Loves her new kitchen tap, with snazzy pull-out spray head thingy.
Is very much looking forward to getting her countertops.
Thinks it's great having the fridge at eye level; less great having the ice-cream within reach of kid.
Adores cooking with gas for the first time since Spain ('93-'94, if you can believe it).
Is quite excited to have a new flatscreen telly; fears she won't see her husband again face-on for a week or two.
Finds it awfully tempting to have a bunch of Diet Cokes in the downstairs fridge. Has a downstairs fridge.
Really really would like some countertops. Please.
Notes that your job is not done when you turn on the baby monitor upstairs and call it a day. For full efficacy you should really plug in the reciever end downstairs too.
Will soon be greeted by name by the cashiers at IKEA. Wonders how anyone moves house without an IKEA five minutes away.
Has a groundhog in the back garden. He eats dandelions, which must be a good thing, since she's certainly not doing any weeding.
Just caught the four-year-old trying to start the lawnmower. In the shed. Shed is now totally off limits.
Sort of misses being able to blame the people upstairs for mysterious things that go bump/thud/bang in the middle of the night. Doesn't want to have to get up and investigate. Will wake husband instead and make him do it.
Will probably snog the countertop man the day he delivers.
I started this a while ago; here's what I had to say then:
At almost 18 months, Miss's vocabulary is growing apace: she's starting to put two words together, though usually one is a proper noun, so it's something like: "Dolly back. Mummy back? Daddy back? Baby back?" [Cue me going "I want my baby back, baby back..."] And then I have to reassure her that yes, we all have backs. At least, I think that's what she wants to know. It's amazing to have this tiny insight into the workings of her mind. When we were in Boston she enjoyed riding the trains, and one evening she got stuck on repeat when she was too tired to think, and kept telling me, "Chugga 'way. Chugga 'way. Chugga 'way." Yes, Baby, the chugga-chugga has gone away. We'll see another tomorrow. Go to sleep.
But apart from that, she'll also repeat random words when she hears them. Like this:
Driving home, telling Monkey about cars.
Monkey says: "This is a Subaru Outback."
Little voice from other carseat: "Sooboo Ow-bak."
This evening B went out to the mailbox to get the post (as we Irishers say).
Miss ran after him: "Daddy? Pote?"
Sometimes she transposes the sounds in a word, so that for stone she says "no" and for miaow she says "yam".
So that was then, just about a month ago. Now she's talking in sentences, with pronouns. She's conjugating, for goodness sake.
(Seriously. She saw a bird: "Birdie."
Me: Yes, there's a bird. Did the bird fly away?
Her: Birdie flied away.)
Some of it is still parrot work, like when Monkey says "I want it," and she starts up, just to bug him: "Ah wan it." But more and more she's putting words together herself, and practicing, and asking me for words and repeating them to herself, filing them away:
Me: Did you get an owie on your elbow?
Me: Will we look for the cat outside?
Her: Cat owside. Where cat? I dunno. (Shakes head concernedly.)
Her days are filled with looking for cats, seeing birdies, hearing woof-woofs, finding Dolly, trying to wake people up (with a very clear "Wake up", as of yesterday, while she jumped on her sleeping brother's head), asking for more Cheerios, for milk, for a waffle straight from the freezer ("code waffle"), for fizzy apple juice, for a pea (or ten) to throw on my new floor. If you start the alphabet song she will chime in at the beginning of each phrase: "Abc...hij.....qr...".
She's clearly a prodigy. I don't even want to mention the fact that she seems to be spontaneously toilet training, lest I jinx that. But I think the universe owes me one on that front, so maybe it's true.
The house is coming together one tiny bit at a time. Here are a few sample tiny bits.
The cabinetry around the fridge against the yellow walls (with my retro-film-posters calendar). It might all be a bit yallar, but I think when (oh please oh please) the countertops arrive the dark brown will break it up beautifully. Handles and drawer pulls would be useful too.
The paler yellow of the family room, with the nice sharp newly painted door and trim. It even makes the green carpet look not so bad.
And a better shot of the kitchen yellow. It throws the ugly new thingy from the Internet people into sharp relief, dontcha think?
This is all I can show you of the formal living/dining area. The rest has (a) our box spring and (b) boxes, packing paper, detritus. But see how nice the print will look when it's on the wall.
The tan colour on the master bedroom walls, looking into the master bath, or en-suite as we ferriners say. I'm not sure which is more pretentious a title for a small room with a perspex-enclosed shower. But I do love having my very own medicine cabinet.
Miss's room. I'm pleased with this because so far it looks feminine without having any pink at all (almost).
And the blush colour in the guest room. The rest of the room is boxes as far as the eye can see, but I like how the old-fashioned chest of drawers looks against the paint.
We moved. Suddenly putting things in boxes was the easy part, and finding places for them to go when we take them out of boxes is the hard part. We have to get shelves, but first we have to figure out what sort of shelves we get, which we probably won't know until we've got the wrong shelves and discovered that the stuff doesn't fit and we don't like them.
Anyway. We moved on Saturday, with help from some very excellent friends. In a hilarious twist, the box spring of our queen bed didn't fit up the stairs, so our bed was left in the dining room while we slept on the thin spare mattress. (Yes, we had no fewer than three actual rocket scientists - ok then, doctors of physics, but close enough - and one engineer scratching their heads over the item lodged in the crook of the stairs, while I wondered if my husband would be stuck on the wrong side of it for ever and we'd have to send up his food on a pulley. At least they got it down again.)
And of course, the child fell out of his (new) bed on the first night, and of course this woke the baby, and OF COURSE they both ended up sleeping - eventually sleeping - with me on the floor while poor B went off and found a mattress somewhere else for himself. Much the same thing happened last night with the waking and the more waking and the being wide awake at 3.30am and the musical beds, with added wailing and rending of garments because Mummy can't physically put two people to sleep at the same time so someone always has to be the loser in this scenario. I think it's B, who wasn't pleased to be woken up to take a very upset Monkey back to his new bed and be wailed at and eventually have his arm fallen asleep on.
I have high hopes for tonight. For one thing, Monkey is actually being put to bed in the new bed, instead of falling asleep in the car, exhausted after no nap, and being dumped unceremoniously in, fully clothed and thus much too early. If he manages to sleep through we might see how Miss is taking to having her own room, and if she sleeps better when not disturbed by our going to bed. She doesn't seem too freaked out by it, but is fairly indignant when she wakes up and I'm not right there. Again. She'll just have to get used to it.
In other news our very lovely new next-door neighbours brought us over spagetti and meatballs for dinner (which the children spurned, but all the more for us) and I'm going to enjoy some of that now with a nice cleansing beer. Between beer for the movers and wine from my mother-in-law's visit - she always likes to leave us nicely stocked up; have I mentioned how great my in-laws are? - we're well set for the coming evenings.
I am typing this sitting on the end of Monkey's bed waiting for him to fall asleep. This worked like a charm last night, but tonight might be a different story, since he had a good 2-hour nap today that didn't end till 4pm and it's only four and a half hours later now. As opposed to yesterday when he hadn't napped at all, so once he stayed still for two minutes, he was out for the count. We shall see.
I fear he has serious control issues and will need therapy as an adult, if the anorexia doesn't get him first. I mostly jest, but if you had seen him refusing to poo this morning (after a day and a half of fighting it), and watched the cogs in his head go round when we said the only way not to have to poo was not to eat, and that you couldn't do that because your body needed food, you might have thought the same. I hope I'm wrong.
I took him for an eyesight test yesterday, because his four-year checkup seemed to indicate that his vision wasn't all it should have been. We have always been pretty sure that our kids will need glasses, as genetics are heavily stacked against them on that front, but I didn't think it would be this soon. I spent a few days mourning his beautiful unimpeded face and fearing he'd look like Jonathan Lipnicki (though a good two years older). He, on the other hand, was delighted, as ever since B got new glasses last year Monkey has been pestering us to get him some too, saying that he can't see, that things look blurry, that he reeeeely wants glasses. Three pairs of sunglasses, plastic goggle things from the dentist, and a set of 3-D specs from Toy Story have only temporarily mollified him.
Anyway, I have to say that I was proud of him at the optician's office. He sat nicely while we waited (as his sister informed the whole shop at the top of her lungs that she wanted the pen I was using to fill in his information, yelling "Ning ning circle," while I wrote as fast as I could so that I could give back the ning (sorry, pen) and distract her with some Sandra Boynton dinosaurs). Then he sat on my knee (just one: Miss was taking up real estate on the other) to get him high enough for the first machine, which I think takes measurements of the eye. After which he got up into the eye doctor's big black chair and followed her instructions to the letter, answering her questions in a friendly and polite manner and generally being a credit to his parents. (Whoever they are. I'm not sure what kid this was, really. He looked vaguely familiar, but then I have terrible eyesight.) It's as if all the yelling and nagging and cajoling and informing actually have had some results, which is, I have to say, very heartening to see. I shall continue to yell and nag and cajole and inform, if this is what happens eventually. It would be nice if he was like that at home as well, but I know that's way too much to ask for.
Luckily, Miss was so intrigued by all that was going on (and by the nice polite alien that had clearly stolen her brother's body) that she sat on my knee the whole time and refrained from shouting for any more ning circles. Of course, now she wants glasses too.
But the good news (for me: he's disappointed) is that his eyesight is perfect: 20/20 vision and a little longsighted, which is normal for his age. So we'll have to wait a bit longer for this to become the reality. Which is fine with me.
(He's not asleep yet. I think I have to leave the room.)
Time: 5.30am or so
Day: Any day you like (but I don't)
Venue: The place where the baby and I are sleeping, which is not, in fact, my bed.
Pad, pad, pad, go the little feet, coming closer.
Stumble, stumble go the little legs, falling over my feet as I frantically wave him to the side where the baby is not.
"Morn-side, please," goes the completely unnecessary stage whisper.
Je. Sus. Christ. [I rarely take the name of the lord in vain, having grown up with a mother so old fashioned that I couldn't even say "God!" without getting a Look, and having moved to America where in fact such things are often frowned on, and having two small children now who will repeat anything they hear, especially if it's juicy and unusual and seems to be naughty. Viz, to wit, the four-year-old who turned to me in front of our new neighbours the other day, just as the lovely lady was pouring us some lemonade as we watched my husband borrow their lawnmower to cut the grass at the new house, and exclaim: "What the heck is going on here?!" because his friend at school has started to say it. Anyway.]
What is wrong with you? Can't you stop for one second to look where you're going and see where the baby is before you trample all over us and wake her up, when she's only just gone back to sleep after her 5am wakefulness and session of mumeet?
Okay, okay, here it is. [Gingerly rolling over, praying baby doesn't rouse, longsufferingly offering up other side to voracious child.]
Stop poking me. Stop pinching me. Don't even think about touching the vicinity of the other one. This one's yours. The other one is sacrosanct. In fact, all of me is sacrosanct, except that one bit you're currently orally mauling. Get that hand down. Down. Off me. Away. Why are your nails so sharp? Hasn't anyone cut them recently? [Oh right, that would be my job.] They're sticking right into me. Get your pointy knees out of my tummy. My bladder has been full since 4am and it's not getting any emptier, since if I had gone to the bathroom before you appeared the baby would have woken up and called out and that might have hastened your appearance, and now that you're here I can't even move to look at the clock because my bodily presence is the only thing keeping the warm ball curled up at my back in a horizontal and inactive condition, and if I move at all she might realise that it's not my front and therefore her instant access has been cut off and - worse! - given to the opposition, and then she would immediately demand it back and all hell would break loose.
This is really very uncomfortable... Hmm. That seems to have been a dream, because I'm not currently staying in a boarding house on the coast of England with two cats who can't be left alone and a very very short (like, a-head-on-shoes short) landlord. I must have dropped off there, against all odds.
Maybe it's late enough to cut him off now. That's it, you're done. I hope him up there in the bed that is supposedly also mine has had enough sleep, because that's it for him. [Rolls over. Luxuriates. Baby wakes up.]
The pediatrician was not nearly as aghast at Monkey's eating habits as I was afraid of - I suppose she sees 'em all, so she knows what's really terrible. She said that peanut-butter and the odd yogurt and plenty of milk were excellent sources of protein, and so long as he has his vitamins (superhero ones, of course) he should continue to be okay. And of course she told him that now he's four he might find that he likes all sorts of things he didn't like before and that he should try some fruits and vegetables again. His answer was a resounding "I don't like any fruit or vegetables."
But he's right where he should be on his curve, at 50% for weight and 40% for height (I swear, the rest of the kids in his class must come from Hagrid stock or something - there's really no reason for me to think he's smaller than average), so that was good. Then the nurse came back with four (four!) needles and he was absolutely stellar about it. I had promised him a light sabre when he got his injections, and he was so looking forward to getting it that, far from my fears of having to drag him out of the house and hold him down screaming, he announced "Yay! I love getting injections!", left the house excitedly, and was not even looking nervous when the pointy things appeared. The nurse had him sit on my knees facing me and told him to blow in my face on the count of three, for each jab. I blew with him, and the first two were a breeze (heh), the third was a bit ouchy, and the fourth - the MMR; I don't know why it's so much worse, but it is - was horrible. His face, already just about holding on after number three, crumpled up redly and he let out a wail of pain and sobbed into my chest.
But he recovered quickly and all but danced out to the car where the lovely green light sabre was waiting for him. I even let him swirl it around in the back seat without yelling (too much) all the way back to school. He was a superstar, and I'm proud of him.
The light sabre, of course, is currently enjoying its third or fourth period of confiscation on the top shelf. And I'm wondering if we should put Star Wars in our Netflix queue so he can have some clue what he's actually doing. I have no idea where he found out about them in the first place. Small boys just know these things, I suppose.