Saturday, September 26, 2009

Arts & Crafts

I've never been a crafty type of girl. I've always hoped that I could turn into it...but when I go to actually create something it never turns out like I want. Well my kiddo must take after me a bit because she loves arts and crafts. We knew that pretty early on. I was always hesitant to start anything with her and made many excuses not to: the house is for sale and I don't want to clean up the mess, oh - she isn't old enough for that, etc. Although, after watching/hearing how much she loves it at her daycare I had to try it at home. We did small things at first when she was a year old. I made home made flour playdough (although there are many kinds you can make at home where if they eat it, it isn't as big of a deal - not that I think that's ok =)). Next I took construction paper and had her glue the cut up pieces to paper making a sort of collage. We did this for awhile in addition to coloring and playing with stickers (she's a sticker queen), but I knew she needed more - paint. I've never seen a kid paint like her. She's so careful and precise with her movements...and she loves it and wants to do it often. In fact, this morning she cleared off her activity table and demanded to paint. Now the reason I was hesitant to start this was obviously due to the mess. Last week when she was home sick with us, we had to entertain her somehow so we took out the finger paints. And so began the regular paintings in my house. To my surprise it isn't messy. You would think finger painting would be, right? I just put a smock on her and we're ready to go. She's very careful not to get it everywhere and has a lot of fun. So my lesson learned here is that don't be afraid of arts and crafts. Kids can really start at any age and it teaches them more than you think. Think about it - colors, to listen, textures, etc. It is an amazing way to learn! So go out and have fun with it! We sure are!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Party at my crib!

I thought our lives were getting back to normal.  Sure, our child who never sleeps in was sleeping until 9am.  She was getting up still constantly throughout the night.  But, I had high hopes that our Sunday night would go great since she had a normal nap time and we took her places to wear her out.  Boy was I wrong.  It was like a light came on in her.  "Oh!", she said.  "I have FIVE days of playtime to make up for.  Party at my crib!!  1am - 4am!  You bring the juice, I'll have the toys and milk."

It was horrible.  I can almost take comforting a sick child at 1am but to try to convince a very alert, happy kid that it was time to go to bed when clearly it wasn't for her is not so fun for a parent.  Add to that I had some kind of stomach bug (which only tends to happen on Sunday nights I notice - coincidence?) where I was up half the night anyways.  So the end result was we put her to bed at her normal 8pm listened to her play in her room until 10pm when she fell asleep for the first time.  Listened to her get up at 1am and then spent the next hour trying to get her to go to sleep.  The next hour was just spent with us shaking our heads that she was still awake and playing contently in her crib.  Then from 3am - 4am I think we began to get loopy and just prayed she went to sleep.  Because, you see, I have the pleasure of taking her back to daycare for the first time in a week.  Which means she gets up at 6:45am on the dot so I have a prayer of getting to work by 7:45am (which is what I strive for).  Just the thought of having to get her up after so little probably didn't help my stomach issues. 
So when 6:45am came around I avoided her like the plague.  In the end, it actually wasn't horrible.  She kept hiding from me and putting a blanket over her head (I guess she thought this was hiding?) but in the end, yes, there were tears but it was by no means the worst morning ever.  By the time I got her downstairs and into the car with a graham cracker in her hands watching Tinker Bell (Thank goodness for a DVD in a car!!), she was wide eyed and ready for her day.  Even the drop off at the daycare wasn't too bad.  She was clingy but once she saw her teacher, Amber, she was fine.  I can finally relax knowing she is healthy and although tired, she is ok. =)  Now, we just need to get that sleep routine down again!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Why We Moved

I've decided to fess up and say why we moved. There were honestly many reasons. A townhome with no backyard off of a busy street, no matter how convenient it was to everything we wanted to do (Forest Park, STL Zoo, The Loop, etc), is not a good place to raise a kid. Add to that we never left the house. Why? Because our "up and coming neighborhood" became grand central station for thefts. Approximately every 2 weeks someone in our community, not street, not nearby, in the buildings next to us would get their homes broken into and cleaned out. They had a system and it sadly worked every time. Around 2pm about 2-3 kids/men would go door to door and ring the doorbell with an extra person in a car. If you were home, they would ask if some made up person was there and you were safe. Then off to the next door they would go until they found an empty home. Next they would pull around back, hop onto your deck, pry open your door and then let the car into the garage where they would then take their sweet time in taking all of your possessions and even eat your food.

For those of you that know me even a little bit know that I am worry-wart so this made me a prisoner in my own home. I thought that if we just stayed home all of the time we would be safe. My husband had other ideas. He said we should move. And so began the fun of packing up our lives and trying to convince others not to be afraid of our area. We got a realtor and as quickly as we could put the house up on the market. Sadly, this backfired because after a few weeks of having our sign out front we had a visitor one morning at around 3:45am trying to get into our house. Luckily I am crazy and make sure the alarm is always set. The alarm went off instantly and nothing was taken. The police were called but told us they couldn't look for fingerprints because nothing was damaged or taken. Lucky us. We were the first house to get hit at night...again, lucky us.

It is hard to think about the old house because we both loved it. It was our first home and we took our first child home from the hospital there. We wanted to make it work but in the end we just couldn't expose our child to that area. We didn't tell our friends and family about all that was happening because we didn't want to worry them. So, if you are reading this and are shocked or upset we didn't share this with you...we did it out of love. I promise.

But now we are in our new house. I am finally at peace and in a home I can see raising our children in for a very, very long time.

Ah, peace.

Making Elephant Sounds

Libby was feeling much better yesterday and even found a way to make elephant sounds.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Memory Lane

I can't believe my little girl is turning 2 in 1 week. I found myself looking at old pictures of her today. Libby watched me go through them and constantly said "baby" to all of her old pictures. I tried to explain that was her and was just amazed at how much she has grown. I thought about the first time I saw her.
And about how much she has grown from sitting and chewing on things that were towering over her...
To watching her build things and tower over them...
Watching her grow up is one of the most exciting things I have ever done. I am so thankful to have this little wonderful girl in my life.


One thing I have struggled with is balance. How do you find time for everything? This week stretched that to the limit with Libby being sick. I knew my daughter needed me, but so did my co-workers at work. I am part of a team in both situations but thanks to some great support we made it through. Sure I wish I could have devoted 100% of my time to both and I won't deny that the TV was Libby's babysitter most of the week...but we made it. Sometimes that is all you can do, just survive and get through it. I still struggle with trying to keep my personal life out of work and work out of my personal life but I am finding it is nearly impossible to do that. There has to be some sort of balance out there for this, right?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Teething? Or something more?

Of course after I make a decision like trying to write more, life gets in the way. So if this post isn't really coherent, I completely blame the lack of sleep from this week.

Last weekend I proclaimed to my husband (who is a fantastic writer even though I can't seem to get him to write here) that I wanted to write more on this blog. He, of course, supported me but Libby decided it was time to start acting like a 2 year old. My sweet, beautiful little girl turned into this little kid that was doing anything she could do break the rules and just act up. What we discovered Sunday evening after getting up with her for the 1 millionth time is it wasn't all together her fault. She was teething again.

Now Libby started to teeth early so we are pretty used to it. This seemed to be different though. First, she cried non-stop*. When she started this routine up on Monday morning I chalked it up to being a Monday and not wanting to go to daycare. Then her teacher called me at 8:30 to tell me she hadn't really stopped crying and begged me to let her give her some Tylenol. I happily said yes, thinking we had dodged a bullet and now my little girl would return to her sweet, loving self. Wrong. While realizing what Libby really needed was Motrin (Tylenol does squat for her), I called the daycare back to find out she had over a 101 fever. I quickly rushed to pick her up only to find her beet red and sobbing with her wonderful teacher attempting to calm her down while 3 other kids were running around having a great time since she was distracted. I was so surprised by how upset Libby was I sat down with her on the curb and let her cry a bit before getting into the car. Once in the car I turned the A/C on full blast (yes, I am pretty sure that is a no-no but if you saw her your only thought would be to cool her off too) and made her there was a movie in the DVD player to keep her company on the way home. The next few days seemed to go on forever with crying fits, sleepless nights, fevers, etc.

Sadly, Libby still wasn't feeling well and by Thursday it was making me nervous. Teething shouldn't be this rough, right? I called the Doctor and made an appointment for that afternoon. We were going to see the other Doctor in the practice, not our normal one. I wasn't concerned but I just wanted her to find something to explain this. But what did she find? Nothing. Not. A. Thing. So, her advice was to not give her Tylenol or Motrin anymore and see if the fever comes back and only give her Motrin at night to help her sleep. Sadly this made for a horrible night full of screaming and getting up constantly and brought her fever back to 102.5. We took her back to the Doctor today and her normal Doctor was there. For some reason, one I would love to know, she thought she might have a Urinary Tract Infection and wanted to get a sample of her urine. This involved cleaning Libby's private areas and 'taping' a bag to them to collect the urine. Libby hated this and of course refused to go to the bathroom. This resulted in getting her first ever catheter. Or at least I think so, by this point we had been in the room for almost 1.5 hours and I was about to pass out from the heat, screaming, and sobbing (from both me and Libby). I couldn't even watch and then I saw it. She was looking for me. I needed to step up and so I did. I stopped crying (which I hid by looking away) and focused only on her. We got through it (even though they barely got anything to do a test) and found out she didn't have any kind of infection or bacteria. They also did a Strep Test which came back negative. So, even after almost 2 hours they still had no idea what was going on with her. Their suggestion was to get her to drink more (duh) and continue to give her Tylenol and Motrin (double duh). I am not really frustrated by the whole experience with the Doctors...mostly just frustrated that we still don't know what is wrong. I hope it is just a virus and it goes away really soon.

* My heart goes out to any parents with a baby with colic. After 5 days of non-stop screaming and little to no sleep, I am a zombie that will cry or scream at you for any reason whatsoever.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Quality vs Quantity

I always say quality is better than quality. However, in some things, the more you do things the better you get. I'm hoping that may happen with my writing if I post things more often. I read lots of blogs from friends and online mommies that post regularly and I envy them. Then I realized, well, why can't I do that? Sure, I stink at writing but it would help me get better at it (I hope). So, be prepared for more posts - and about actual things...not just pictures. Of course, I won't stop taking and posting pictures -- good luck prying the camera away from me! --- but I am going to try to start writing more about my life and what is going on with my family more. I hope you all enjoy it!

Finger Painting

As the video explains, we are having a difficult time teething right now. I swear this kid must be growing another set of teeth. This morning was our first good morning since last Sunday. No fever and very little pain. I took today off to take care of her and decided why not try finger painting. She loves it at daycare so I figured it would be a hit. Libby loved it. At first she was a little hesitant (as the video shows) but after I turned off the camera and showed her how to write her name using her fingers, by the end the paper was completely covered with paint. It was awesome fun!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sticker Fun

09.12.09 Sticker Fun
Originally uploaded by Holly Mroczkowski.
Libby loves stickers. More importantly, she loves to take them stick them somewhere and then move them 1 million times. Sadly, not all of them hold up. Jim got her a Mickey Mouse coloring/sticker book and she went immediately to the stickers. She stuck them all over her activity table but the wanted to move them. This is one that split in half...I don't think she minded much though. =)

Hulk Smash

My little girl is no girly-girl
She will attack you with no hesitation....

and is happy to do it to protect her 'babies'

but after she's done, she is my sweet little girl again. She wants to give you kisses....

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


09.06.09 telling me NO
Originally uploaded by Holly Mroczkowski.
We've entered the fun phase of "No". Not us saying it to her but her telling us it. This picture if her telling me "No" (again because this kid is tired of getting her picture taken). Normally she has a little finger up shaking it at us while she tells us no. It was cute the first 5 or 6 times but as we enter the 1000th time, it isn't so cute. Not sure how to stop it but she is definitely becoming assertive!


Libby loves her some "ah ahs" (think monkey sounds). We took her to the STL Zoo because we hadn't been in a month (our longest time since she has been born). The monkey house was on the top of our list since she likes them so much. At first she didn't like the smell and couldn't see the monkeys very well but once she did she went crazy!! This is a pic of her running, not walking, from monkey to monkey. She would push adults or kids down (she didn't care) to get to the monkey. It was cute...and a little scary.

The "Look"

My kiddo has some faces, let me tell you. I finally captured "the look" she does when she is unhappy with her. Actually, typically it also involves with an eyebrow being up...but here she is giving me "the look" because she didn't want her picture taken.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009

New slide and other fun

Here is a video of Libby playing with her new slide (and getting into other trouble). Who says they have to be outside to have fun? =)