Monthly Archive for December, 2008

Does the Enchanted Castle have WiFi?

Claire loves to tell stories.  Her playtime is sprinkled with conversations she creates between the different characters.  Sometimes those characters are in her head, and sometimes she’s talking to her toys.  Most of the time, she’s talking for her toys.  Many times, she’ll ask me a question, and then it will morph into a conversational story, complete with different voices for the different people.

For example, this is what she said the other night.

“Does Sleeping Beauty type her blog, Momma?  Does she type it at night?”  Claire asks me, as she’s snuggling under her blankets.  It’s time for her to go to bed, and she often has questions or things to tell me at the end of the day.  Sometimes I think it’s a stall-tactic to avoid bedtime, but other times, I can tell she’s just curious about all the different thoughts swirling in her head at that particular moment.

“She might, if she has time.  What do you think?  Do you think Sleeping Beauty types her blog at night?”

“I bet Prince Phillip says, ‘Don’t type your blog now.  Don’t type it tonight.  Do it in the morning,’ and Sleeping Beauty says, ‘Okay!’  And then she doesn’t!  She types her blog in the morning!” Claire says with excitement, changing her voice into a deeper voice for Prince Phillip and into her high-pitched signature princess voice for Sleeping Beauty.

It’s good to see that Sleeping Beauty hasn’t let the Internet take a higher priority than her relationship.   Yet.  I mean, “ever after” is a really long time.  😉

Big girls don’t have baby teeth

As you may remember, Claire turned 3-yrs old on November 30th.  Well, because she’s automatically covered on our dental insurance policy, and because 3-yrs old is the magical age when both our  pediatrician and dentist agreed should be the time to start going to the dentist, I set up an appointment for her with my hygienist and dentist.

Neither my hubby nor I have ever had any cavities (knock brush on wood), so the dentist isn’t a place we fear.  Still, a lot of people are afraid of the dentist, and I want Claire to be comfortable going.  I figured this is the perfect way to get that ball rolling.  It’s never too early to think about good dental hygiene.  😉

I made the mistake of telling Claire about the appointment way in advance, and if the question of the day (…any day.  Pick a day.) wasn’t “Is today Monday!?  Can I go to school today!?” it was “Can I go to the Dentist!?”  Finally, the 18th of December rolled around, and we got to go to the Dentist.

She was beside herself with excitement.  I told her about the cool chair that moves up and down and lays back.  I told her about the bright lights.  I told her how the hygienist would wear a scary mask and weird glasses.  I told her how it was okay to be nervous, but that there wasn’t anything to be afraid of.  Momma and Daddy actually like going to the Dentist, and so will you!

And she did!

You would have thought Christmas came early.  She loved Kate, my hygienist.  She was a little weirded-out by the chair, but she got used to it.  She wore her pink sunglasses so that the lights weren’t too bright.  She even got the hang of how to hold the water in her mouth and then let Mr. Thirsty (the name they gave that sucker-dealie**) suck it out of her mouth.

Even the squirter-dealie** didn’t upset her.  “Momma!  Kate put a little water-fountain in my mouth!”  **I’m pretty sure those are the technical names for those instruments.

I was so impressed!

I mean, we’d scheduled what that office refers to as “A Happy Visit,” and they said they count it as a success if they get the little kid to sit in the chair without crying.  It’s considered a good day if they can count her teeth.  If they’re lucky, they actually try to clean them.

Claire had such a great time and was so into the whole thing that Kate was able to do a full exam and clean all 20 of her teeth.  You see, Claire had been told she could pick out her very own Princess Toothbrush when the exam was done.  She sat in that chair like a little baby bird, her mouth wide open.

Claire also got to meet my dentist, Dr. J.  She was a bit anxious around him at first, but that’s to be expected.  He told her he wanted to look at her teeth, and she said, “That’s okay.  Kate already did!”  It was all my hygienist could do to not laugh out loud.

It didn’t take Claire long to warm up to the dentist, and he got a good look too.

He told her she had all her baby teeth, and she told him that she didn’t!  “They’re not baby teeth.  They’re big teeth!”

Thankfully, everything looks great.  Claire loves brushing her teeth, so that’s not an issue.  The only concern I’d had was about the thumb-sucking.  Dr. J confirmed what Dr. B, the pediatrician, had said.  Now is the perfect age to get that to stop.  If she doesn’t, more of the bone will be moved than what is already happening.

She really took what they both said to heart, and I’ll have to write more about that later, because it’s really quite comical and amazing.  So, stay tuned!

After Dr. J looked at her baby big teeth, and the exam was over, he led us to the front of the office to the Treasure Chest.  That’s where Claire got to pick out whichever toy she wanted.  That’s funny, I’ve been going to that office for what, nine years (!?), and I’ve never gotten to pick out a toy!  I feel gypped! 😉

I’ve already scheduled Claire’s six-month cleaning, but I’m not telling her that yet.  June is way too far away for me to handle the “Can I go to the Dentist today!?” question.  🙂

So, in honor of Claire’s First Dentist Visit, here are some photos of her brushing her teeth.  These were actually taken before her first visit, so that’s why you don’t see her New Princess Toothbrush.  They were taken the day she turned 3-yrs old!  And, ironically, her birthday was one month ago today!  So, I’ve thrown in a picture of her that I took today, too.

Click to enlarge.

Brushing, brushing, brushing

Brushing, brushing, brushing

Claire is 36-months old in this photo.

Claire is 36-months old in this photo. It was taken on her 3rd birthday!

She’s getting really good at spitting into the sink.

She’s getting really good at spitting into the sink.

Admiring her handiwork

Admiring her handiwork

And, today...a month later…37-months old!  She and Merlin are fast asleep.

And, today...a month after her 3rd birthday…37-months old! She and Merlin are fast asleep in Claire's big girl bed.

Random Thoughts: The Happy Ho & Peanut Butter Sludge Edition

My hubby has one more week of holiday break before going back to work on the 5th.  Our holiday travelers have come and gone and we have a relaxing week ahead of us.  Sweet!

So, in honor of a Monday that isn’t even really like a Monday around here, I’m going to capture some random thoughts that occurred to me over the last week or so.

  • Peanut Butter Chips come in 10 oz. bags.  Chocolate Chips come in 12 oz. bags.  If you’ve been at the store for an hour-and-a-half and don’t notice the difference until you get home because you picked them up on a whim anyway, you can try to make alterations in your “it-calls-for-12-oz-bags-recipe,” but you may still end up with Peanut Butter Sludge instead of Peanut Butter Fudge.
  • Still, next time, buy an extra bag of Peanut Butter Chips and be more meticulous in the measurements if Sludge offends your delicate sensibilities.
  • But, for the record, no one seems to care that the Peanut Butter Sludge isn’t the Peanut Butter Fudge you intended to make, especially if you’ve sprinkled chocolate M&Ms on top.  Keeping it in the fridge seems to help it solidify somewhat, but it’s not perfect.  Watching them fight over it anyway totally made my day.
  • Hearing my hubby say, “Now, remember…you need to go to bed, and no peeking in the stockings!” made me really excited to see what I’d find in my stocking.
  • I could totally justify eating a chocolate truffle for breakfast if there aren’t so many witnesses.  It’s not so much the questionable nutritional value of said breakfast…it’s that those pesky witnesses would 1) know where I keep the stash, and B) insist on sharing.
  • Some of us were sad when the Christmas Countdown Calendar finally ran out of daily windows to open with little chocolate pieces hiding inside.  That same person was extremely excited to know that it meant Santa was coming the next day!  And, some of us did a Happy Dance in the kitchen when the Countdown Calendar ran out of daily windows to open.  That same person may or may not have taken great pleasure in crunching that thing up and shoving it to the bottom of the trash can when the other person wasn’t looking.
  • Oddly enough, no one has noticed that the Countdown Calendar is gone.  Thank goodness for small favors.
  • I noticed that Target Photo had started printing the file name of the photos on the back of the pictures we’d had printed there.  So this year, to match our Holiday Letters, I changed the file name of our holiday photo to say “Happy Holidays 2008.”  When I got the photos back, I noticed that Target Photo had chopped off the file name.  This year, Target Photo brought holiday cheer to each of our Holiday Letter recipients one Happy Ho at a time.


Weekend Time-Traveling: Naughty Puppy

We’re traveling back in time on the weekends, and you can read all about that here.

Claire *still* does stuff like this, and it *still* cracks me up!

Check it out!

Naughty Puppy
Originally posted Friday, January 11, 2007

Apparently Puppy was hitting people. Those who hit people have to sit in the time-out corner. Rules are rules.

Personally, I didn’t witness the crime, but Claire was very distressed and told me that Puppy needed a time-out…so a time-out he got. She put him in the corner and made me set the timer on the microwave for two minutes. (I don’t think Puppy was expecting Claire to rat him out so quickly…but she even tells on herself. Unfortunately for him, he learned his lesson the hard way.)

Naughty Puppy

Naughty Puppy

Click photo to enlarge.

I don’t think Puppy will hit anyone again. (Even though, if you ask me, he looks a little too happy for someone sitting in the time-out corner.) After the timer went off, he said he was sorry and gave me a kiss…so hopefully he’s learned his lesson. 😉

Weekend Time-Traveling: Tapping into the Unexpected

We’re traveling back in time on the weekends, and you can read all about that here.

No, it’s not snowing today, but that could change at any moment.  I love the photo in this post.  As we bid farewell to our Holiday Travelers yesterday, I thought about this post.

Check it out!

Tapping into the Unexpected
Originally posted Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Snowy morning

Snowy morning

(Click photo to enlarge.)

It’s snowing again today!

This picture doesn’t do it justice. I took this picture this morning, just before the sun has really come up, and the snow is giving a wonderful blueness to the world. (No, I did not alter this photo in PhotoShop. I don’t even have a true photo-editing program on my computer!) If you look, you can see I’ve taken this picture from the opposite vantage point as I did the header. You’ll see the juniper and the apple tree in the distance, and where we stood up the hill by the fence to capture our shadows in the snow.

I love the snow. I can say this today, because I don’t have to drive anywhere in it, and all my obligations are homebound.

I used to not mind driving in the snow. I used to log numerous hours of blizzard-driving in my car. I was calm on the roads. The Driver’s Ed course I took was during the Semester in which we had real live winter conditions to practice. Our teacher took us to a completely ice covered street so that we could feel what it felt like when the car spun a complete 360-degrees. She did that to take the shock and confusion out of it. From that point on, I learned the proper way to fishtail and maintain control of my car.

I’ve foolishly driven in conditions that were not fit for man, woman nor beast. I’ve always made it safely to my destination, but I had a Winter Emergency Pack in my car, just in case. I once drove six-hours straight through a blizzard, only to get stuck in my driveway. I remember grumbling with disgust as I got the shovel out of my trunk and started digging. That was when three teenage boys stopped to not only dig out, but push my car to freedom. Ah, those were the days.

Even after we moved away from the typical blizzards of the flatlands, I adapted. I will never forget driving in the mountains, and fishtailing around a corner. I knew I was in control, but one of my friends riding with me didn’t stop screaming until we’d made it back to the lodge.

But, something has happened to me. Ever since I had Claire, the thought of driving when it’s slick or crazy out unnerves me. My husband calls me a wussy and says it’s for the best that I don’t drive during rush hour anymore. I agree with him, and I’m glad I work from home.

Last year, on our way home from the Midwest for the holidays, we were arriving just as Blizzard Number Two was beginning for our area. (We’d snuck out right as Blizzard Number One was ending. Who knew we’d get sandwiched between the two!) Of course, it was my turn to drive. The tears slid down my cheeks as I slid through an intersection. Defensive driving skills or not, when your car is sliding on a sheet of ice, there isn’t much you can do about the drivers around you.

All I could think about was Claire. My hubby was yelling at me to stop crying and to focus!

“How can you see when you’re crying!?” he shouted, definitely not helping the situation.

“I’m not really crying, yet. They’re just tears, and they have to go somewhere! If you keep yelling, you’ll see what crying is! I don’t think I can do this! What if someone hits us!?” I screamed, much louder in my head than what came out of my tightly clenched jaw. I was mad at myself for not being able to stop the tears or the car from sliding.

“She’s safer than we are. She’s surrounded in a cocoon of Styrofoam and plastic, and she’s strapped in with a five-point harness. She’ll be fine. Plus, everyone is going 10-miles an hour or less. You do the physics on that.”

I remember calculating it in my head. Yes, I’m a dork, but I find calmness in the details, and my hubby knows that. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough details in the whole world to make the tears or the ice go away.

I felt like such a big baby, but I tried my hardest to keep it all together. I slid through three more intersections before we made it home. I kept my cool and navigated up our slick, steep street. After pulling in the garage, my hubby got Claire out of her protective shell of a car seat and they went in the house. I sat in the car and sobbed for a good minute before facing Claire…letting it all out. At that point, she’d never really seen me cry, and I didn’t want her to get all concerned about something that was all over now anyway. We’d made it home in one piece, and I pulled myself together before going into the house.

Wow. I did not expect the pictures I took this morning to tap into something so unexpected. I guess that’s the good thing about this blog. You never know what you’re gonna get! Obviously, these things are still bothering me, and now that they are out in the open, I can move on…as long as I don’t have to drive in it. 😉

Picture of the Day: The Aftermath

Click to enlarge.

The Aftermath

The Aftermath

This is one of my all-time favorite photos of Claire.  We took this on December 25, 2005.  Three years ago!?  Claire wasn’t even a month old yet, and it was the first time we’d stayed home for the holidays.

When I think of “home for the holidays,” this is the image that pops into my head.  I love it!

Picture of the Day: Exploding Star

Click to enlarge.

Exploding Star

Exploding Star

Picture of the Day: Candy Canes & Pagodas

Click to enlarge.

Candy Canes

Candy Canes



Picture of the Day: Snowflake & Chili Peppers

Click to enlarge photos.

Snowflake - Do you recognize this one?

Snowflake - Do you recognize this one?

Chili Peppers

Chili Peppers

Nothing says “Happy Holidays!” out here in the Good ol’ West like snowflakes and chili peppers!  🙂

Picture of the Day: Rushing

Click to enlarge:  Rushing

Click to enlarge: Rushing

I love this photo, because it captures the rush toward the holidays:  the preparation of the gifts, the menus, the travel arrangements.  It also helps encapsulate the excitement Claire feels about Santa’s visit.

Luckily, this year’s holiday preparations haven’t been as hectic as they have been exciting.  And, either way, the above photo captures that feeling for me.

In previous years, my hubby and I have loaded the car and dodged blizzards to see far-away relatives.  Last year, we put an end to that adventurous chapter in our lives and decided to stay home for the holidays.  The relatives who could came to us, and it was awesome.  The new traditions we started with Claire were so much fun, and our little family of three are really looking forward to spending this week with the relatives brave enough to dodge blizzards again this year.

So, because we’ll have a house-full (we don’t call this place a Hotel for nuthin’!), I’ll be posting fun photos rather than writing lengthy posts.

And, speaking of photos, can you tell what the above one is?  Check back tomorrow for the answer!