Tuesday, August 31, 2010

An Evening at Grandma and Grandpa's

Yesterday's Lick-Lick

"Oh my!" Lick-Lick

"Perhaps you lived in squalor at some point???"

Ratatouille has some great lines but seems to be over Penelope's head overall. She insisted she wanted to watch it, however. Now she is insisting she wants to watch, "Culk!" She just brought me the Incredible Hulk DVD. I don't think she will like that any better, and we are going to Grandma's in a few minutes. Derrick is at the office, and he has a business dinner tonight, so we're going to hang out with Grandma and Grandpa for the rest of the day.

Penelope still thinks Daddy is upstairs in his office. Earlier, she kept throwing herself against the gate, hollering desperately up the stairs, "Dad! Dad!" over and over. When I tried to explain that Daddy was gone, and that we were going t0 see someone else tonight, she pointed at the door and yelped happily, "Bubba!" so I'm pretty sure she mistakenly expects Derrick to walk through the door with Grayson any minute.

Weirdly, the only parts of this movie Penelope likes are the scenes between Colette and Linguine. Maybe she's a romantic at heart. She got peanut butter all over the house just now. "Oh my," I said, and she echoed, "Oh my!" in that squeaky little voice of hers.

Earlier, we were coloring and she got VERY upset. I was coloring balloons for her, and then she'd take the notebook and make it fly around. Eventually, I started coloring something else. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" screamed Penelope. "BOON! BOON!" Then she started saying something more like, "Ahlllboon" and handing me the colors of the ones she wanted to see next. But then I drew a heart on one balloon, and she didn't like that one to put it kindly.

She snatched the colors away and said snootily, "Boon!" Then she scribbled all over the page and looked down at what she had drawn in horror. Clearly, she had been intending to show me how one makes a balloon properly, and she was horrified by the results. She threw down the crayon, hit herself in the hand many times, screamed, "NOO NOO NOOO OHHHH NOOO!" buried her face in the carpet and started sobbing until I finally consoled her with "lick-lick."

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lick Lick

We're watching Lilo and Stitch, and Penelope has decided she loves her new favorite snack, "lick-lick." (Most people call it peanut butter on a spoon.)

She held up the spoon and said, "Pease," so I got her some more peanut butter and tried to teach her to say, "Thank you!" At first, she decided to spank me, but eventually, she did say, "Fank."

"You're welcome," I told her, which made no impression. We're really enjoying Lilo and Stitch. We're a lot like Lilo and Stitch. (We trade off which one is Lilo and which is Stitch.) Penelope is very concerned about the well being of the "monser." She was also she so impressed by the fire juggling that she burst into spontaneous applause.

The Sauce Monster

As you can see in our pictures from last week, Penelope has developed a recent obsession with "SAUCSHE!"

She loves dipping sauces. Her favorite is "Pek," aka Ketchup. She has discovered she also likes McDonald's sweet and sour sauce and carmel dip.

At Grandma and Grandpa's on Friday, she caused kind of a panic when she suddenly turned red and blotchy after lunch with huge spots all over her face. At first, I said calmly, "It's just from all the sauce. She gets a spaghetti rash, too. It's just contact skin irritation."

But Mom kept worrying, and then it started getting worse, and I totally started freaking out and worrying it was The Fifth Disease. A fiasco ensued.

But it really was just irritation from having sauce smeared all over her cheeks for so long.

So, Penelope's favorite fast food meal? Apple dippers, milk, ketchup, a couple of fries, and lots of sauce from McDonald's.

After Mickey...

After Mickey Mouse, we are watching one of these movies:

Finding Nemo
Lilo and Stitch
Curious George

I have given Penelope a choice and am excited (to be watching anything besides Mickey, Pooh, and A Bug's Life).

Penelope's Story

Last night (not long after finding the pea), Penelope grabbed The Cat in the Hat and said imperiously, "Me read." She proceeded to "read" the following: "Cat. Hat. Sit sit sit sit. M'ow. No no no no no No NOOOOO NOOOOO!" It was a pretty accurate retelling of the story.

She's so funny lately. Last night, she tricked me and ripped off my glasses.

"You little sneaky!" I accused.

Happily, she jumped out of the chair and started to run away all over the house, still holding my glasses and yelling triumphantly, "Sneak! Sneak!"

This morning, she thought it was terribly funny to feed me a piece of toast--and then halfway through to start stuffing as much toast as she possibly could into my mouth. She laughed out loud when I started to protest around all the food. Then she snatched away my next piece of toast and yelled, "Mine!" We tugged it back and forth until she finally threw it across the room.

"Oh my," she said with wide eyes, watching it sail away. Then she smiled endearingly and started to "pahpahpat" me, probably to ensure that I wouldn't get mad at her. Next we read One Fish, Two Fish, and she insisted that Daddy was her mother (as usual).

Currently, she's dancing around with the keyboard that she inherited from Derrick's friend Lisa's daughter Payton. Yesterday she was playing and "singing" and dancing all at the same time. Then she handed it to me and said, "Play," so I turned it on to the setting where you hit a key and it plays a whole melody. Penelope looked really impressed and started dancing.

"Wow, Mommy!" Derrick teased. "You're awesome!"

Then when I gave it back to her, I left it on the same setting. She hit a key, and it started playing a song. She hit another key, and it started playing another song. After a while, this was starting to stress her out and confuse her. Soon she was hitting no keys, yet the music was still playing to her bafflement.

"Shhh!" she yelled down at the keyboard. It was awfully funny.

In other news, we drafted Fantasy Football teams in our real league last night. (Derrick and I have like nine practice teams we drafted in other random leagues.) For the second time in three years, I drafted last.

My team:

QB: Philip Rivers
RB: Rashard Mendenhall
RB: Jahvid Best
WR: Andre Johnson
WR: Hakeem Nicks
WR/RB: Hines Ward
TE: Vernon Davis
K: Robbie Gould
DEF: New Orleans

BN: Michael Crabtree
BN: Mike Williams (TB)
BN: Davone Bess
BN: Thomas Jones
BN: Ben Roethlisberger
BN: Clinton Portis

This was not exactly the team I wanted, but I think I have become better at drafting over the years.

I am a bit nervous about how we are going to watch football this year. Penelope does like to watch laptop cartoons, but what are she and Grayson going to watch together when they both start whining about football? Time will tell...

Penelope and the Pea

Last night in bed, we were reading a book of Disney fairy tales. One happened to be "The Princess and the Pea," and it was the first time Penelope had heard that story. A few minutes after finishing, when we were reading Mickey Mouse's Picnic, Penelope started to squirm. Soon she was tossing and turning and thrashing.

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

Finally, she shifted, lifted the pillow she'd been lying on, and peered underneath suspiciously, complaining, "Pea!"

The first time she found the pea, it was really funny. But that pea kept her from sleeping for some time, and she even started looking for it again this morning.


Playing chase with Penelope is so fun. She just grabs any random object, yells, "MINE!" and starts running when she wants to play. You have to chase her--just stay a little bit behind and always reach out your arms and wiggle your fingers--and yell, "Mine!" every so often. "I'm going to get you!" also works. She shrieks and giggles. She's so cute! We can play this for like half an hour at a time. I don't know where she gets the energy because I'm usually just kind of walking, but she runs as fast as she can!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mickey's Hansel and Gretel

I found the best cartoon on Youtube--or so I thought. It has no dialogue (which this blog's spell check insists is not a word), just Mickey and Minnie Mouse acting out the story of Hansel and Gretel to the tune of the Danse Macabre. I thought it was so awesome. We've watched the Donald Duck "Trick or Treat" cartoon so many times, that I thought a different option might be nice.

But towards the end, Mickey and Minnie both actually fall into the flaming oven where they are chased for several nail-biting minutes by a gigantic witch-like fire monster. Penelope yelled nervously, "Oh no! Oh no! Mick!!!!"

"It's okay, Best Friend," I told her. "Mickey will get away."

But Penelope didn't believe me and couldn't make it to the happy ending. She buried her face in the carpet and started sobbing, so we had to switch back to "Trick or Treat." Too bad. It was a really compelling alternative--from an adult point of view.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Walk With Grandma


Ddd Moon Ddddd

Penelope decided to read me a bedtime story last night. She chose My Little Golden Book About God.

"Ddd Moon Dddd," read Penelope. "Dod." Then she pointed to the cover. "Mame," she read. "Peepee Jaye. Mame." She smiled, pointing at the name-plate-like box on the inside cover. Then she pointed out "a duck" also on the inside cover, and began to quack noisily. After noticing a few points of interest inside the book, "Star. Moon. Baby." She then shut the book, "Amen." And then she found "a duck" on the back cover, too. What a good story!

She also amused us by finding my deodorant and sticking it down the front of her shirt, commenting, "Ode ode!"

That's because when she sees me use it, I'm always putting it on when my shirt's already on, because I only use it in front of her when I've left it in the bedroom instead of the bathroom.

She was funny last night. On the way into Grandma and Grandpa's, I spotted a little kitten, and we pointed it out to Penelope. But the kitty ran away.

"Shy," Penelope commented, shaking her head sadly. Then she said in a cute little voice, "Run!"

Later, after dinner, she and Grandma were watching Snow White, but towards the end, Grandma had to turn it off because Penelope insisted she was, "Fraid!" She kept making fearful faces and shivering and pulling close to Grandma--even after Mom put in a different movie. Then she wandered into the darkened front room saying, "Fraid!" and making soft little fearful sob noises. When Mom went after her, Penelope pleaded, "Fraid!" and conned Grandma into picking her up. Then she said happily, "Moon!" and pointed at the front door, so this "fraid" bit seems to have been part of a larger scheme to get taken outside.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dinner with Grandma and Grandpa

You Can Leave Your Hat On

Hanging Around with Mommy


Last night while we were cuddling in the big bed reading some stories, Penelope violently rejected the milk Daddy offered her and accidentally punched me in the right cheekbone with it.  Needless to say, I was not thrilled.  I jumped out of bed a abruptly, said, "No story," and sat on my knees on the floor with my head down on my hands in the carpet--an odd pose, but I was trying to keep from going ballistic in Penelope's face.

After a few seconds, she asked, "Mama?  Mama?"  I ignored her, though I was kind of stunned because she hasn't called me anything at all for like three months.  She kept at it, so finally I sat up and asked, "What is it, Baby?"

Seeming very encouraged by this response, Penelope joined me on the floor and put her head in the same weird position I'd held for so long.  "BAHHNK!" she commented and then "pahpahpat"ted me.

"Oh, are you sorry Mommy bonked?" I said.  "But Mommy didn't bonk.  You hit Mommy in the face."  This made no impression.

Moments later back in the bed, I interrupted story time again to complain about my ear pain to Derrick.

Penelope decided this was a great time to pull up my shirt and blow raspberries on my tummy--which is a very spitty and giggly process by her method.  She continued this for like five minutes, and we were all cracking up by the end.  I hope she doesn't tell her therapist one day, "It was my job to cheer my mother out of her violent mood swings."  I've tried very hard to be in a better mood today--despite the relentless deep ear pain.

Penelope's new thing is saying, "Yeeeeeehsss!"  in this crazy voice.  We had a lot of fun with a big purple hat after her bath.

Pull Pull

Okay, I'm in a somewhat less horrible mood after my little rant. Actually, I'm just in a good mood because Penelope and I have been watching Donald Duck cartoons on Youtube, and now we're going to watch Annie. Plus, Derrick bought me a Twix bar.

I just hate not seeming pleased when people seem to want me to be pleased with them, and then I feel angry and resentful. I mean, I don't want to be difficult, and I do think the ENT is a good doctor who is very informed in his field and is trying his best, but I...

...have gold fish swimming in my tea.

I guess that will give it a nice, cheesy flavor. I guess I should just be grateful that Penelope hasn't spilled it all over the carpet.

Okay, that's ironic. She did spill my tea all over the carpet, and while I was trying to stop her, the browser closed, so I just reopened this post draft.

Penelope is asking for cheese. She really likes string cheese, we discovered yesterday. I do wish my ear would stop being so full and hurting. I feel like I'm going to throw up.

Yesterday afternoon, Penelope handed me the blue violet crayon and observed, "Pull pull." Then she laughed, tugged hard on my shirt, and said, "Pull! Pull!" She laughed and laughed.


I am really exasperated. My left ear abruptly started hurting A LOT and being stopped up at 11:30 last night for no apparent reason. Sometimes, I wish a big boulder would just fall on my head.

I wouldn't mind so much if I had an ear infection, but apparently, I cannot get ear infections. Everyone else in the whole world can get sick and then get well again, but I only get all the symptoms of something without actually having it and then have to pay huge copays and take lots of nasal sprays.

Penelope, however, continues to be adorable. She has decided she loves "cherri"es and looked like a little vampire last night after dinner.

I have really decided that I hate all doctors and find them useless except for NICU doctors, pediatricians, and my psychiatrist, and any of my friends who happen to be doctors. I am just getting so angry and exasperated. I hate going to the doctor so much. I keep going to get help, but I get no help, and I get the idea that people think I am just a big hypochondriac who simply loves going to the doctor and would be delighted to try out new sprays.

Question: If I do not have allergies, why do I need to take nasal sprays? Why did I have surgery if I still need to take nasal sprays?

I am really angry and fed up and frustrated and as I told Derrick last night, the most irritating part is that this makes me seem completely raving insane. Why do I have all these symptoms if I don't have anything.

It just makes me angry. I feel like doctors expect me to be pleased to hear the great news that they are not going to do everything for me but that I get to come back and see them again. Oh goody! I should go to medical school.

It is a trap. A GP isn't expected to have specialized knowledge and if you don't have a fever, they can't (or won't) do a thing for you. A specialist, of course, only knows his area. So he doesn't really care what's actually wrong with you. I wish there were some global health provider who could actually help people the way there is for children, someone who actually cared and really thought about what you were saying, and looked into the concerns that you had rather than making up theories in a rather high-handed deductive fashion. It enrages me. My body is full of evidence, but if what I am experiencing doesn't fit the ready-made theory the doctor has already come up with, I'm instead told that I'm not really experiencing it.

Shouldn't medical diagnosis be an inductive process? Otherwise, you could just tell everyone that they had the same thing (which could explain why diseases and conditions suddenly increase by like 400 percent in like two years and then disappear).

I'm sorry. I'm feeling bitter right now--possibly because I'm covered in iced tea. (Someone found my "straw" and has turned herself into a sprinkler.) "Teet teet!" says the sprinkler. I guess it is a birdie with a worm in its mouth.

PS I was wrong. The sprinkler wanted to watch, "Trick or Treat."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


She also says, "Circ" to identify a circle. And then when you color it in, she says, "Moon!" We're watching Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, eating string cheese, coloring, and sometimes singing.

Heart, Star

Oh yeah! And she constantly says heart and star, to identify them. She also says "hole." Currently, she is trying to get her crayon to stay stuck in the "hole" in the spiral notebook.

Dirt Face

She also says dirt and face. She just came up to me with her Mickey Mouse A Picnic in the Woods book to show me that Morty has "dirt" on his "face." Oh no!


Yesterday Mom took us to the store and treated me to some groceries. This should have put me in a very good mood, but instead I was in a horrible mood all day because my ear/neck/throat/tonsil area hurt so much. I'm so exasperated and fed up with all of that and don't understand why it can't be resolved. We spend so much money going to the doctor, and nothing ever seems to come of it.

But at the store, courtesy of Grandma, I got Penelope some magnet letters for the refrigerator. The only thing that package says on the back, alarmingly, is that if your children swallow them, the magnets will rip apart their intestines and they will die. So that's good news. Thanks for doing your part to cheer me up, magnet letters! (The eggs I bought were more helpful. "From Texas-raised chickens"--precisely the information I was seeking.)

At home, while I made us scrambled egg/avocado/jack cheese tacos for dinner, Penelope busied herself ripping all the letters down. "BB," she'd say, and throw it on the floor. Then "PP." She would reach for them and say, "REACH!" and then she'd say, "Down down down!" When she ripped as many letters down as she could reach, she said, "A mess!" as if that had been her goal all along. Then, to my surprise, she started saying, "BB PP up up up!" She actually picked them up! (But then she ripped them down again.)

Penelope probably doesn't realize she'd get in trouble less if she didn't narrate all the activities she is trying to keep secret from me.

We are currently having a little issue with coloring in books. She seems to be of the opinion that she can color in her books if she is writing her name. The problem is, she cannot write. But if I tell her, "NO! NO! No color our books!" (Me talk like Tarzan because word Don't Confuse Penelope), she points to the name plate and insists, "Name! Name!" and that is the only place she's coloring, the area right around the name plate on the inside cover. So I guess she is under the impression that she is writing her name (or doing the same thing I do when I write her name in that place) which is making this discussion trickier.

Words Penelope Says

I read online yesterday, that children Penelope's age should know fifty words, and I was worried that she didn't know enough at first, but then I thought, she probably did but I wasn't able to count in my head. Just for fun, I made a list of some words she says. I think she actually says other words, too, but these are the ones I can think of off the top of my head. My mom always had stuff like this in my baby book periodically, and I don't really do it often, so I thought a list like this might be good to have.

1. Croak
2. Duck
3. Straw
4. Suck
5. Moon
6. Sun
7. Coke (Toke)
8. Down
9. Up
10. Mess
11. No
12. Yes
13. Hiiiii
14. Bye bye
15. Daddy
16. Bubba
17. Pa
18. Mamaw
19. Ball
10. Meow
11. Wuhwuhwuh
12. Um mum
13. Dog
14. Eat
15. Mad
16. Bath
17. Quack
18. Pig
19. Oink
20. Mick (Mickey Mouse)
21. Milk
22. Ju (Juice)
23. PP (Letter P)
24. BB (Letter B)
25. Bee bee (Bee)
26. Fy (Fly)
27. Saht (Swat)
28. Pee pee (verb)
29. Boat
30. Neighh
31. Moo
32. Cow
33. Tock, Tock ick (chocolate)
34. Took, Tookie (cookie)
35. Po, Pret (Pretzel)
36. Kick
37. Mo, more (more)
38. Oh no! (alarm, versus plain no)
39. Oh my!
40. Fy (fly verb)
41. Buzz
42. One
43. Two0000
44. Free (three)
44. Fo (Four)
45. Fiiii, Five (five)
46. Sick (six)
47. Eight
48. H
49. Pooh
50. Bugs (Usually meaning a bug's life)
51. Roahhhh (roar/lion)
52. Baa baa
53. Red
54. Bu (blue)
55. Browwwwn
56. Wit (witch)
57. Hou (house)
58. Queak (squeak, mouse)
59. Hoof
60. Foot
61. Hand
62. Paw
63. Nose
64. Eyes
65. Ear
66. Tail
67. Me
68. Mine
69. Mame (name)
70. Tea
71. Toodoo! (I say, "Oh, toodle doo!" like rats)
72. Rats
73. Sit
74. Bonk, Baaahhhnk
75. Reach
76. Nice
77. Boat
78. Truck
79. Car
80. Uh oh
81. Wet
82. Tut tut (if it is raining)
83. Tea
84. Pick (chip)
85. Raise (raisins)
86. Toas (toast)
87. Ghos (ghost)
88. Boo!
89. Puck, Bumpbump (pumpkin)
90. Tick (trick)
91. Nana, banana (banana)
92. Chee, cheese (cheese, or cheese for a camera)
93. Don (Donald Duck)
94. Ball
95. Bang
96. S(h)oot
97. Iiiice, iiishe (ice)
98. Bock (block)
99. Conpooah, poohah, com (computer)
100. tock (for a clock or watch, a tick tock)
101. Sick
102. Ouch
103. Buh (butterfly--wish I could get her to say more of the word)
104. Pizza, zaza (pizza)
105. Pease (please)
106. nice
107. Min (Minnie Mouse)
108. Dope (Dopey)
109. Noke (Pinocchio)
110. Pete (on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse)
111. Jack (Jackson Chapman)
112. Bun (bunny)
113. Hat
114. Reach
115. Bird
116. Teet (tweet)
117. App, app-puh (apple)
118. Stuck
119. Happy
120. Chee chee (a squirrel nosie, or weirdly a snail noise)
121. Cuh (colors, crayons)
122. Brock (chicken noise, chicken)
123. Peep peep (chick noise)
124. Beh But (belly button)
125. Breast
126. Snee (sneeze)
127. Pink
128. Bank (blanket)
129. Pee-oh (Pillow)
130. Love
131. Swing
132. Boon (balloon)
133. Tawtat (faucet)
134. Baby
135. Wah (wash)
136. Hot
137. Told (cold)
138. Ope (open)
139. Tose (close)
140. In
142. Out
143. Car
144. Tar (guitar)
145. Book
146. Toe
147. Ahh dog (hot dog)
148. Phone
149. Daaahh (dance)
150. Amen!
151. Piece
152. Sock (shock)
153. Knock
154. Key
155. Feeshee (fish)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Three Rayburns (and one picture of two Rayburns)

The horrors of grocery shopping

We went to the most horrible place with Grandma today. It was full of wonderful things like pretzels and cookies--but all of them were stuck inside of closed bags that you couldn't get open. Finally Penelope got her hands on something that wasn't stuck in a bag--a big, round, red, ripe tomato! But just as she was about to sink her teeth into it, I took it away from her and stuck it in a bag. She cried and cried and in a blind rage stubbornly hid her face behind a package of cookies for the remainder of our time at H-E-B.

She didn't finish her morning milk, though, so I think she was hungrier than usual. I also think the milk might have tasted funny to her because she usually finishes that first as she wakes up, and today, she took one sip and then gobbled down an entire piece of hazelnut poppyseed toast which is unlike her.

We were in the bath tub when Grandma arrived--in the bath room. My were we surprised! Penelope had been "hiiiide"ing her little duckies underneath my leg, and her first instinct when Grandma said, "Hello," was apparently to hide herself. She lunged forward in this weird way, bending at the waist until she was almost parallel to the surface of the water. But then she quickly snapped out of that and let Grandma dry her off while I jumped in the shower to wash my hair.

We took a bath early today because she didn't get one yesterday. She insisted on taking along a little collie with a fluffy tail she got in a Burger King kid's meal in Las Cruces this summer, even though he is not a bath toy. She liked the way his fluffy tail became so easy to bend and shape when wet. In the tub, she put him on the Mommy duck's back along with the three babies and said happily, "Ride!!!" Our other new game was to make her "pee pee"ing duckie sit on one of her little cups and use it as a potty. Penelope was very pleased when the duckie would pee.

She'd pat him on the head and say, "Pahpahpat, duck!" And then she'd command, "More pee!" That poor duck peed for like half an hour. Good thing Grandma showed up when she did. He probably would have gotten bladder strain. (I made that up...I think. Watch, I'll probably get it tomorrow. My throat hurts like crazy today and is driving me crazy.)

Oh, I forgot I was blogging! I'll post this!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Crazy Day

This has been a strange day since I didn't sleep last night. After I had yet another CT-scan (soon I will have super powers of some sort, I'm sure), the ENT told me that my sinuses are looking beautiful and my septum is nice and straight. I did, however, have SEVERAL bloody scabs in my nose. When he removed the last one, it got stuck, and there was lots of blood and pain. My mouth has been feeling raw today. That always happens when I pull the scabs out or he removes them with his nose-cleaning tool. He said that the ear/throat issue was likely the eustachian tube. He said arthritis in the jaw could cause some pain near the ear, but because I have fullness and ear popping, the issue is probably that the tubes have been slow to heal after the shock of the surgery, and so they are still changing in pressure as they become swollen and then open up. He says it seems to be the ear, not the jaw. He sat cats were on the allergy panel. I am not allergic to them. He also says the red eye issue sounds systemic and not triggered by an environmental allergen but rather by some brain process that's saying "dilate blood vessels." He gave me the name of his own opthamologist and suggested I ask his opinion. (Hopefully, his opinion will not be, "You fell on your head in October, and now you have slow leaking brain death seeping into your eye.")

Meanwhile, at the moment, the little Alice in Wonderland doll Penelope got in a Happy Meal seems to have fallen into the training potty, where she is wailing piteously. I'd better go rescue her!

Performance Anxiety

I know I shouldn't be angry, but this is so frustrating.  The only reason I can't sleep is that I have a stupid doctor's appointment at nine am.  This is so frustrating!  This ALWAYS happens--only when I have to wake up at a certain time!  I'm so angry!

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Penelope always insists that our indoor dome lights are the "moon," so when she pointed to the ceiling and yelled "Moon!" last night while we were cuddling in my bed reading stories, I was not surprised.

When we leave my parents' house, Nellie always looks up to find the actual moon. Grandma then tells her, "I see the moon, and the moon sees me. God bless the moon, and God bless me." Then Penelope yells, "Amen!"

We go through this little ritual inside, too, when she finds the fake moon. I didn't think she knew the difference.

Anyway, after she attempted to distract me several times (because we were on our last story, and she was stalling), I stopped responding with the poem.

Instead, I said, "Goodnight, Moon! If that's the moon, then it must be time to go good night." (We don't say bedtime. Weirdly, I always used to tell her, "It's the goodnighttime." Then Derrick started saying, "It's time for the goodnight.")

Anyway, Penelope didn't seem to agree with my assessment and was positively alarmed when I closed the book and told her, "Good night."

"No! No!" she yelled desperately.

A thoughtful pause followed. Then she pointed up at the light again and said hopefully, "Sun!"

I was awfully impressed. So she does know that's not really the moon! And she's such a sneaky! And she did a better job of rewriting Shakespeare than a thousand monkeys at a thousand typewriters! That was practically a direct quote from The Taming of the Shrew (if you ask me).

My ability to put her to bed was much less impressive. When Derrick showed up she was still wide awake, literally trying to climb the wall. It was after one at that point and Grayson (and I assume Derrick, too) had already been asleep for roughly three years.

We should start all reading bedtime stories in the big bed together. That way, Derrick and Grayson can fall asleep in the bed, and I can go put myself down in the crib while the amazing Spidergirl goes climbing around on the roof hunting for the moon until the sun comes up!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Free Birds Fun

Mickey's Big Dance

Penelope's watching the Mickey Through the Looking Glass cartoon on her Alice in Wonderland DVD. Last night, just when Derrick and I were settling down to sleep, I realized we needed to change her before bed. She was very wet and tooting an awful lot. You know when she does because she yells, "Toot!" with a big grin.

I used the LED flashlight on my phone to change her, but Penelope kept yelling, "Chee!" and grinning because she assumed I was taking her picture, which was annoying but terribly endearing.

She's really warmed up to spending time with Uncle Jason today. She'll be thrilled when she realizes that Bubby is coming tonight!

Dinner with Uncle Jason


Penelope refused to nap yesterday at Grandma's, so she fell asleep in the car on the way home. She stayed asleep when Derrick carried her inside, so I went up to bed with her while Derrick and Jason played video games downstairs. I didn't want her to wake up alone at a strange time and be hysterical. Just as I was starting to work on my book, Penelope woke up. When I turned on the light, she seemed to find it offensively bright, so we just cuddled together in the big bed watching old Disney cartoons on Youtube on my laptop.

She's so much fun to watch cartoons with! She yells out words she knows as she watches. She's so engrossed, trying to follow the story and observe interesting elements. Some of the older cartoons were so mean spirited, though. Donald plays a nasty trick on Pluto in one and puts ice skates on him while he's sleeping and pushes him out onto a frozen pond. When Pluto wakes up, he is so stricken with confused panic. Penelope was horrified by this and seemed very upset, so we never watched that cartoon again. Her favorite is the Halloween one about Donald Duck and Witch Hazel. She also seemed to enjoy the Hawaii one, and the one in the camper. She liked the one about Old MacDonald duck--until he started trying to blow the fly up with the milk. Then she was very, very worried about the "bee bee." (The fly buzzes, so she refused to believe it was a "fy" like the kind she always tries to "saht saht" with the flyswatter at Grandma and Grandpa's.)

She also seemed distressed by the Lonesome Ghosts one. She kept yelling out, "Oh no! Mick! Mick!" Apparently, she was concerned that Mickey had walked into a trap.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Rayburns and Jetts

Unsuccessful Murder Attempt

In a house that smells sooo good...

Uncle Jason is here today. Right now, he and Derrick are at a happy hour/going away party for a member of Derrick's team at work, and Nellie and I are over at Grandma's house. Aunt Merry just left to spend the evening with Courtney, and Grandpa is doing something businessy and exotic. When they leave the happy hour, we're all having dinner over here. Mom is making roast beef, mashed potatoes, jalapeƱo poppers and Boston Cream Pie. (That's a surprise, but I saw it in the refrigerator. I can't remember her ever making one before, but this one looks delicious.)

Earlier, Derrick, Jason, and I had a Jeopardy marathon. We still have like fifty episodes on our DVR. After a while, Penelope got sick of that, popped in an Alice in Wonderland DVD (by herself) and looked shocked when it didn't start playing on the TV. Jason noticed this, and I said to him, "She's probably like, 'That's enough Alex Trebek! Let's watch something else.'"

Penelope caught the last part of what I said and turned around in joy, not knowing I was vocalizing for her. "Yay!" she yelled, clapping her hands. She was quite disappointed when nothing came of this. Eventually, she ran away up the stairs, so we played in her room for a while. Jason and Derrick got to play a bit of Super Mario Brothers for the Wii.

I took lots of zany pictures with Merry before she left.

Red Eye