Monthly Archive for September, 2007

22-months old today!

Claire is 22-months old, today (Sunday, September 30, 2007)! It was three months ago today that we had our first trip to the ER. You can still see her scar, but it’s definitely starting to fade. I am happy to report that the trauma of that day has faded as well.

22-months old today!

Here is a picture of Claire that I took this afternoon. It’s a really sad state of affairs when such a cute little girl has nothing to play with and no books to read. 😉

Homemade Raspberry Cobbler

A few days ago, I mentioned how my late grandmother’s homemade raspberry cobbler is one of my favorite foods.  I’ve been asked to divulge the family’s secret recipe, and I’m not sure if I should.   😉   Just kidding.  It’s not really a secret anymore, since my family compiled and printed a Family Favorites Cookbook in 2004.  The book is 303 pages long and was professionally organized, edited and printed by one of my sisters who happens to be a graphic designer and editor.  It’s fabulous, and it’s great to have all the recipes of our childhood in one place, complete with a little memory blurb by each one.

So, without further ado, here is my grandmother’s homemade raspberry cobbler recipe (as found on page 143.):

Fruit Cobbler

For the fruit part of the cobbler:
Fresh or frozen fruit of your choice: blackberries, cherries, raspberries, rhubarb

Mix together in a pan and cook on stovetop:
1 to 2 T of water on fruit
Approx. 2 T sugar (note: cherries = more sugar; raspberries or blackberries = less sugar)

Bring to a boil and add 1 T cornstarch that has already been mixed with a little water.  Pour hot mixture into the bottom of a baking dish.  (Special note regarding rhubarb: Use ½ C sugar and 3 T cornstarch.)

For the topping:
Cream together ½ stick margarine + ½ C sugar
Mix in: pinch salt (1/2 tsp)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
½ C milk
1 to 1 ½ C flour (the more flour added, the stiffer the topping will be)

Spoon over hot fruit and bake in oven at 350-degrees for 40-minutes (for a 9-inch baking dish).

The above recipe was acquired and recorded by my mom, and she made the notes about using rhubarb, etc.  My mom’s version of this cobbler is awesome, too, but there was just something about Grandma’s cobbler.  I doubt she ever looked at a recipe, and she always used fresh raspberries that she had picked herself or with the help of her grandkids.

She had a huge raspberry patch by her garden on the farm, and I have the best memories of picking them with her.  The hardest part about picking the raspberries, besides avoiding the thorns, was making sure I actually had some raspberries left in my bucket when we were done.  😉

The topping part of the cobber was actually my favorite part of the dessert, and I remember how the raspberries would turn the underside of it a wonderful purple color.  The raspberries were absolutely delicious too, but I would scrape those off and eat those first, saving the best for last.

I haven’t had a chance to make this dessert myself, and I may try it one of these days.  The recipe hasn’t been altered to accommodate high-elevation baking, and to be honest, I’m just not sure how to do that.  Sometime, when I have the time, I’ll figure that out.  Even if I had a chance to make it, I have a feeling it just wouldn’t be the same.  😉

Things we learned by traveling through Europe

Things we learned by traveling through Europe &
Handy tips for when we go again (in no particular order):

  • It is possible to communicate with someone when you can’t understand a word they’re saying.
  • “WC” stands for “Water Closet,” and is a wacky way of saying “restroom.” Oddly (and luckily), WC is universal in all the European countries we visited.
  • When in a restaurant, just go in and sit down. Don’t wait to be seated. The waiters are very confused by that.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for an English Menu! “Zwei karten auf englisch, bitte” seems to work well in German.
  • Close your menu when you want to order. Your waiter will magically appear within moments.
  • You have to ask for the check. It won’t matter how long you sit there. “Die Rechnung, bitte” is the way to say that in German.
  • Buy small bottles of water and then refill them at the hotel. Carry those in your day-pack. The water is fine to drink in Europe, and it’s much cheaper to do it this way.
  • “Wassa mit gas” is mineral water in German.
  • Diet Coke is “Cola Light” or “Coke Light” in German.
  • Buy food and drinks at the Hauptbahnhof (main train station) before getting on the train.
  • Buy cheap razors and fingernail clippers there – since you can’t take them on the plane. Plus, it’s quite an experience in one of those stores.
  • A detailed city map that costs 2 Euro is worth $500 (especially in Amsterdam). Buy it!!
  • The Eurail Pass is the only way to see Europe! Riding the trains (especially the ICE) is the best!
  • Only one bag allowed! Pack light! Pack an empty day-pack in your bag. Bring it home full of water and treats for the plane.
  • Don’t forget your memory cards or the little adapter for your charger! Digi-cams are awesome!
  • Finally…even if you completely lose your sense of direction, don’t ever lose your sense of adventure or your sense of humor. Sometimes you find the best places and meet the nicest people when you are completely lost. 😉

You can read all about our trip to Europe, and about all our adventures in each city:

Munich, Germany
Salzburg, Austria
Vienna, Austria
Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Brussels, Belgium

Photo Friday – Claire loves to color

Claire loves to color.  Thankfully, she will sit and do this for a long time, and it actually makes it possible to get meals and other work done in a relatively calm fashion.

This morning, I had to go to the dentist for my 6-month cleaning, so Daddy got Claire up and fed her breakfast.  When I got home, he was quietly working on his laptop, and she was happily coloring.

I love it!

So, in honor of Photo Friday, here are some pictures of Claire coloring.  Doesn’t my baby look like such a big girl!?

Claire loves to color.  She is quietly working on a masterpiece.

Everyone likes it when Claire colors quietly…  What a pretty picture!

Have a great weekend!

Our Trip to Europe – Sept. 2004 – Brussels, Belgium

Wednesday, September 29
Travel via train to Brussels
Check into Hotel Opera:Notes from the day:  This hotel has the “scary elevator”…NO DOOR!Brussels is amazing.  Our hotel is literally two minutes or less from the Grand Place.

Thursday, September 30
Explore Brussels
Notes from the day:  We took off on foot and got very, very lost.  🙂  After sitting in a nice little bar with a bartender who spoke French, Dutch and Italian, we finally found our way.  A little old man gave us directions.  🙂

There are over 2000 restaurants in Brussels.  Amazing!

We saw a statue of a naughty little boy.  He was actually naked for our visit.  Sometimes passing dignitaries clothe him.

Friday, October 1
Check out of Hotel Opera by 6:00 a.m.
(to reach train station and airport in time for our international flight)
Travel from Brussels to our local international airport, via Atlanta
Take a ride on the SuperShuttle!
Arrive at our house around 7:00 p.m.

The above excerpt is from the next portion of our Itinerary.  (Be sure to read about the time we spent in Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, and Amsterdam.  You can also read about the overall trip, here.)

After our stay in Amsterdam, we were anxious to see what our hotel in Brussels would be like.  Technically, we’d already been in Brussels, as that was where our plane had landed at the beginning of our trip, but we went directly from our plane to the train to Munich, so we hadn’t had a chance to explore Brussels yet.  After stopping at the Tourist Information Booth at the train station and picking up a free city map, we were pretty sure we knew how to get to our hotel.  After second-guessing ourselves a couple of times, we made it!  Luckily, the hotel was awesome!  As you can see from the Itinerary above, it was literally two minutes from the Grand Place, and it was great being so close.

Brussels is a gorgeous city.  Like many of the other cities we’d seen, a lot of the buildings are lit up at night.  It was magical walking through the Grand Place at night with the glow of the lights enhancing the intricate stonework of the buildings.  The attention to detail in the buildings was amazing.

Stonework

So many restaurants, so little time!

There are over 2000 restaurants in Brussels, so finding a place to eat wasn’t a challenge.  Deciding where to eat was!  The food was amazing, and we felt pretty comfortable in such a metropolitan city.

On our full day of exploration, we set out on foot.  It was in Brussels that we got completely turned around and very lost.  We had a map of the city, and we’d marked different landmarks we’d wanted to see.  As we set out, we were having a great time seeing all the sights.  We went into a park, and wandered around before coming out a different entrance.  That’s where we got turned around.  I told my hubby that I felt as though we were walking in circles, but my hubby didn’t believe me.  He’s normally great at “knowing” which direction is which (and I’m not), so he was frustrated that we couldn’t figure out where we were on our map.

We’d decided to stop and look at the map again, when I saw the same little building we’d passed TWICE.  Not wanting to believe me, my hubby insisted that it couldn’t be the same place.  That’s when I grabbed the camera and started clicking back through the pictures.  There it was.  The same little building we were staring at again!  How did that happen??  Where were we??  How do we get to the next palace on our list??

Yep, we’re lost!

Here is that cute little building.

We weren’t angry with each other; we were just frustrated that we were so lost.  We found a cute little pub and decided to warm up, have some hot tea and look at the map after we’d calmed down.  It was about 2pm, and we were the only non-locals in this particular bar.  It was pretty obvious that we were lost and didn’t quite belong there.  We ordered our drinks and I spread the map on the table.  As we were trying to figure out what we’d done wrong, we decided to ask the bartender where we were.  (It’s really hard to figure out where you’re going if you don’t know where you are.  I’m sure there’s a philosophical message in there somewhere.)  😉

Unfortunately, the bartender didn’t speak English or Spanish (the two languages I actually know).  German had started to grow on me since our trip, but he didn’t even speak that!  He spoke French, Dutch and Italian.  My French and Italian are very rusty, and with a combination of hand gestures and pointing to the map, we were able to get him to understand that we were lost.  As we’re trying to figure out how to get to the next palace on our list, this little old man comes hobbling over to our table.  He said, “I speak a’little English.”

“Great!” I said.  “We’re lost, and we’re trying to find this palace,” and I pointed to the map.

“Oh, I know how to get there,” he said as pointed at the door with his cane.  “You go out door.  You turn right.  Taxi stand is on the left!”  You could tell he was pretty proud of himself for being so helpful.

As we sat there, we noticed a street sign on the side of a building across from the pub and that got us back on track.  (A lot of the street signs in Europe are on the sides of buildings and can be camouflaged at times, or missing altogether.)  It was quite a hike from where we were, but we finally made it to the next palace on our list.  I’d always wondered how we would react when faced with being totally lost.  I’m really glad that our first instinct wasn’t to panic.  For whatever reason, I knew we’d get to where we wanted to go, and I knew we’d find our way back to the hotel.  I am so glad we had snapped a picture of that cute little building, or my hubby would have never believed me!  😉

In closer inspection of the map, we saw something entitled “Manneken Pis.”  The drawing that accompanied the name was hilarious, so we had to see this statue for ourselves.  I remember seeing pictures of this statue in the past, but I had forgotten that it was in Brussels.  From the drawing on the map, and the fact that there are signs pointing you in the direction of this little guy, you’d think it would be a massive statue.  It’s not.  It’s rather small.  It is, however, right across the street from a wonderful chocolate store.  Then again, in Brussels, isn’t all the chocolate wonderful?   😉

Manneken Pis

Here is a picture of that naughty little boy.

As I said earlier, our hotel was two minutes from the Grand Place.  We generally took the same route to get there, and we would pass this store a couple times a day.  We never went in, but we would giggle every time we saw the neon sign.  Also, outside this store there was a homeless man dressed like Napoleon, and he had a parrot on his shoulder.  We saw this man at least twice a day, and he was a riot.  No, we didn’t get any photos of him, because we didn’t want to alarm him, and my French isn’t good enough to explain to the authorities how a man dressed like Napoleon, with a parrot on his shoulder, chased us outside the crack store.  😉

Cric Crac

We’d love to go back and see Brussels again, or even explore some of the other cities in Belgium.  But, by the time we got to the end of our stay in Brussels, we were ready to go home.  You know a trip is long enough when you are actually looking forward to getting back to your own bed.  Fifteen days is a long time to be away, and we’d loved almost every minute of it.  Even the parts that weren’t that enjoyable at the time make for wonderful memories.

Our trip back to the United States was relatively uneventful, unless you count all the extra security check-points we were required to do because we were Americans flying into the U.S.  I mentioned before about our run-in with the wonderful security agents at the Brussels airport and the look of disappointment on their faces when they opened our bags and dumped the contents on the floor.  They didn’t quite get the reaction they were wanting.  And, we had been careful to leave all our purchases from the Bipa in Vienna in our hotel room in Brussels, so we had no security delays.  Flying back over so many time zones was brutal, but it was well worth it.  We’d had the time of our lives and had created memories that we’ll never forget.

And, we can’t wait to go again!

I’ve been tagged!

I’ve been tagged by Lisa, of www.thelisashow.org. This is a fun little game! Plus, four is my favorite number! 😉 Here are my answers (in no particular order):

Four Jobs I Have Had In My Life
Hotel Front Desk Clerk
Collections Associate (yep, that’s a bill collector)
Social Worker
Adventure Vacation Travel Consultant

Four Movies I Can Watch Over and Over
The Princess Bride
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
American Beauty

Four TV Shows I Like To Watch
Lost
House
CSI
My Name is Earl

Four Places I Have Been On Vacation
Germany
Austria
The Netherlands
Belgium

Four Favorite Foods
Sushi
Italian cuisine
Anything chocolate
My grandmother’s homemade raspberry cobbler recipe (Edited to add: The recipe is here!)

Four Websites I Visit Daily
CNN
My local NBC news station website
My WordPress Dashboard (blog stuff)
GoogleReader

Four Places I Would Rather Be
Traveling through Europe
Lounging around in Santa Fe
Playing at the pool with Claire
Snuggling under the blankies with my hubby

Four Bloggers I Am Tagging
My Two Pennies
Libby
Molly
Schmutzie

You’re it! 😉

Our Trip to Europe – Sept. 2004 – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Monday, September 27
Check out of Top Hotel Goldenes Fass
Travel via train to AmsterdamCheck into City Hotel AmsterdamNotes from the day: Well, we found a great hotel to put on our HORRIBLE HOTELS list!! I didn’t want to stay, but I’d paid for the room up front. I should have looked at it first, but I’m not sure where else we would have stayed. The nicer hotels were 4 TIMES as expensive. It was a good excuse to explore the city. I wasn’t impressed with Amsterdam. Maybe the fact that the public transit and garbage collectors were on strike added to that?

Tuesday, September 28
Explore Amsterdam
Notes from the day: Amsterdam leaves a lot to be desired. The map is impossible to read; the canals are sometimes pretty, but mostly gross.

Vondelpark was amazing. (It is large park in the middle of Amsterdam. You actually forget that you’re in Amsterdam.) 🙂

Wednesday, September 29
Check out of City Hotel Amsterdam

The above excerpt is from the next portion of our Itinerary. (Be sure to read about our time in Munich, Salzburg, Vienna and Rothenburg ob der Tauber. You can also read about the overall trip, here.)

As you can see from the notes on the Itinerary, I wasn’t impressed with Amsterdam. In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say we really didn’t like it. I know! I was shocked, too! So many people rave about the place, but I wasn’t impressed at all. It didn’t help that we’d left our hotel accommodations in a palace in Vienna just a few short days ago for barely adequate lodging in Amsterdam. If you look at the hotel website, things look reasonable. In person (at least when we were there three years ago), they were wretched. Maybe the hotel has improved? Maybe not. It really doesn’t matter.

I’m not an extremely picky person, but I nearly cried when I saw our room. It was horribly disgusting. I think the state of our room seeped out into the city, and the fact that both the garbage collectors and public transit were on strike just added to the already dismal situation. Or, maybe it was the outside seeping in? Who knows.

I remember feeling very trapped with no other options for lodging. I’d reserved the hotel online, and unless you cancel 48-hours in advance, you get charged for one night anyway. The hotel was was not cheap, and other hotels in the area were even more expensive. We decided to suck it up and use this as an excuse to explore the city.

This brings us to a point that I don’t think I’ve explained yet. In every city on our trip, we’d chosen lodging that was within walking distance to the main train station. Granted, “walking distance” for my hubby and I is probably a bit farther than some would like to go on foot, but we were up to the challenge. We knew that we were there to see the cities and the sights, and we weren’t there to lounge around in the room. If the rooms were comfortable and clean (and gorgeous), that was just an added bonus. We also opted for rooms with private facilities. By staying relatively close to the train station, we could get in and out of the city quickly and relatively easily and without relying on public transportation. That was our goal.

Up to our stay in Amsterdam, we’d been extremely lucky with our lodging, and we’d forgotten what it could be like. We’d been extremely lucky with public transportation and the little things like garbage pick-up. Reality smacked us in the face in Amsterdam, and it was a rude awakening.

When we arrived in Amsterdam, we’d stopped at the Tourist Information Booth and purchased a map of the city. This was the only city on our tour where the maps weren’t free, but once we saw the detail involved, we understood! The canals and streets that change names every block were so confusing. We joked that the 2-Euro map was really worth about $500. 😉

As much as I couldn’t stand the city, I refused to let it overshadow our whole trip. We’d had such a fabulous time up to that point that I refused to let a little thing like Amsterdam ruin our wonderful vacation. We got back to our hotel as late as we could, and we huddled together under the sheets, hoping that whatever was crawling on the floor didn’t join us in the middle of the night. We vowed to set out the next day and find good things we liked about the city. Our goal was to forget we were in Amsterdam.

Vondelpark to the rescue! This was a huge park, and it was amazing. It’s the largest city park in Amsterdam, actually. After wandering through the park, and seeing the vast green lawns, wildlife and over-sized chess game in action, we were able to think straight again, and we got back on track. We did some exploring of the city. The canals were interesting, but pretty stinky. We couldn’t decide if the canals were always gross or if it was the piles of garbage that hadn’t been picked up in days. 😉 Also, I don’t think we’ve ever seen so many bicycles in one place. Very cool!

Vondelpark wildlife Chess game in action Canals in Amsterdam Canals in Amsterdam Public Urinals

Here are some pictures of Vondelpark, the canals and the public urinals. Yes, it’s a public urinal. Men have it so easy in Amsterdam! 😉 (Oh, and I’m not a sanitation engineer, but I’ll give you three guesses as to where the drain from that urinal goes…and your first two guesses don’t count.)

We also wandered over into a certain popular district. We were curious, and to be honest, it was pretty interesting but not that shocking. Later that night, though, we got totally turned around while trying to get back to our hotel, and we ended up in a different part of that district. Needless to say, I don’t think I’ve ever been so glad to get out of a place in my life! I felt like I was trapped in a Law & Order episode…you know that part right before someone screams and they start the theme music? I’ll let your imagination take you there…and, you probably wouldn’t be far off. 😉

So, I hate to give Amsterdam such a bad rap, but our experience was what it was. I’m not a pessimist and I hate to sound so negative, but I refuse to sugarcoat something that really wasn’t very sweet. 🙂 If the garbage collectors aren’t on strike, and if your hotel room has no unauthorized guests, maybe it would be a totally different situation. I don’t regret going there, because I appreciate seeing all different types of places. In a way, it made the rest of our trip seem just that much better. 😉 My hubby and I could see going back with a group of friends, maybe as a day-trip from another locale, but anything beyond that would be a stretch.

So, because I believe in ending things on a positive note, here is a picture from the train as we were arriving in Amsterdam, before we knew what kind of adventure we’d have.

From the train outside Amsterdam

Next stop, Brussels, Belgium!

Police Blotter

Last night, Ms. Claire, age 21-months, was charged with three counts of misdemeanor safety violation involving household appliance and two counts of flagrant disregard for parental authority. She was sentenced to 1.5 minutes in the time-out corner, to be served immediately.

Because this is a first offense for Ms. Claire, she was released after serving just over one-third of her sentence.  Authorities assure us that she showed what appears to be genuine remorse and was a law-abiding citizen for the rest of the evening.

  😉

Our Trip to Europe – Sept. 2004 – Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Saturday, September 25
Check out of Pension Pertschy
Travel via train to Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Notes from the day: Rothenburg ob der Tauber was wayyyyy out in the sticks! But, it was worth the trip! It took ALL DAY to get there, with numerous train changes. We went the wrong way from the Train Station, and I asked a nice woman with two children where to go. We found our hotel with her help. 🙂
Check into Top Hotel Goldenes Fass

Sunday, September 26
Explore Rothenburg
Notes from the day: The walled city is absolutely amazing. It was so cold and rainy that we bought a travel umbrella for my hubby and a beret for me!

We walked the entire length of the wall. Just amazing.

We took the tour with the Night Watchman. It starts at 8pm at City Hall and is in English!

Monday, September 27
Check out of Top Hotel Goldenes Fass
Notes from the day: The train actually stopped for us in Rothenburg! The Conductor saw us running and stopped it!

The above excerpt is from the next portion of our Itinerary. (You can read about the previous legs of the trip to Munich, Salzburg, and Vienna, and about the overall trip, here.)

When planning our trip, we did a lot of research in travel books, online and by talking to friends of ours that had traveled to Europe. We weren’t familiar with “The Walled City,” but more than one of our friends told us we *had* to visit if we could find the time. Rick Steves also did a travel show devoted to it. We took everyone’s advice and put it on the itinerary. I’m so glad we did!

Both my hubby and I love all things Medieval. I remember daydreaming as a girl about living in a castle and wondering what it would have been like. I checked out countless books from the library on castle life and as I grew older, I would gravitate toward books set in the Middle Ages. Thankfully, they’ve dealt with the modern issues of sanitation and running water, and have kept the Medieval charm.

Charming mixture of old and new Charming mixture of old and new

Rothenburg ob der Tauber (sometimes shortened to Rothenburg and pronounced Wrote-en-burg) certainly did not disappoint! It is one of the last walled cities left in Europe. As you can see in the notes on our Itinerary, it took us all day to get there from Vienna, and the trip included numerous train changes. Although complicated to reach, it was worth every transfer.

We had decided to travel to Europe at the end of September, knowing that the weather would be iffy, but that the majority of the tourists would be gone. A pessimist would have said the weather was too gloomy most of the trip, but my hubby and I are not pessimists, and we loved it! (We live in an area that is known for its 300+ days of sun a year, so we welcomed the change of pace.)

Charming mixture of old and new

The overcast day added to the old world charm of Rothenburg ob der Tauber. We both felt like we’d stepped off the train and into the pages of a medieval novel or onto the set of a Robin Hood movie. Was this real? Surely places like this don’t exist anymore. But, they do!

Going in through the castle wall

The castle wall still surrounds the city, and the only way in and out is through this small passageway. On one of the days of our exploration, we hiked the entire castle wall. It’s amazing, and the pictures really don’t do it justice.

We walked the entire castle wall around the city. The view from the wall was amazing… The view from the wall was amazing…

We’d heard that the city of Rothenburg gives tours at night led by the Night Watchman. We made sure to be in the town square for that one of the evenings. He took us all through the village and gave us the town history and funny stories about the place. He also told us about a pub that we had our list to try. It is a pub called “Hell.” It was great, and now that we think about it, it was a little warm in there. 😉

Here is a view from the Criminal Museum.  There is no view from the Dungeon…

Another place we visited was the Torture Museum. It’s technically called the “Medieval Criminal Museum,” and it’s all about crime and punishment. After looking at the displays, it became pretty obvious that they weren’t really interested in guilt or innocence, but more in the variety of ways to torture prisoners.

Although we had the Eurail pass, we were still required to get boarding passes before taking the train from Rothenburg to our next destination. (There was no additional fee for these, but it was a matter of protocol.) The only place to do this in Rothenburg was at the travel agency at the train station, but our train had arrived after it was closed and it was closed all weekend. We made note of when it opened on Monday morning. We knew we’d have to be first in line to catch the first train out of Rothenburg. We were there bright and early, and the agent told us we’d have to hurry to get to the platform in time. (The train was scheduled to leave 4 minutes after the office opened, and we could see it from the office.) We hurried as quickly as we could through the transaction and ran out the door to the platform. If we missed this train, we’d have to wait for the next, which would delay us a couple of hours, but it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

Just as we ran out of the door and down the platform, the train started to pull away. We were too late! It was leaving! But, wait! The train is stopping! The conductor had seen us running, and stopped the train!! We couldn’t believe it. In a larger station, we would have been completely out of luck.

We were a little rattled from running so fast to catch the train (See? It’s a good thing we’d packed light!), but it didn’t take us long to get settled in. As we pulled away from the station, the walled city got farther and farther behind us, but it had changed us forever. Every time we see a misty day or daydream of Medieval times, we’ll think of our time in Rothenburg and smile.

Next stop, Amsterdam, The Netherlands!

Be nice!

So, I’m trying to wipe Claire’s face today after breakfast, and the typical struggle ensues.  For whatever reason, she hates it when I try to wipe her face with the washcloth.  Oddly enough, she’s somewhat okay with Daddy doing it.  Sneaky little girl.  (Actually, I’m used to this kind of thing, as you can read about here.)

But, still…she needs her face wiped, and I’ve tried all kinds of ways around this battle.  I’ve tried letting her do it herself, in hopes that the struggle is caused by the internal Must Do Things Myself beast.  No luck.  She’s not very good at it, plus, she really isn’t interested.

I’ve tried using warm water.  I’ve tried using cold water.  I’ve tried using a dry cloth (Have you ever tried that?  Don’t.)  I’ve tried holding both of her hands in one of mine as the other tries to take swipes at her little head as she waggles it back and forth.  I’ve tried not doing it until later, and believe me, there’s an even bigger struggle when the crusty food needs to come off.  😉

Some meals are better than others.  There’s no rhyme or reason.  I just plod through and try to do the best I can.

So, as I was saying, after breakfast today, I take a deep breath and go in for the wipe.  Claire struggles and struggles and as she pushes my hand away she yells, “Be nice, Momma!  Be nice!”

I couldn’t help but laugh!  Rather than get into a philosophical discussion with her about how I am being nice, I said, “You want me to be nice?  I’ll be nice after I wipe your face,” and I tried to be as quick as possible.

Every day I’m amazed at what she’s learning and then using against me.  😉