave me some samples of liquid tears and tested to make sure the pressure in my eyes was normal. They couldn't dilate my eyes because Derrick was home with Penelope, and I'd taken the car with the carseat, and my parents are in Galveston. He said he didn't need to dilate them, though, because my pressure was the same in both eyes and normal, my corrected vision was 20/20, my optic nerve looked healthy, and my peripheral vision was fine. He said he didn't think an overcorrected lens would cause the problem. He recommended washing my eyelashes in baby shampoo and gave me samples of lots of different kinds of artificial tears and eye lid gel. He said if my nose doesn't run when I cry, I could have a blocked tear duct which would require surgery. He didn't see anything wrong with the eye, except that it was inflamed. He said not to take Nasenex if it makes my eye hurt, but since I already decided not to take the nasal antihistimine (because of that fiasco, from which I still have a cough), if I don't take the Nasenex, I'll be doing nothing the ENT said, so I can't really expect the sinus issue to improve for our follow up. I would rather have periodic ear pain (apparently not caused by fluid build up in the ear), though, than stabbing eye pain. So I don't know. And now I have a cough, too. The nasenex makes so much mucuous pour down my throat, and the antihistimine burned and burned my throat and made me not able to breathe.

Penelope is very interested in her toodle car right now. We took a bath earlier and had lots of fun wearing her fishie cups like a "hat."

Monday, April 26, 2010


Still sleepy

Tired Toodle!


New Haircut

The stylist was great--until he finished the cut by accidentally spraying hairspray directly into my right eye!  Penelope LOVED the mall.  We shared a pretzel and admired lots of colorful stuff.  Then we went to Alfred Angelo where she called Mom's friend Norine.

Eye Explosions

Not sure I should have gone to the ENT. Now I have a deep chesty cough and half my nose is bleeding. I definitely am not taking the nasal spray antihistimine again. I nearly drowned yesterday, and had a horrible experience that defies description. Then just when the stab, by pain in the side of my right nostril wore off, my eye developed explodey pain.

So anyway, now I'm going with mom to get a hair cut and a bridesmaid's dress.

Friday, April 23, 2010

"From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere."

I love One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish so much. Penelope is finally getting the attention span for it. We read almost the whole thing today. We skip around and read her favorite pages the most. (Her very favorite page is the inside cover, where we read, "To Miss Penelope Jane, with love from Grandpa and Grandma :)" She always smiles, and then she likes to smile at the friendly little fish patting the boy on the head and pat him on the head. Nice fish. She also likes the Yink, the bike, and, oh, she loves the part with the guy who has a bird stuck in his ear.

My favorite lately is Ned in the bed. He's so funny. He hates his bed, yet he's always in it, and instead of buying a new bed, he's cut holes into both ends of the too-short bed. And where do all those animals come from? I love that guy. (I also think that thing they find in the park is so funny. I always did. "He will live at our house. He will grow and grow. Will our mother like this? We don't know." That's so fun to read out loud. Penelope definitely gets the vibe that the thing in the bottle is quite suspicious. She barks at him and makes this confused face like, "I don't know what you are, but I'm sure you're up to no good." )

One Fish, Two Fish was my favorite book for a few months when I was five. Right after my sister was born, I used to listen to the book on tape every night as I went to sleep. My mom never really liked it. (I mean, she wasn't against it. She just likes the ones with more of a story better. She didn't hate it as much as Grover and the Everything in the Whole Wide World Museum, another favorite of mine at that age. She disliked that one so much because it required her to do a non-stop Grover voice for like half an hour.) I also liked the catalogue of the ships (just kidding).

When I was little, my very favorite part was the page where the sheep were sleepwalking. Pretty music played in the background on the tape, and I thought it was serene and beautiful, and wished those sheep would walk by our apartment, so I could see them. Possibly, I just realized, I thought they were so great because I'd just had a little sister named Merry who had a musical lamb that was not mine.

Ah, memories...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Daddy caught us!

We're going to get in trouble!

Penelope poses to stall for time.

Anything to avoid going to sleep!

Sinus Stuff

I went to the ENT today and had a CT scan.  It showed gunk just above my molar on the top right, exactly where I feel slight pain today.  The doctor said allergies would affect both sides of my face equally.  He says the issue is this little tuby place by my nose (his words exactly--just kidding).  It has a tendency to get constricted and not allow the right sinus cavity to drain properly.  He gave me two nasal sprays.  I see him again May 6.  If for some reason the sprays don't work, he can stick a balloony thing in there, in the office (his exact words again.  Med schools are getting surprisingly casual!  Welcome to Obama's America--just kidding).

Meanwhile, Rosie's rash is almost completely gone today.  I got back at almost noon and found her STILL ASLEEP!   Derrick said she kept opening her eyes and closing them again when she only saw him.

As soon as I started talking, she woke up.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Yink

Penelope is so funny when she's pretending to be the yink (from One Fish, Two Fish). (He likes to wink and drink pink ink, for those of you who don't know.)

I always wink at her and point to his eye, and then I make a slurping noise and point to his straw. So now when she sees him, she shuts both her eyes and makes this crazy noise (which is even funnier now that she's covered in pink spots).

Her rash has not gone away yet, but she seems to feel fine today. She was a little hooey earlier, but now that I've changed a delightful diaper, she seems pretty happy. I do wish the rash would go away, though.

Currently, she's taking Kermit's temperature (possibly because he needs new batteries and his voice sounds all weird, though really, I think she just likes being in control of the thermometer). Last night, she insisted on taking my temperature when I was trying to cuddle her to sleep. She's really not supposed to play with the thermometer, though.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Fever Free Day for Ol' Rosie Ola

In our follow up today with Dr. Little, we confirmed that Penelope has roseola. I'm so relieved. I was so tired of her running only low grade fever by day and then shooting up to 102-103 at night! Her fever broke about 10:00 last night, and shortly thereafter she started getting the roseola rash. She's feeling much better today and not running fever at all.

Meanwhile, I'm exhausted and feeling rather crappy. I'm seeing an ENT Thursday because of my recurrent ear infections (at least that's what I think is going on). If I have a sinus infection that just won't go away on its own, that could explain my occasional face pain and eye trouble, too.

I am tired and kind of achy, but I think that is from holding a burning hot, twenty-four pound, violently hysterical baby and pacing around the hospital from 11-1 while waiting to see the doctor. That or it's meninghitis or something else horrible, as I always seem to imagine at night.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Feeling Better

The Easter Bunny

We saw him in our bushes!

Dell Children's Hospital

Last night, Penelope's temperature kept rising, faster and faster. At one point, half an hour after a dose of Tylenol, she was 104.2, then moments later 104.6. I started to freak out. For one thing, we don't have a rectal thermometer. Because of her theatrics about being inconvenienced with any sort of probing, we have a forehead scanning one. She's never had a real fever before, so the chance of slight inaccuracy hasn't mattered before. It's tricky because I'm never 98.6, so I can't really take my own temperature to make sure my technique is correct. I'm almost always 98.2-98.4.

Everyone told us Dell Children's Hospital has the best ER. I guess by the time we got admitted and everything, it was getting close to an hour later. Her temperature at that time, rectally taken by them, was 103.8, so the forehead swipe was probably pretty accurate because the Tylenol had had longer to work by the time they saw her.

On the way to the hospital, I sat in back next to Penelope (who was confused and curious about our late night outing, though also sleepy and feeling icky). I sang her songs to try to make her feel relaxed. At one point, she felt around until she found my hand and then held it and gave it a little squeeze. Perhaps she was saying, "Please, Mommy. You don't have to sing on my account." She was not moving at all, except that she was looking around intently. Staring through heavy-lidded eyes at all the passing scenery.

When we got there, they put a plastic bracelet on her wrist (for the rest of the night, this, in her mind, became the scapegoat for all of her woes). Later, they weighed her (either 10.88 or 10.888), took her temp, gave us a dose of Mortin in a syringe, and moved us to another waiting room. We were supposed to give her the Motrin when she calmed down. Of course, she never calmed down. There was only one other patient in the second waiting room, an older boy (maybe 10), and his mother. The mother would not stop giving me unsolicited advice about how to calm Penelope down. Nothing makes me more agitated than people following me around telling me what to do in order to make Penelope and myself calm down. I've decided that I love people who work in hospitals and hate the other people who go there. The woman would not stop saying that I should take her outside and sneak the medicine into her juice.

I did not want to go outside, and Penelope is not a big drinker. She really only likes to drink milk and play with other beverages in her mouth and then spit them back at you. This woman was relentless. She meant well but she was driving me crazy! I don't know why people assume that because Penelope is my first child, I don't know her, have no idea how to read her cues, totally no clue what she wants. ("She's crying because she can't tell you exactly what she wants. You have to listen to her and look at her closely and see what she's trying to tell you." In my mind, I was like, "What was that, Penelope? What? Oh! She's telling me she wants me to beat you upside the head with this diaper bag." Out loud, I was trying to think of how to get away from the woman while still seeming polite.) Obviously, Penelope was trying to tell me that she didn't want to be at the hospital and she didn't want any strangers lurking around taking undue interest in her. (Besides, Penelope loves Tylenol, and she hates juice.)

Anyway, finally, we escaped from the helpful woman when she was called back to see the doctor. Meanwhile, Penelope felt like fire was radiating out from her skin, and her eyes were red, and she was totally hysterical. We couldn't even get her to take a sip of her water. Derrick finally tried to get the Motrin down her throat in little spurts even though we couldn't totally calm her. This resulted in hysterics. We got it in, and then I took her back. Immediately, she made herself throw up all down the back of my shirt. So much for the Motrin. (I brought spare clothes for Penelope, but none for myself, so I just had to make due with baby wipes.)

I finally got her to calm down by walking her down the hall where we discovered the chapel. I paced back and forth in there, saying, "Hail Mary"s (because she knows that one since I always say it while she plays with her rosary). We did this forever, and Penelope was totally calm. She was breathing heavily, so I thought she had gone to sleep, but it turned out her eyes were wide open, so we admired the lilies and the colors of things. (We steered clear of the font, just in case.)

(I am distracted while writing this because my stabby ear pain came back full force today. I'm going to try to go to the doctor Monday. She can't say this is just allergies because Penelope and Derrick are sick, too. Since this is the third time in as many weeks that the acute pain between the ear and tonsil has come back, surely there is something medically that can be done. I am scared to call because I go to all the trouble of going, and then she's like, "It's allergies," without even checking anything. I'd rather see the ENT, but I worry it may be harder to get an appointment, and with Derrick on call starting Tuesday, and Mom having pneumonia, and Penelope sick, I need to get this done Monday when Derrick can be with Penelope.)

Anyway, Penelope calmed down--until I took her back to the waiting room. So we went back to the chapel again. When she had calmed down again, we walked around other parts of the hospital, darkened and empty in the night. She enjoyed looking at some fish in a tank--until she spotted a check-in desk nearby. No one was there. It wasn't open. But she still got really suspicious and clung to me very tightly. So we left and found a little tree place that had a bunny in it. Then we saw a wall with lots of pink lights and pictures of children. Penelope actually perked up at this and even smiled. But just as she was getting happy, Daddy came after us to tell us the doctor had called us back.

I really loved the doctor. He was good with her and seemed to understand how best to accomodate her clinginess while still getting what he needed to examine her. He and I were both surprised when her ears looked good. He then found a lot of pus in her throat and decided to swab her for strep. He also ordered labs for a urine analysis (in case she had a UTI) and some bloodwork (in case it was strep pneumonia because he said weird strains have been coming back despite vaccination against normal strains).

To get the urine sample, they had to do an in-and-out catheter, which she did not enjoy very much. At least they had me hugging her while others held her down. My sole role was to comfort her. Derrick said later, "It was so funny the way her eyebrows shot up when they put in the catheter. It was like she was braced for the worst, but that took her completely by surprise! She was like, 'What the HELL? Of all the tortures you could have devised for me, this was not what I was expecting.'" By the time they drew the blood, she was very resigned to the whole thing, though no less enraged just beginning to get the idea that her pleas to go home were going to continue to be ignored. We chatted with the nurse who got the samples and found out that her son Cash had been a 27 weeker. She says he's really healthy now.

Then a nurse came in to take her vitals. Despite the fact that it was now almost two, and she'd had no medicine of any kind since 9:40, her temperature had gone down a little over a degree, which encouraged me.

After this, Penelope fell asleep on my lap. The doctor came back a while later to tell us that all of the tests had come back negative. He said the pus on the tonsils was just her immune system working normally. (I got to see that for myself while they were doing the catheter.) He said they'll send the cultures off to see if anything develops, but for now, we will assume she just has a virus. He also said she looked really healthy, apart from the virus, which is good to know.

Penelope woke up as we were carrying her out of the hospital, and when we got outside, she smiled. In the car, her temperature was down to 100.1. We didn't give her any more medicine. Then at five, she woke up with a higher temperature, 101 something. We gave her some Tylenol then, and another dose at 11:30.

She just woke up and Daddy is hungry.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Penelope's first Easter pt. 2

Easter chocolate bunny hop


Last night was a terrible night.  I don't know what to do.  I don't want to be reactionary but I want to protect her.  Derrick is such a good father.  He stays so calm and cheerful with her.  I try but can't help being afraid for her which ultimately is so selfish because what I am really afraid of is losing her.  I can't live without her.  She deserves a stronger mother who knows how to protect her.

On ie

That day my f and r keys wouldn't work and I felt like I was "on ie" I decided it was sunburn because when Derrick brought home the new thermometer I was like 98.8, but maybe it was fever that came and went quickly because I felt gross Wednesday and then wonderful Thursday, all ear pain even gone.  And I don't have pneumonia.  I'm fine.  So maybe she has that.


Penelope's temperature is hovering between 98.8 and 99.2 about three hours after the Tylenol, so she can't have anything too horrible. So far, she has no congestion, and no other symptoms other than the desire not to go to sleep. (She finally fell asleep. But she wasn't crying, just charming.) Clearly, whatever else is wrong, she is cutting that tooth. The only sign of discomfort she showed was mouth pain.

When she was little and cutting her first bottom teeth, we let her suck and chew on the stopper of the Tylenol bottle because she liked it so much. Now that she's a big girl, she still wants to, but she has so many teeth now. We worry she'll chew through the stopper and flood her mouth with medicine. So I took the bottle away from her and hid it by my side in the chair. And now I can't find it! Terrific! Just when we need it, it's totally missing.

While digging around in the chair, I discovered that there's this weird pit in the back of it that you have to tilt sideways to discover. It's this weird cravass half-way between here and the twilight zone. Guess what I found in there?!!?

The male giraffe!

He's been missing for like three months. I had pretty much decided he drowned in the Flood, so I was shocked to see him turn up. Of course, the giraffe won't control her fever!

Babies get little fevers all the time, and they don't die. Why do I always feel so worried that if she becomes ill, she will die? That does not make sense. I feel better now (but in the back of my mind, I am still crazy). I have reconciled myself to the fact that I may not be able to have any other children (which no one has told me. I just worry). But I have to have Penelope.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Noah's Ark

Penelope is currently putting her empty bottle in her Noah's ark and shaking it all over the place. She seems to feel much better after taking her Tylenol. She also feels much cooler to the touch. Maybe it's just teething or a little mild virus.

I don't know why I keep getting so mad at my poor mother. It's not like coming down with pneumonia is a stoning offence. Like when you hear someone has pneumonia, you're not really supposed to respond by screaming, "You selfish jerk!" and kicking them in the face. (I didn't kick my mom in the face.) I am angry because I knew she was sick when she walked in the door. But she had come all that way to pick us up. And I am such a hypochondriac, I try to compensate for that. I feel like I didn't protect Penelope because of my own character failings, and it makes me angry.

My manners are somewhat lacking, too. I was like, "You're sick. You look sick."

Mom said, "I don't have any fever."

So I insisted on taking her temperature, which was 99.4 the first time. But five minutes later she was 98.8. Then after all that not exactly welcoming behavior, I still went back home with her because I felt like a jerk, Penelope missed her, and she'd already come all the way out here to pick us up.

So basically, I managed to be really rude to my mother and still endanger the health of my baby.

At least Penelope is not exactly languishing. She just came up and whacked me with the rattling (because of the bottle) ark. She seems pretty happy. I read several complaints online that the ark part of the Noah's ark is useless as a toy, but Penelope plays with hers constantly.

Infant Tylenol

After some Infant Tylenol, Penelope feels much cooler and seems much happier. Who knows, maybe Derrick and I have been sick, too. We both have been having lots of ear problems. I don't know. The ADC nurse said to keep an eye on the fever. If it gets above 101, give Infant Tylenol. If it is still high in the morning, we're supposed to call and they'll make her a weekend appointment, so that's not too bad.

She seems much happier now. I am relieved that I thought to wipe off the little censor on the thermometer. I knew my temperature could not be 97.6!

Key Largo with Grayson did not go as well as The African Queen. He doesn't do so well paying attention to dialogue. At the very end of the movie, he was like, "Who's Frank?" And when Derrick said, "The guy who was in the army. The one who just killed the bad guys." He was like, "He was in the army?" So I think this was not such a hit.

We were having a nice evening until I started flipping out about Penelope. I'm too reactionary. I know I need not to worry so much.

Earlier today on our walk, we passed a boy with a ball. "BALL!" Penelope screamed over and over again. I told her, "We can't play ball right now, though." She said, loudly and clearly with a grumpy look, "TOODULL!"

It was so cute! I always say, "Oh toodle-doo!" when something doesn't go our way.

Meanwhile, Penelope has dumped her milk all over the carpet and seems very pleased with herself, so I guess she's not exactly languishing.


So I cleaned off the thermometer censor, and now her temperature is 100.6

Key Largo

We've had a stressful day. Mom found out that she does indeed have pneumonia, which just freaks me out. Lots of people have told me that it's not usually that contagious, but it just freaks me out that we were over there yesterday, and I saw Penelope stick her fingers in Grandma's mouth. Granted she didn't jam them down her throat or anything. I am now feeling really tired, but it may just be because I've been worried. Dr. Nichols's nurse told us to watch for fever. To me, she seems hot, but the thermometer doesn't say she is. But then it also says that my temperature is like 98. I'm very suspicious.

In other news, Grayson is here. I'll write more later. Penelope is very squinky. I can't help being worried. I wish this day would just get over with!


I wish I were not so stupid. Mom has pneumonia. I knew she was sick and it wasn't just allergies. I should not have gone over there yesterday. Penelope is acting funny but maybe that is because I am.

Happy Thoughts

I'm up late working on a book and hoping the eye thing is my imagination. I just wanted to take the opportunity to say that I love my little girl so much, and I'm so happy right now (despite the seeming conspiracy of all of my right body parts to thwart my happiness).

A year ago tonight, I was horribly worried because Penelope's first pediatrician's visit was scheduled for Friday morning. She wasn't eating as well as we wanted her to, and she'd been a little hooey and disoriented at first. I was worried (like seriously, literally worried) that Dr. Nichols was going to take her back and stick her in the NICU again. (That seems very silly now, but I really thought she might do it, and yell, "You call yourself a mother! You know nothing about being a mother!") (Keep in mind that I'd never met Dr. Nichols at that point and knew her only by her reputation of having fabulous shoes--mentioned by a couple of the NICU nurses and corroborated by Aimee.)

I used to worry about the dumbest stuff. For the first several doctor's visits, I also worried that Penelope wouldn't love me any more if I held her down to get the shots, so I made Derrick do that. I remember the second time she got shots, I came prepared with a bottle of snack formula. (The first time, we got caught without formula, and Penelope threw a screaming hungry fit until Dr. Nichols eventually spotted us some formula.)

The plan was, Derrick would hold her for the shots, and then I would get her and offer her the milk for comfort (thus making me the hero of the scenario). I remember what happened so vividly. She got the shots and then went to me for comfort. I offered her the bottle, but she didn't want it. She just wanted to nuzzle against my body and rub her face on my shirt near my breast. I had thought she would want milk, but she wanted me. As soon as that happened, I felt simultaneously so happily surprised and so stupid!

I remember, too, I was wearing the pretty pink shirt my mom got me with the little rhinestones on the chest. Penelope scratched her face on them, and I thought, "I will never wear this shirt again!" (Just recently, I was wearing that shirt, and Penelope was fascinated with the jewels, but then the next morning, her lips looked weird, and I was like, "She has a cold sore! She has chicken pox!" until I realized she'd scratched her mouth on my shirt. The moral is--I'm crazy.)

Snuggling in the bed with her during the rainstorm today made me so happy. I don't know how to explain why. I just love her so much!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

as of about an hour ago...

my right eye is really bothering me again! This is particularly annoying since the ear pain just stopped today. What is going on? Must always either the eye or ear hurt on the right side of my body? Maybe I'm allergic to bell pepper. We had chips and salsa at Chili's. Lately every time I eat salsa, indigestion ensues--like immediately.

Another theory is that crud from a plant got into my hair and fell into my eye. (This theory seems quite tenable since I picked some weird planty crud out of my hair earlier!)

Rare Footage: A Toodle Flirting with her Grandpa Caught on Film

Penelope's Post Chili's Zoom Session


Oooh! Grandpa and I finally figured out what "boop" means. It would seem that Boop is the name of Penelope's pink blankey.

A Wonderful Hug-a-Bug

Penelope and I had a fantastic nap today! We were at Grandma's, and it's always hard to get her to go down there since everything is so exciting. Plus, if Grandma takes her, she always tries to see what I'm up to and vice versa. At home, she's out within a few minutes. At Grandma's it's usually a struggle.

Today was no different. After a while, I decided to take her into Grandma's bedroom (I mean my Grandma) where we could lie down on the bed together. After running through her acrobatics routine (which will come in handy if she ever joins the circus), and remarking on the pictures of Wacko displayed on the mirror of the dresser, she finally settled down to sleep next to me.

She fell asleep with her head pressed against my face, so I decided to stick around a while to keep her from waking up too soon. Then all at once, I realized how wonderful and snuggly it felt, cuddling there on the bed with her. Penelope was warm, the room was cool, and outside, the rain was pouring down, spattering on all the plants in the backyard garden. It was very relaxing.

In fact, we had been talking about going to Chili's one night, just the two of us, and I decided that I wanted to go tonight and take Penelope. She was very well behaved and ate a ton!


Grandma is hug-a-bugging Penelope right now.  Before she picked us up about noon, we found time to sneak in a morning walk.  We got outside and discovered it was pretty windy, so I went back in and grabbed Penelope's socks which I put on her while she ate grapes in the stroller.  But then I got to thinking that it was also kind of cool, so I went back in again and grabbed her pants.  I lifted her out of the stroller and tried to cram her right leg into the pants.  As I did that, we suddenly saw the Easter Bunny in our front bushes.  He was brown and cute with a white cotton tail.

"Look, Penelope!" I whispered in excitement.  "The Easter Bunny."

She recognized him.  "MACKKKK!" she screamed at the top of her lungs. 

(She thinks bunnies say "mack" because the turtle on the facing page in her animal book says "snap snap.")

Surprisingly, the bunny ran away instead of striking up a conversation with us.  In great excitement, we raced over to the driveway to watch him hop away across the neighbors' lawn.  Penelope's pants were only on one leg and she was screaming, "MACKKK!" the whole time, so any bunnies watching us were probably highly entertained.

Later on the walk we saw a helicopter!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Daddy's Gift of Wind

Why did we name her Penelope? We should have called her Nausicaa! Derrick bought a column fan on his way home from work, and the cool breeze it produced seemed to send Penelope into some kind of religious frenzy. I took lots of video. She just went crazy, screaming and laughing, and shrieking and bouncing on her knees.

I'm frustrated on the video front. She was such a happy baby after that first week of transition, but in all the video clips we have from last year, she looks tortured and taciturn. That's because she HATED the video camera. She hates it less now, but it still seems to make her suspicious, so I can only seem to get clips of her laughing, screaming, or shrieking in a wild (and distracted) frenzy. She enjoys Mitzi's videos of Jackson, George, and Audrey so much that I tried to explain that I wanted to make some of her. She immediately went back over to the fan. I guess from her point of view, that was the most awesome thing in the room, so clearly that was what I wanted in my video.

She talks so much, but she rarely says anything on command. She will, however, point out body parts and locate objects of various colors when I ask her (particularly if she is trying to impress Daddy). So I tried throughout the evening to ask her about that on camera, but she just kept shrieking like a maniac and heading back for the fan.

At one point, I thought I was being really clever by setting her up on the couch away from the fan to ask her questions. But guess what she found on the end table? The remote control for the fan! She proceeded to turn the fan on and squeal and laugh again! That maniac!

She really loves the wind. We frequently "Weeeeeee" on our walks (i.e. if no cars are coming--and no workers are hanging around, I sprint forward yelling, "Weeeeeeeee!" until I get tired. Penelope kicks her legs and screams and laughs and generally carries on like a maniac.) She loves to feel the wind in her face and adores windy days. She also likes it when I point out the letters on the stop signs. She also likes to read "The Coves," and she always wants me to tip the stroller so she can touch the stone sign.

Also lately she keeps sniffing really, really loudly and obviously when we walk past the neighbors' vine of yellow roses. I kept encouraging her to smell them by sniffing the air myself (because they are divinely fragrant), and so now she really goes overboard with the theatrical smelling. She's very cute. She barks at every dog and yells "Bird" at every bird.

She was really happy today after our bath when she finally figured out a way to rip off my new glasses (because they sit more snugly on my face than the others). She put them on herself. In the past, I've put them on her and said, "Why hello, Mommy!" She always smiles in such an endearing way when I do that. Today she put the glasses on her face (kind of crooked) herself, patted her chest and declared, "Ma!"

"Oh are you Mommy?" I asked.

She laughed and laughed.

"No you're not!" I cried exposing her. "You're that little sneaky!"

Also (as I posted on Facebook) I finally figured out why Grover always jumps out of the stroller yelling "Aaaaaah!" exactly as we pass big piles of leaves and oak pollen. (That plush puppet is really doing his part to pollenate the neighborhood.) Before, I thought this was just an annoying (for me) coincidence. But then today during lunch, I realized that during Prairie Dawn's Four Seasons pageant, Grover is the stage manager. When Cookie Monster talks about the leaves falling to the ground in Autumn, Grover dumps down a bucket of leaves from up on the catwalk, but he leans too far forward and goes plummeting headlong to the stage right behind the leaves, yelling, "Aaaaaaah!" We watch this every day while we eat lunch, and Penelope turns to me in glee and laughs at that part of the show in exactly the same way as she does when Grover jumps into the leaves on our walk.

At this point, Grover really needs a bath!


So Derrick discovered a blogging app for the phone.  I think I have a sunburn.  The weather is so unpredictable I have a hard time timing the walk well and dressing us appropriately.  Because I got so much sun yesterday, I slathered us in baby sunscreen.  Of course, while we were out it starting raining, just where we were walking like a cloud was following us!  Penelope got sunscreen in her eyes.


I wish I had a hemomee. And a wokin keyoad. I eel like i am on ie.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Census Dog and Fatty Fatty

I just realized the humor in the fact that it's the dog from the stable in Bethlehem who was such a big fan of the census. He would be, wouldn't he? It pretty much made his career, making him that shepherds' dog. The only problem is, Facebook on my phone keeps barraging me with little tidbits about census progress, and I kind of think the Rosie O'Donnell/Donald Trump feud that got so much airtime on Fox News at my parents' house was more newsworthy than some of these "breaking updates" about how cooperative people are being about counting themselves in Kentucky, etc.

Meanwhile, Penelope informed me this evening that her name is "Pup." Pointing to a picture of us together, she said, "Pup." "Is that Penelope?" I asked her. She nodded yes and said again, "Pup," and then she noticed, "MMMmmmamamama." Then she noticed a pepperoni pizza in a little pop-up ad on the sidebar. "Mummummum...."

She's being awfully cute today. She really got on Derrick's case earlier for not playing with her the minute he walked through the door. But she forgave him once he started playing Cheetah with her. Then we all went out into the back yard to grill burgers. (Well, Derrick grills, and Penelope and I run around in the stroller, bark at the neighbors' dog, and blow Hello Kitty bubbles in the wind.) Thank goodness Nanny and Papa gave us their grill because otherwise, we'd never have dinner. We seem to use it no less than four days a week, and sometimes more.

Penelope loves it! (Well, she doesn't eat hamburger, but she loves the cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, banana, berries, and grapes that we eat with the burgers.) She's very cute when she watches "Alex Trebek," too, because lots of times she gets very excited with us and yells out "answers." And lots of times, too, she and Daddy play "peek-a-boo" around the ketchup.

After dinner, we headed over to Grandma's house to feed the kitties. Penelope enjoyed giving treats to the black kitty, who greeted us when we arrived.

(Technically, this cat is named Fatty Fatty. I don't like that name, so I usually call her, "Black Kitty," but tonight I called her, "Fatty Fatty," because I didn't want her to be afraid and run away before I gave her some food. She got in a fight with another cat or a raccoon, and her throat is a mess, and I wanted to make sure she knew I was the person coming to feed her. Mom found this poor, declawed cat in the street and let it stay in her garage several years ago. Originally, she called him "Blacky." But then one day she was out in the front yard saying in a cutesie little voice, "Hello Blacky! You're a good boy!" She looked up to see one of our teenaged neighbors across the street staring at her incredulously. "I was afraid he thought I was talking to him," Mom said, "so right away, I said, Black Kitty. That's a good kitty, Black Kitty." She then told me that she was changing the cat's name in case people got the wrong idea, so she settled on the much more PC choice, Fatty Fatty. Then later we learned Fatty Fatty was a girl.)

Anyway, we fed the cats, played with Winnie the Pooh and Big Bird, knocked down some ups, and then performed a noisy recital on the piano. I'm sure Penelope is wondering what has happened to Grandma and Grandpa, but luckily, they will be back tomorrow. I know she was confused about why we drove all the way over there and then left ten minutes later without waiting to say hi to Grandma and Grandpa. I tried to explain, but I'm never sure how much she understands.

I always give her detailed explanations of things because I remember how I thought about things when I was little, and then I see pictures of myself, and I realize my thoughts were more complex than my ability to express them. So maybe that's true for her, too. Anyway, we got to listen to Lady Gaga in the car, so she was happy about that, at least.

When we got home, she was supposed to go to bed, but Daddy ran out to the grocery store for more milk. I asked Penelope, "Do you want to go goodnight?" She smiled politely and shook her head "no." We read a couple of stories, and then we watched me blow bubbles (which is hard with Trident). I've been chewing gum to try to help my ear, but so far, it has just made Penelope jealous and suspicious.

She keeps coming up to me and going, "BLAHHH," like opening her mouth wide and sticking out her tongue, the way I do to her when I suspect she's eating something disgusting. When I open my mouth back, she tries to steal my gum. But I can't stop opening my mouth back, or else she might, too, and yesterday she was eating the M that fell off Derrick's keyboard. So it's good to keep those channels of communication open!

The Census Loving Judean Dog

Penelope is really into dogs lately, probably because she has mastered their noise. Right now, she's playing with the dog from her nativity scene. Last night, she "wuhwuhwuh"ed him across the keyboard and apparently (as I learned later when my sister commented) she made me a fan of the US Census on Facebook. I've got to change her in a minute, but as soon as I do, I can cut up some grapes and take us for a walk. After not hurting at all Sunday, the stabbing pain in my ear came back full force yesterday. Beats me. It's a little better today.

Finding Penelope's Eyes

Last night, Penelope and I put on a show for Daddy. At my request, she showed him her nose, her ears, her mouth, her hair, her belly button, my belly button, and the freckle on my shoulder, which she calls, a "DOTuh." When I asked her to find her eyes, though, her finger hovered vaguely just above the skin somewhere between her eye and ear, closer to the ear. I tried to show her her eye, but she turned her face a little, and I ended up poking her in the eye.

"No wonder she doesn't like to find the eyes," Derrick said.

A few minutes later, I asked, "Where are Mommy's eyes?" Immediately, Penelope bent forward and down so far that she brought her head all the way to her feet. Derrick was laughing and laughing. "Please, Mommy! No!" he joked in her voice. "Don't find the eyes again!"

When I asked about her toes, she grabbed her diaper. She did that in the bath tub, too. Maybe because she thinks that she's finding the top and bottom of her body. I'm not completely sure because she's known about toes for many months.

Wuhwuhwuh OOOOOooooo!

Penelope is playing with Monkey Dog while we watch her show. Once again this morning, Dora the Explorer came on when I turned on the TV, showing just how dependent we are on DVR. We have never changed the channel from Nickolodeon, despite watching TV all night.

Dora and her monkey were dancing the mambo, so Penelope grabbed Monkey Dog to dance with them. "First stand up," said Dora. Then while Dora was giving all the other instructions, Penelope was still trying to stand up while holding Monkey Dog. The look on her face was pretty funny. She was like, "Slow down, Dora! I'm not quite with you! My Spanish isn't so good, and my English and my legs are still a little shaky, too!" She seemed very perplexed, so we turned on Sesame Street.

In other news, I can't find Moo Baa and Dear Zoo anywhere, which is bad news because she loves them both so much. I am hoping they "fell" out of her diaper bag in the car and are down on the floor board in the back seat. In the meantime, we read selections from One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish and Opposites, among others. We also read the little farm animals book. I was really confused why Penelope was yelling, "MAKKKKK" at the bunny. Then I realized she was trying to say, "Snap! Snap!" like the turtle on the facing page.

I'm still laughing about how Grayson picked up Penelope's egg and said, sounding jealous, "No fair! She got glitter eggs...with raisins inside?!" The look of shock and amused disgust that swept over his formerly jealous face when he opened the egg and found the raisins inside was just priceless. I've been trying to think up other classic movies that might interest him since he got such a kick out of The African Queen. I just realized that stuff I post on Facebook won't last long, but hopefully, we'll be able to keep the text of this blog forever. I'd better make sure I record all of Grayson's amusing sayings both places.

Oh, apparently I'm involved in a ball game. I guess when I'm sitting on the floor, I'm automatically playing ball!

Monday, April 12, 2010


Penelope now says, "Nonono!" and quite theatrically every time we do something she doesn't like, someone on TV is naughty, or she wants something and we don't let her have that.

Last night when Grayson had to go home, we heard lots of "Nononono!" and "Bubba!" being wailed from the back seat on the way home from Aimee's house. We stopped for dinner at Red Robin where Penelope chowed down on the appetizer (i.e. the frozen strawberries in my freckled lemonade). Then she tried desperately to catch the eye of a two or three year old boy at the table behind us. When her coy smiles and waves didn't work, she began barking, quacking, and camel spitting. (She and I were camel spitting again just now.) She's so cute when she does that.

This afternoon when Daddy got home, Penelope was yelling, "Nonono!" at the naughty dog on Sesame Street. Daddy said, "That's right, nonono," and Penelope got quiet and got this stricken and puzzled look. We couldn't figure out what was going on until I finally realized, "Oh, she thinks you're telling her nonono!"

She was quite funny after her bath, too. As usual, she was crawling away rolling around all over the bed as I tried to dry her off. I said, "Penelope, we'd better get your diaper on before your toodle butt does something dangerous!"

Penelope immediately rolled onto her back, grabbed both legs, pulled her legs totally apart, lifted her torso and widened her eyes, like, "Ooooh! What is it going to do?"

She's so funny!

Suspicious Goings on at the Hippo House

Penelope has gotten much better with the ball after our weekend with Grayson. She's now bounce passing it to me and getting it here most of the time. (She just yelled, "HERMA!" She's looking for Kermit because his song came on. She's now trying to play catch with Kermit, but he just fell down when the ball hit him. "Ohhhhhhhh!")

This morning she noticed the numbers in the top corners of her hippo book for the first time. Hippos Go Berzerk counts up and then down as 1 hippo calls 44 friends, who arrive in groups of 2, 3, 4... and then leave 9, 8, 7...

Penelope has not picked up on the counting aspect before, and it seemed to freak her out. She kept gasping and pointing at the number in the top corner of the page each time. Then I'd count the hippos on that page, and she'd look at me with her mouth open in shock, like, "Woah!" (I'm imagining Keanu Reeves in The Matrix.) She also noticed for the first time that there were sheep following the hippos, sneaking up on those numbers in the top corner of each page. I told her these were really clouds, but that didn't stop her from touching them, saying, "Baa! Baa!" and looking highly suspicious.

When we turned on the TV this morning to watch her show, Dora the Explorer was on since Grayson was here this weekend watching Sponge Bob and ICarly. Penelope was immediately fascinated, and when I tried to turn it over to the Playstation, she screamed passionately, "NONONO!" She lost interest after about five minutes, though.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Greedy Gaga

Penelope: Heeheehee!
Mommy: Oh? Is Gaga eating your raisins? Um mum says Gaga!

Penelope: What?? Oh no! Gaga! These are Penelope's raisins! Hoooo! What a nightmare!
Mommy: Oh, Penelope! Gaga didn't really eat them! You silly!

Penelope and Gaga (the Snake) S-T-O-P to read "The Coves"

My D-O-G Eats Raisins

Penelope spent most of our walk this afternoon barking at neighborhood dogs. Every time we'd pass a fence with a barking dog, she'd yell, "Dog," and then start going, "WUHWUHWUH!" at the top of her lungs. Usually, she would then stuff pancake into her mouth and gobble it down as fast as she could. I guess after those flesh eating geese honked and bit at us trying to steal her bread, she no longer trusts noisy animals around her food!

For a while, we were swinging in the park where we met a little girl named Avery, nineteen months. Penelope tried everything she could think of to get this girl to look at her and admire her swinging practice--to the extent that she almost hurled herself out of the swing. Now we're home playing with Daddy and Bubby. Penelope is very excited to be playing ball with Grayson. When he throws it or bounces it around her, she yells, "Ball!" When he ran into the other room with it, she screamed, "Nonono!" She is all hoarse from screaming and shrieking so much (which often happens when Bubby is here).

In the pictures, you see her barking back and forth with me when we got back to Penelope's house.

Penelope Repeats the Rude Noise the Geese Made at Her to Scare Away a Hungry Duck

Birthday Highlights

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

We've had an awesome day so far, if a little crazy. Since it's my birthday, we went out to lunch at Chick-Fil-A (where Penelope was very suspicious of the woman sweeping the floor. Derrick joked, "Why are they taking away my mess? Nobody ever does that at home." After the manager came by with the broom and dustpan, Penelope got very concerned about the pieces of fruit and chicken remaining on the floor. She really wanted me to pick them up, like, "Hey, Mommy, hurry! That woman might come and take my crumbs, and I might want to eat them later!")

Anyway, after Chick-Fil-A we went to the grocery store, got some cupcakes, and went to the park by Mom's house. Because the bathrooms in the park are not choice, we stopped by Grandma and Grandpa's to use the restroom, change Penelope, and wash out the new sippy cup I bought her at the store. That also gave us a chance to check in on the kitties (who were fine, of course, since Mom and Dad left just this morning).

Penelope was happy to see Pooh but was very confused and frustrated that she couldn't find "Mawmaw" and "Bupaw" who did not appear even though she kept calling for them noisily.

As soon as we got to the ducky part of the park, Derrick got a business call and had to run back to my parents' house to send an e-mail. Grayson, Penelope, and I decided to wait to have cupcakes until he could join us, so we hung around by the pond, feeding ducks while he was gone. Grayson really enjoyed feeding the ducks bread. Penelope decided that she preferred to eat the bread herself. This was all well and good until she taunted some geese and they attacked us. One was actually biting and snapping at my leg, and I had to shake him off my pants very violently, which was hard because I had been trying to hold Penelope and take pictures of Grayson. This fracas started because the geese wanted Penelope's bread and honked at her. She returned their ugly noise at them, which apparently was too much for their pride.

Anyway, pretty soon, some other children came, and Penelope and I watched as Grayson and the two other kids played on the rocks and looked at ducks and turtles. Grayson was fascinated by one duck who was climbing on another ducks back and "trying to swim on top of him" for some reason. I speculated, "Maybe they're in love." Grayson didn't think so. He had many theories. The duck was very persistent. He kept following all the female ducks and hopping on their backs, and then the other males kept yelling at him. It was rather exciting. Penelope thought so.

We sat on the rocks watching Bubby, and she continued eating the duck bread. At one point, a duck came up and quacked in her face, wanting the bread. Penelope snatched her bread away from it and made a loud noise in his face, mimicking the sound the hostile geese had made at us. The duck backed off. He was like, "That chick's crazy!"

Anyway, after a while, Daddy came back, and we all had cupcakes, which was very exciting, too, because they had lots of blue and purple frosting. Derrick thought Penelope should have a piece without frosting. Penelope disagreed and took steps to thwart his plans.

Anyway, we're at home now, watching Jumanji while Daddy runs to the store to get burgers to grill. Mmmmm!

Penelope Loves Bubby

The African Queen

Derrick bought me The African Queen for my birthday, and he let me open it when it arrived this afternoon. I wanted to watch it and suggested, "Grayson might like it." Derrick was skeptical. "It's all about presentation, though," he noted. It's true, usually he picks movies based on the DVD case, and he was unlikely to be interested in a case that featured only the faces of Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn looking old and boring (from his point of view).

While Derrick was on a conference call, the kids and I had scooter/stroller races in the cul-de-sac and then walked/scooted down to the park to swing. Of course, Penelope was basking in the glow of her brother's smile and swung much longer, higher, and more enthusiastically than usual, trying her best to keep up with him. Then Grayson played on the playground with twin three-year-old girls (who seemed to adore them) while I chatted with their mother (who, as it turns out, is the owner of that lovely 2 we stop to admire every day. The house number on their driveway is painted on with a Texas flag background.)

During all these adventures, I made a point of talking up the horrors of leeches in graphic, gory detail, with the result that practically the instant we got through the door, Grayson announced that he wanted to watch The African Queen. After Derrick wrote another business email, we ordered pizza and watched the movie while we ate.

Grayson (though vocally impatient for the part about the leeches) seemed to enjoy it. He seemed to think it was a story about two weird people who took turns being crazy and blew up a boat full of jerks who deserved to get blown up (which is a pretty good synopsis).

He was horrified and puzzled about the destruction of the mission and village by the German troops at the beginning. "Why would they do that?" he asked. "Those people weren't doing anything. They had nothing to do with their war! That's not a very good way to have a war. If I were those people, I'd blow up the German boat, too. I'd drop a missile out of a plane." Later he asked, "Does she know how to get back into the boat?" At the end, he yelled, "Hooray! The end! Die, die, Germans!"

As we were putting in the movie, I'd mentioned that The Jungle Cruise was intially inspired by The African Queen, so Grayson was expecting to see some cannibals. At the end, he pointed out rather astutely, "But you know, there never were any cannibals."

He had me there.

"That's true," I said.

Smiling, he suggested, "Maybe that guy who married Rosie was really a cannibal."

"And that will be the surprise on their wedding night," I suggested.

"Yes," he said with a devilish grin. "Maybe that's why his stomach was making all those strange noises."

So the day ended well, though we had a frustrating middle. My keyboard shorted out in the middle at the same time as the touch screen on my phone (which is necessary for operating the phone) broke for no apparent reason. Derrick managed to fix it by tapping the corner, but something seems broken or shorted out in there. Trying to fix everything before he got home, I muttered under my breath, "S**t!"

Penelope thought that was the funniest word she'd ever heard in her life. "It!" she screamed back at me, laughing hysterically.

So we screamed her version of the word "it," back and forth as loud as we could for several minutes, and she literally fell down laughing. This made me feel much better. Speaking of laughing, Derrick had all three of us in hysterics earlier when he was lamenting that although he is the only one of us that has no problem sleeping at night, his problem is that we all keep him from sleeping. He did great impressions of all of us. We laughed and laughed. I hope tomorrow we can get some cupcakes and go to the park. We can't go anywhere exotic because Derrick is on-call this weekend.

On a much sadder note, after battling cancer for several months, my Uncle Bruce died this morning, and my parents are on their way to Missouri for his funeral, which is being held on Monday.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Well, my eye is red, my keyboard shorts out every ten seconds, and my phone is broken. It broke at exactly the same time as thte keyboard. Penelope didn't even have it. I don't know what happened. I've tried to fix it for half an hour. We missed bath time because I'm such an idiot, and now we need a nap.

I am upset. My Uncle Bruce died today, and my parents are going to Missouri. It's rather hard to communicate with anyone.

Edible Hats

I've been trying to write one short blog entry for like half an hour. Now I can't remember what I was even going to write! The keyboard went dead again, and then my phone wouldn't work either! (In fact, the phone still won't work!) Now the Penelope alarm is going off. Time for a bath or milk. Oh now I see why she is upset. The screen is frozen on the haunted mansion. She must have hit freeze.

This is not what I was going to say, but yesterday at lunch, Grandma set various objects on her head while we were waiting for the food to come (such as piggie). "See my hat?" she'd say.

As a result, when the food arrived, Penelope kept putting food in her hair and then smiling over at Grandma.


Penelope woke up all hooey at 8:30 this morning, much earlier than usual.

When I asked her what was wrong, she said, "Boop." I let this go and started tickling her on the bed. But she didn't want to play. She kept crawling all over the bed saying, "Boop!"

"Are you looking for Snoopy?" I asked her.

Penelope gave me the look of doom, not unlike the look someone might give you if they were drowning in the ocean and you ran over to the railing of your cruise ship and asked, "Do you want Snoopy?"

Downstairs in the kitchen, again she said, "Boop."

"What's wrong?" I asked her.

Penelope glared at me, sighed heavily, and said loudly and clearly (in exasperation, no doubt), "BOOOP!"

She said it like 20 more times. I thought maybe she'd pooped, but that wasn't it either. Finally after breakfast she seemed willing to let it go. We read a bunch of stories. She was really into Cinderella this morning. She was so expressive facially. She smiled at the mice. Then when we saw the stepmother and stepsisters making mean faces while Cinderella balanced their breakfast trays, Penelope was like, "Ohhhhhh," with furrowed brows and a wide, o-shaped mouth. Then she made another face of concern when they ripped up her dress. She gasped and quickly looked up at me, like, "Why would they do such a thing?" She's so funny!

(Just now, "A Song from Kermit" came on, and she grabbed Kermit as always. Then she started using her little electronic ABC thing to teach him the ABCs. Currently, she is "driving" my camera across the carpet, "Vroom vroom.")

When we read the Touch and Feel Farm book, the first time she grabbed my hand and used it to "feel" the animals (the way she was doing with the phone yesterday), and then the next time, she started rubbing it on her face. Then she had me feel her hair, which was also very soft and fluffy. "Wuhwuhwuh!" she said as I felt her hair. She's crazy!

Buffalo Cookies

I think they should call these animal cookies buffalo cookies because I haven't been able to identify one that was anything other than a buffalo yet! Penelope does not seem particularly concerned about this problem, however. She just shoves the entire cookie into her mouth without looking. I try to encourage her to look, but she waves her hand at me like, "Later, Mommy. Later. Can't you see I'm busy eating cookies?" (I left them on the TV tray by our cuddle chair, so she's been finding them every morning.)

My ear is much better, though my eye was pretty red again when I woke up. No pain, though, so I'm just avoiding looking at my face (a good idea under any circumstances, really).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Day in the Park

The Rock

Penelope loved our walk in the park. She yelled out all kinds of things, such as:

Ack! Ack! Ack!
Moww Moww Moww! (at a stray cat)
Wuhwuhwuh! (at dogs)

She was jabbering away about some other stuff, too, but I forget what. (She's been really vocal all day. This morning, when I opened the door of the toaster oven, she breathed, "Tot oht oht!" (She seems to start at the end with the word "hot.")

On the ride home (well, for her it was a ride), Grandma found a rock shaped like a heart on the ground and offered it to Penelope who loved it so much that she waved it around for the rest of the walk.

Unfortunately, she wanted to chew on it.

We'd tell her, "Don't put it in your mouth," and she'd try to obey us, but her resolve would only last for a minute or two. The third time she tried to eat the rock, I confiscated it. This led to such torrents of tears you'd think I'd tried to measure her head circumference or something.

She didn't seem to be throwing a tantrum for my benefit. She was just sobbing and wailing and lamenting. After a while, I gave her one more chance, but this didn't stop the crying. Apparently, she was very upset with me because she started jabbering at me, assaulting me with the most defensive gibberish I've ever heard.

She really loved that rock and continued to play with it once we were back inside.

Lunch Date with Grandma

Our Day with Grandma

Nellie and I had a delightful day with Grandma. She surprised us by actually coming right over when she said she was coming over, so we saw her driving up while we were still on our walk. We raced her home down our street, but, of course, she won!

In honor of my birthday (which is not technically till Saturday), my mom took us to lunch at Antonio's. Penelope had a delightful time and chowed down on chips, carrots (from my tortilla soup), rice, beans, cheese, tomato, avocado, and cheese enchilada. She also enjoyed coloring, attempting to eat crayons, and smiling disarmingly at various people walking through the restaurant. Of course, when she was done, she was done, but she was still pretty good.

Then we went to Dress Barn where Grandma bought me some new jeans and shirts as a birthday present. At first, I was not thrilled about this because I hate shopping for clothes, especially when taken by surprise. Penelope didn't want to go either. When Grandma asked her if she wanted to go get clothes for Mommy, she very clearly said, "Nononononononono!" But she still seemed to enjoy herself when I got in there, and so did I. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for the new clothes!

After Penelope's nap, we took a walk, all the way to the duck pond because the weather was so nice today. (My ear infection seems to be lessening in intensity, although the other ear is now feeling suspicious.) Penelope really enjoyed seeing ducks and children and flowers, and I got lots of great pictures. We had a fabulous time!

Here Comes the Easter Train!!!!

Sock it to me

Just now after our bath and my shower, Penelope and I headed downstairs. I called to Derrick (who is taking his contacts out), "Will you find me some socks?" because I like to give him vexing and impossible assignments of this nature. (I recently washed like ten pairs of socks. I recovered none.)

Anyway, Penelope babbled something at me in great excitement at the top of the stairs. I had no idea what she was jabbering about. But then when we got down here, and I set her down, she cruised over to the end table where I had set her old socks when I stripped her for the bath.

With a big smile, she handed them to me, clearly pleased with herself.