Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Story of the Pink, Glitter-polka-dotted skirt AND Christmas at Grandma's

Alright boys and girls. I can't believe I'm putting this on the internet for everyone to see, but here it is. For Christmas, Parker received an outfit that consists of brown leggings, a brown skirt with pink, glitter polka dots and a matching pink shirt. The skirt and matching part of the shirt are made of whatever that stuff ballet tu-tus are made of. It's not exactly what I would pick out for my kid, but it was free, and Parker needs clothes at the moment. So, on the day we were going to celebrate Christmas with Alicia's family, we put her in it.

Here is the back shot (because I think her little baby booty is cute.)
Here is the front shot. (Please pardon the scraggly hair - P was running a fever and hates to have her hair done. I wasn't fighting.)
And here is Parker actually giving a nice smile for the camera. Again, pardon the red and puffy face. She above comment about the fever and previous post about the chicken pox.
Okay, now that you have all made fun of me and have gotten a good laugh, here is the real post about our visit with Alicia's family.

We actually arrived at Alicia's parents' house on Friday afternoon. We hung out Saturday and traveled to visit extended family Sunday and Monday. This left Tuesday evening to exchange gifts. Parker has been going to bed pretty early lately. I think it's because she's down to essentially one nap a day. So, if she's not in bed by 7:15, she is a MESS. Northern Indiana is on Central time, so this is 6:15 at her Grandma's house. It makes meals and other evening activities a challenge. Add to this the fact that she wasn't feeling good and you have a disaster in the making. She hung in there pretty well though.

Here is Parker watching her Grandma make mashed potatoes. (And eating a fruit strip!)
Parker listens as her Grandma reads a new book. (And Parker eats yogurt melts.)
P helps Grandma open a gift from her.

Parker examines the new movie she got.It's ironic that in 2 of these pictures Parker is eating because she ate hardly anything the entire time we were there.

Cute P stories from Grandma and Grandpa's house:
Parker can't say Eric (Alicia's brother). So, she just calls him Uncle. On Tuesday, when everyone but Grandma was at work, she wandered the house calling, "Uncle? Gampa?"

Alicia's Dad always says "ooga booga" to Parker. He taught her to say it so now she almost always says "Hi Gampa. Booga!"

We play with Parker but are not always at her beck and call. When you are at Grandma's there is always someone to play. Parker began sitting with her toys and saying, "Pay! Pay!" and patting the ground next to her. Someone (usually Grandma) would oblige!

Okay, I think I am officially caught up.

Merry Christmas to all.

Christmas on the Farm

Last weekend, we trekked to Forreston, IL to celebrate Christmas with Alicia's Mom's side of the family. We spent the afternoon at her Aunt Kathy's house and Parker got to play with her second cousins, Taylor (whom Parker called Tator) and Reece (she could actually say Reece!)

They had tons of toys and Parker was in heaven! Interestingly, Parker, who has never really been a fan of riding things, loved this trike that Reece had.
Here she is showing her cheesy smile.
There was a small gift exchange for the kids and here's Parker opening a gift with her Grandma L.
It's a peek-a-boo frog!
While Parker enjoyed spending time with her family, getting gifts and playing with all the toys, her absolute favorite part of the trip was the cows. Parker has a mild obsession with both cows. This part of our family lives on a farm - WITH COWS!! We pointed them out as we were driving up and as soon as we got inside Parker started saying, "Cow! Moo!" We promised her that later we would go out to see the cows.
We didn't stay out too long as it was pretty cold. Parker was a little disappointed because the cows were eating when we went out and were NOT mooing, but she still thought it was pretty cool.
In our brilliant planning, we tried to get a picture of all three kids right before we left (and they were all DONE.) So, this is the best we got. I think Alicia's mom has a better one on her camera, but I don't have it yet. Reece (who is about a month younger than Parker) is on the left, Taylor (4) is in the middle and our "little" P is on the right.
I hope to get up one more post before Christmas! Fingers crossed...P's waking up.

Have a Merry Poxy Christmas

As I posted about earlier, in Christmas at the Zoo or Santa, Part 1, Parker got 5 immunizations on December 11th. At the time, the nurse told me all the possible side effects of all of these shots. I listened like a good mother, took the 15 million papers they give you and went home. Parker seemed to be doing well.

The night before we left for Alicia's parents' was terrible. Parker didn't sleep and she woke up kind of snotty. We thought that perhaps her ear infections had returned (as they so often do.) We weren't sure because it wasn't too bad, but we weren't about to leave town for 6 days with a sick baby. So, we took her in. Yeah. She was fine, no ear infections, but still acting fairly cranky.

She did alright Friday, but then Saturday when she woke up from her nap, she was just REALLY cuddly and cranky. We knew she didn't feel well. When we gave her her bath Saturday night we noticed little red dots all over her belly.

Flashback: The nurse said something about one in a bazillion (or roughly something like that) getting a mild case of chicken pox from the vaccination. We weren't quite sold on chicken pox, thought maybe she was just getting a rash from the measles vaccine, but it wasn't super rashy - more spread out and kinda zitty looking. (Gross analogy, sorry!)

Sunday morning, she was totally glazed over and out of it. I thought her spots looked a little better. Sunday night, for the first time in her life, Parker had a fever. It was 100.4, which I know is not too bad, but I had to freak out a little because 1) her body temp is normally pretty low, like 96 or 97 and 2) she had never run a fever before (at least that I could catch!) I tried to keep telling myself that the nurse said she could run up to 102 and we shouldn't worry as long as we could bring it down with Tylenol.

She did okay though, basically slept well. Monday, a case of the uber crankies, spots worse - spreading and redder. Tuesday, spots about the same, still really cranky and cuddly. Yesterday, she seemed a bit better and I'm hopeful that when she gets up this morning, she will be even better still. The good news is that she slept really well last night than she has in the past week (I think being back in her bed certainly helped.)

I think the worst of it is over and I'm sure that it was just a very mild case, but I'm also sure that my kid is amazing because we were dragging her all over the midwest during all of this and people who don't spend a lot of time around her didn't even know anything was wrong because she was less cranky than some of the healthy kids! *

*Disclaimer - We are not horrible parents! We didn't know what was wrong with her until we were in the middle of our travel plans. Additionally, the dr said that we didn't need to worry about her getting anyone else sick unless she was around someone with a weakened immune system, which she wasn't! :)

So, here's hoping for improved health today so that we can have an "Un-poxy" Christmas tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jolly Days or Santa, Part 2

Before we left to visit Alicia's family, we wanted to take Parker to the Children's Museum to see Santa (for real) and to explore the Jolly Days exhibit. We went in the afternoon, which is apparently the perfect time to go. There were only a couple people in line for Santa! Yea. Parker did slightly better this time, but we didn't attempt to put her on Santa's lap or have me leave the picture!
Here she is "smiling" for the photographer.
Then, she looks to Alicia with her classic pout as if to say, "Save me, Mom!" I love how Santa is so engaged with Parker. (Seriously, he wasn't bad - he even talked to her after the picture, it's just funny here!)
We didn't hang around the rest of the Jolly Days area for very long. They were in the middle of several snowball fights, which were just LOUD and it was pretty crowded with big kids. I think P would have enjoyed playing with and on some of the things, but she was getting trampled and was kind of intimidated, so we left and tried the Yule Slide instead.
Here she is with Alicia. Apparently, Alicia said "Whee" all the way down. Parker, on the other hand, decided to say it after they stood up at the bottom! :)
We headed up to our normal stop, Playscape. Each time we go, Parker gets a little more comfortable with the sand. She has to go through a "eww! There's sand on my hands bit in the beginning, though."
Parker has always loved the water table. We've been taking her to the museum since she was 6 months old and it's so cool to watch her grow in the way she plays with the equipment.
Parker has started getting into pretending, which I think is amazing. Here she is playing with the giant dollhouse.
Since it was later in the afternoon, it wasn't crowded, so we decided to go to the basement and play with the Fireworks of Glass exhibit. (No good pics from that, sorry!) Then, Parker seemed intrigued by the trains, which isn't something that we have really done before. So, she played and even crawled under and in this exhibit. Immediately following this picture, she completely lost it though because she wanted to walk out and she couldn't. She had to crawl. She was not a fan!
Overall, a really great trip. My little girl is getting so big!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Top Secret (I mean it - Don't read this if your last name is Sharp!)

The Spirit of Giving

We thought that it would be cute if Parker could make gifts for her family. So on one of our shopping outings, we went to Jo-Anne's and bought some wooden circles, ribbon and paint. Alicia drilled a small hole in them and painted them white. The idea was that Parker could then add her own decorative paint touches (in red and or green.) We thought this would work really well because she is getting the hang of coloring and seems to enjoy it.

We hyped it up. "Parker, do you want to paint? She was excited. She didn't actually want to do the activity. We did a demo ornament. She was not interested. We took a break. "Parker, do you want to paint?" Her response, "Uh...No." (Repeat this several times.) Finally, she says, "Paint!" Okay, here we go. The only way she will do it is if I give her a new brush each time. She kept saying, "Dip. Dip."
Alicia helps her do the first one.
This is what most of the experience looked like.
It only took us three different "rounds" of painting to get 9 ornaments. You can see a couple of P's masterpieces sitting on the table.
The good news is that although she may not have had the stamina to enjoy painting all 9 ornaments, she did like a couple and she got to give her first one away today. :) She handed the present to the appropriate person and even (when prompted) said "welcome!" after she thanked her. That made me happy. :)

Christmas at the Zoo or Santa, Part 1

Last Friday (December 11th) Parker had her 15 month appointment. They claimed that she is still 31.5 inches (which I'm not sure I believe because she was wiggling EVERYWHERE and her pants are getting shorter) and 24lbs, 12 oz. Both of those are in the 90th percentile. As a side note, ever since Parker had her EEG she hates going to the dr. She will scream for everything. It's pretty fun. She has gotten a little better, but there are still multiple tears. Anyway, this visit is pertinent to this post because on this visit, Parker's ears were actually clear! :) She has had an ear infection (or 2) since her birthday. So, this was indeed a momentous occasion. What this meant for poor Parker, however, is that she got to get LOTS of shots, five to be exact.

So, what did we, her really thoughtful Moms decide to do that night? Take her to Christmas at the Zoo, of course! Now, in fairness, she was doing fine - just a little cuddly.

Here is Parker all bundled up heading in. She seems to be really excited.
Here's P looking at the fish (if she can see from under her hat!)
We had never been to Christmas at the Zoo before and sort of knew that there were special activities, but hadn't really investigated prior to going. We went into the tent and found both Santa and cookies. We had planned on taking Parker to see Santa at the Children's Museum the following week, but there was no line and we thought it might be good to have sort of a trial run. As you can see, it went really well. :)
She calmed down slightly when I came back in the picture, but is clearly unhappy. A minute after we were done, she started saying, "Tanta!" I was hopeful for the next visit.
Parker LOVES cookies, so of course we had to decorate one. She didn't want to actually put the frosting on, but was quite interested in watching Alicia do it.
Then we ate the cookie.
And what would an outing be without an obligatory posed shot?
In the next episode: TOP SECRET for family members!!!! (Seriously, if you are related to me - don't read until after we open gifts. I'm being serious - don't do it!!!!!!!!!!! I'll be sad.)

Chasing a Baby trying to get a photo op.

I thought it was challenging last year trying to get a good picture of Parker to put on a Christmas card. At least last year she didn't move anywhere! We were literally chasing Parker around the house. She did not want to sit still. We got a couple of cute-ish shots. Not all completely card worthy, but still pretty funny.

Here is Parker's posed shot on the piano bench.
Such a, notsomuch! I think it's hilarious though - she was making faces at Alicia.
She's telling me for the bazillionth time that there is a "tee" in her house!
This is when the fun really started. She was running all over the house, like a little milk drunk baby!
Finally, she decided to "smile" for the camera. I'm afraid that that this is the cheesy smile that we are going to get for the next few years!
Coming up: Christmas at the Zoo AKA Santa, Pt. 1

Decorating a Christmas Tree

When we last left off, the Sharp-LaMagdeleine family had cut down a Christmas tree. Friday night, we got it in the stand and set up the artificial tree. (Yes, we're a multiple tree household.) Saturday, when Parker woke up there were many boxes of decorations out. She immediately went to one and asked for, "hep, pease." (Help, please) So, we got out Parker's ornaments. She inspected each one and then laid it nicely on the ground. She got quite excited when I asked if she wanted to put them on the tree. At first she just set them on the branches, but then got the hang of actually hanging them on the tree. It was pretty cute. Unfortunately, I was caught in the moment of helping her and didn't get any pictures. Luckily, she was still interested later when we were adding the "generic" ornaments.
Here's P selecting the perfect ball to add.
Here's Parker's Grandma lending her a hand.
Parker inspecting the ornament to make sure it is fit to put on the tree
And lastly, a cheesy smile!
Up Next (I think...) Chasing a Baby around trying to get a cute Holiday Photo

Cutting a Christmas Tree

I have been quite remiss with the blogging lately, so I am going to try to catch up this week! Here goes:

The Friday after Thanksgiving, we once again took Parker to cut a Christmas tree. Last year, she was pretty small, so I was very excited to see how she would react this year. She did a pretty good job considering she had double ear infections (at the time undiagnosed). She loves riding on shoulders, so she rode on her Mom's shoulders for awhile.
She didn't want to get down and walk, but she did want everyone to walk her around and touch all the trees.
She especially liked riding the wagon to the fields and back. My sister was able to get a couple of cute shots of Parker playing "Boo!" before the wagon pulled away. Please pardon the disgusting snot - as I said, she had two ear infections and it was impossible to wipe her nose out in the trees!

Stay tuned for: Decorating a Christmas Tree

Sunday, December 13, 2009


At my parents' house there is this picture of me on the fridge when I was approximately P's age. My brother thought it would be pretty clever to hang our Christmas card from this year below and send me the shot.
Yeah, I guess she's mine. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

New 'Do

Parker's hair has been out of control lately! Her bangs are getting so long, but I don't really want to cut them since I would really love for her to be bang-less when her hair gets longer. So, we have been experimenting with different ways to hold her hair back. Barrettes sort of work, but in order for them to not look weird, they don't really hold the bangs back. (Her bangs are too short for that, but too long to hang! Ugh!) So, last weekend we tried pig tails. They worked pretty well, although they did fall out a few times during the day and Parker's not a big fan of getting them in!

Here are a couple of pics of P's new 'do!

On Saturday, the pig-tails won! They just kept moving closer and closer to the top of her head as they day went on! She really looks like a Baby Who now! (Still pretty cute though!)

Friday, November 6, 2009


I finally was able to catch it on video. Please don't mind the toys everywhere and the CRAZY hair.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I am stuck. I'm not sure how to get un-stuck. Right now, things are good. I work, essentially, part-time but am still able to get insurance through work since they don't consider me a part-time employee. This situation will not be available to me next year. So, I have to decide what I'm going to do.

I would love to stay home. The problem being that then, I don't have any insurance. I have self-insured before, but that is costly - especially when you consider that I won't be bringing in any money. Plus, we want to start thinking about baby #2. This is definitely expensive - and impossible if I don't have any insurance (or am self-insuring!) So, if we want to have another baby, I have to be working full time so that I have insurance (and it would be helpful if I was bringing in money to pay for all the medical expenses that come along with us having a baby - let's remember that P cost us about $25,000 - not including hospital bills for her birth)

I guess, I don't really have an option on that one. So, the next question is where do I work? Do I try to stay in the district I am now or do I seek out other opportunities? I'm not entirely sure how it works coming off a job-share and wanting to go back full time. The wonderful thing about my current district is that they won't want to even talk about any of this until May-ish. Fantastic. It's not like I need to know or anything. I don't really feel up to looking hard core for a new job so I guess I will stay where I am and hope that they have something that I am remotely interested in for the fall.

I hate that I don't get to choose whether or not to stay home with our child because our society has decided that I can't be on Alicia's insurance. I'm sorry for whining, but it's just not fair.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I'm blogging this mostly because I'm too lazy to get up and write it all in Parker's baby book. I'm hoping that when I actually get around to doing it, I can refer back to this post. I know you don't all REALLY care about Parker's new words, but I do and it's my blog! :)

cloth - yes, she now can quite clearly request her "snuggle cloth"

park - This is a girl who LOVES the park. She knows where it is and wants to go there all the time. We go for a walk and take a turn that doesn't lead to the park and she gets upset saying "park" over and over. We drive by the park in the car and she points and says "park!" We come home. She drags us to the door saying "PARK!" She was quite bummed that it was raining today.

Parker - Now admittedly, this is not perfected and only comes out when prompted, but she did repeat it at least twice this evening. I'm psyched!

fish - (sh) She just randomly busted this out at my sister's because she wanted the goldfish crackers on the counter

cake - of course, my daughter would learn to say cake early

cup - either empty or full, regular or sippy; she doesn't care!

Dog - The girl loves dogs. Too bad she's never getting one! lol

She is also a VERY good mimic and has repeated many things including please and thank you.

And as a last note - I LOVED it that tonight she and Alicia were singing "Old MacDonald" in the tub with Parker singing the "EIEIO's" and doing the animal noises!

My little girl is getting so big! (Now if only she would walk without screaming like we were pulling off her legs!)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Why I'm Not a Painter

Parker has been "talking" up a storm lately. Over the weekend, she just started saying LOTS of new things. Here are her new words:

Hi! - She will say this to anyone and everyone. I think she greeted every single person in the Wal-Mart and Kroger on Sunday morning and every student in the hallway of University this afternoon. She even greeted the assistant head of school, said good-bye to him and then clapped for herself.
Kitty! - As in "Kitty, I'm coming to get you." Or "Kitty, get off the counter!"
Car - Goodness knows I feel like we are always in the car, so why shouldn't she know this word?
G0 - This usually goes hand in hand with car
Moooooo - Previously, Parker's cows said "Mmmmmm" They now say "Moo," which is good since she is going to be a cow for Halloween
Ooh-Ooh - This is what a Monkey says
Cookie - Um, okay, I know this is not a surprise to anyone.
Na-na - This is what she calls our friend Nancy. She won't actually call her it, but when asked if she wants to see Nancy, she will say "Na-na"
Maxx - She doesn't quite have the "x" yet, but she is getting there and she does chase after him calling "Maa, Maa"

She is trying to say lots of other things including "cloth" (her snuggle cloth/blankie thing), "coat", "shoes," "socks," and I swear that on two separate occasions when the Smiths were staying with us this past weekend she said "Sadie."

Although she hasn't (yet) started reciting her own poetry, Parker loves to hear her Mom do it- she specifically loves "Why I'm Not a Painter" by Frank O'Hara.

I think Alicia has died and gone to heaven.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Through the year

I have been very nostalgic about Parker turning 1. So, in that spirit here are some photos through the year.
Parker, at the hospital - still in the NICU - just a little over 12 hours old.
Parker at Christmas - 3 months
Parker - 6 months old!
P at 9 months
My big girl on her birthday. It's kind of amazing what a couple of barrettes and a little more hair will do to age a girl!
I love my big girl, but I miss my baby too! Will someone please say that it slows down a little (or at least doesn't get any faster?)