It's been a crazy week, so forgive me for being remiss about posting.
Hallie was reacting to beef until Friday, we think, and this made us all very very unhappy. My theory is that it takes her longest to clear protein from her system because it is denser and harder to break down (and obviously harder for her to digest). So this week was mostly devoted to cleaning up after the reflux-related, congested-related, allergy-originated mess and praying hard for her to get the awful stuff that was making all of us (but particularly her) unhappy out of her system.
Fortunately, by Saturday, things were a lot better and we could all go on with our lives. Hallie--with playing hard, and us mommy types with contemplating Hallie's future as a fruititarian. We are not sure that the word exists (blogger seems to be dubious on this count), but we're pretty sure that we're trying blueberries next and then grapes. We need to have a few good weeks under our belt before we attempt anything more challenging (perhaps black beans, which have iron and protein, but are not related to soybeans and peanuts. Alas, chickpeas, which might give us a flour and hummus and falafel, are). Anyway, we also need a few good weeks to help her work on her chewing and food acceptance skills. It's no wonder that she has food aversions: most of her life has been spent being sick because food was hurting her. We need a nice extended period of freedom from this to re-teach her that some foods can be her friends.
It's not that we had *no* fun this week...just less than we'd been having.
Here, Hallie is hanging out with Mommy in the wading pool:
And here she is singing "I Love Trash" with me: she is the puppeteer and I am the singer...she has yet to really sing along with anything, though she loves songs, particularly when sung by her favorite Sesame Street characters:
Anyway, this post isn't about food but about our weekend. Sharon and I started out the weekend in a nice way by going out to dinner and a movie on Friday night. Fabulous food at a local and relatively inexpensive Mexican place (I so hope that Hallie gets to enjoy guacamole and carnitas some day) followed by Wall-e, which was really good. It's totally not a kid's movie, but was a very good movie from the perspective of its underlying message (conservation of the planet Earth) and its fabulous Pixar animation. Nonetheless, I wondered if the message wouldn't end up being diluted by the fact that Disney (and Pixar by association and relationship) are marketing plastic thingamabobs that no one needs in the various merchandising campaigns underway for the film. It seems to me that we could all do more to conserve resources than end up with a million action figures no one truly needs that will end up in some future landfill should we not destroy ourselves by the time some robotic trash compactor of the future gets around to making the material with which to fill them...
OK, enough with my diatribe about our need to do something about our world's condition, and fast.
On Saturday, after another early awakening (7 am at the latest) and similarly early nap (1 pm), we headed down to Grammy's. We never arrive terribly early, and we are very apologetic about this, but let's face it, it's not easy for us to get out of the house and at least we sometimes do so. I was going to stay home to work this weekend but given that our house now seems to be the free residence of a colony of mice that we are picking off one by one (we'd like to evict them en masse but this is not going as planned), I decided that it would be far nicer to try to get some work done at Grammy's, spend time with the cousins and Aunt Laura, and do something other than wonder if it was safe to enter my kitchen.
I am very glad that I did. Hallie had a really lovely time and it's fabulous to see her have fun like this.
She spent the late afternoon at the wading pool with Adam and Hannah, whom she loves, and only part of the way through realized that there was a big grown up pool that we barred her from entering (she thinks she can swim but cannot, which presents all sorts of problems). She tried to find a way through the fence that separates the wading pool from the big person pool, but fortunately did not (it helps that we have neither taught her how to use wire cutters nor provided her with any!).
Saturday was vomit-free day number 88, and so this added to our collective parental happiness.
Today ended up being rather stormy, and Hallie took another early nap (again around 1pm) so we did not get out of the house until close to 4:30pm. We headed over to Aunt Laura's, met up with her and the little kids, and took off for Ocean City (which is about ten minutes from where they live).
Here she is in the lovely sweatshirt that Aunt Ellen got her for her birthday for hanging out on the Ocean City boardwalk:
First we had dinner at Mack and Manco's (Hallie had some potato sticks, milk and then a long walk up and down the boardwalk with me). Then it was off to take in the rides at Wonderland. The last time Hallie did this (the only time she did this!) was last summer, and she was far too small to enjoy the rides, and certainly too small to go on them unsupervised. This time, as always, we began with the Merry-go-round, and fortunately, the horsies did not frighten her.
Then, we sent her off with Adam (who is three and whom we put in charge) to enjoy the firetrucks. The kids had such a great time that they requested a second round. Hallie even enjoyed clanging the fire bell and steering a bit.
After that, we placed them on the boat ride. As I predicted, Hallie was very interested in the water---too interested, really. She had her hands in the water from the get-go (I was advised by Sharon, between her guffaws, that it was not, indeed, electrified). Then she threw her shoe into the water. Sharon retrieved that, and Hallie and I sat there wondering if they were going to post her mugshot and bar her from future rides.
They did not. So she went on later to take a boat ride with Hannah. Hannah is five and did her very best to try to restrain her youngest cousin, but to no avail. Hallie ended up trying to scoot out of Hannah's grasp to get back into the water. I banned her from that ride forthwith.
Before we left, Hallie took a ride on the flying dumbo with Mommy and after that we called it a night.
She slept in the car all the way home and I expect another early awakening from our girl, so I should call it a night, too.
But first, I just want to say that Hallie is not only speaking a lot more (she now regularly says "I" clauses...like "I sit", "I fly" and "I up" and "I down" but also sophisticated multisyllabic words like "upstairs" and "bathroom." I'm not sure that others can comprehend her speech, but we can most of the time. And on the bathroom front, it seems like Hallie is beginning to send out signals that we should, perhaps, begin that toilet training process we've been sort of dreading. Most of the time now when she needs to poop she seeks entry into a bathroom and does what she needs to do and tells us so by saying "Yes" (and signing it, too) when we ask her if she's pooped. She's done this about 85% of the time over the last four or five days. This is great. We're sort of terrified by the process, but Hallie is sending us signals, and we need to respect them. And of course I'll be thrilled to have her out of diapers soon...not only will it save us a few landfills, but a bunch of dollars each month, too. Not to mention help us deal with the squirming kiddo who hates having her diaper changed!
Finally, it will be very nice to just have one kid in diapers at a time...though I know that toddlers often do regress when their younger siblings arrive....
No, it's not Hallie who is expecting...she just plays a pregnant person in our house when she is being silly with Ami... Drumroll please: Sharon is 12 weeks, 2 days pregnant with our next, hopefully full term kiddo. We're doing everything we can to monitor this pregnancy as closely as humanly possible, and so far so good... It's quite a leap to take, and if you are the praying/contemplating/finger crossing type, please send your prayers, mantras, and good wishes our way. But I figured that, sooner or later we'd announce this to the blogosphere, and Hallie's pic gave me a great opportunity to do so. We are going into this armed with a lot of research and a bit of craziness, but hopefully, come February 7th, give or take just a week or two, Hallie will be a big sister and we'll be embarking on an even more exciting journey.