Friday, April 29, 2011


Lilah has been sick a lot this year.  Apparently a child's first year of daycare can do that.  There have been countless colds, several bouts of barfiness, and about eleventy million fevers. And that means a whole arsenal of pediatric drugs.  It's not that I love the idea of giving my child over-the-counter medicines, and I do try to avoid it where possible, but the fevers tend to make it a necessity.

And I have become an expert at getting her to take this medicine.  Even in her sleep.  Especially in her sleep.  I tiptoe silently across her room, grope blindly for her mouth, pry her lips apart, slip the syringe in, and push the plunger, delivering 8 hours' worth of sweet Advil peace to her feverish little body.  She has thus far retained the ability to suck in her sleep that infants are so famous for.  I wonder how much longer I have before she starts jolting awake during my attempts to drug her...?

Poor thing doesn't even know what hit her!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday of Few Words: Like Mother, Like Daughter

I have heard from a number of sources that my daughter doesn't look much like me.  But I don't look much like me at age two, either, which, must I remind you, was thirty years ago.  The Hubs can take credit for her blue eyes, but I think you will find, upon examination of the following photographic evidence, that my daughter looks more like me than you would think upon first glance.

Here's me at roughly two years of age, circa summer 1981:

And here's Lilah at almost 22 months, spring 2011:
Sure, the Hipstamatic effect helps, but I think it is plain to see that she is her mother's daughter through and through, right down to the stocky little legs, protruding belly, flower clenched in a chubby fist, and flyaway blond hair swooped over the right eye.

That's my girl!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Of Pagan Rituals and Sugar Highs

Beware those old Pagan traditions...

Lilah has the good fortune to participate in not one, not two, but thee days' worth of celebrations, including a ride on the miniature train at Stanely Park, multiple egg hunts, and Easter Sunday dinner at her grandparents' house.

One of Lilah's pals getting cozy
with the bunny

All this revelry, while loads of fun, does come with a few adverse side effects for the young toddler:

1. Easter Bunny and chick mascots can be intriguing, and many toddlers enjoy shaking their hands, hugging them, and pulling their tales.  But for a shy girl like Lilah, caution and a small dose of fear will win out over curiosity.  After warily approaching the mascots, she balked and came running to hide behind my legs, and I really can't say that I blame her.

2.  Those miniature foil-covered eggs can be tricky for little toddler fingers, resulting in extreme frustration, since well-intentioned offers of "Mama help?" are often fiercely rejected.  Foil may or may not have been consumed by said toddler.  Only time and the diaper contents will tell.

 3.  In order to partake of these rituals, you must be willing to put your pride aside and parade about with a serious case of Chocolate Face:

4. The sugar high that follows all of this chocolate consumption may result in poor judgement and the inability to properly operate the toddler equivalent of heavy machinery:

Hope your Easter long weekend was as fun and fulfilling as ours was! 

Now off I go to do an extra load of chocolate-stained laundry.  Some of it is even Lilah's.

Friday, April 15, 2011

What's Good?

I attended a work-related conference several weeks ago, involving all the professions that provide public health and mental health services to children under six and their families in our region.  You better believe it was a touchy-feely, bleeding heart (in the good way), feel-good two days full of learning, professional development, self-improvement, and networking.

A number of presenters' messages stuck with me, but the one I found most memorable and thought-provoking was on the first day of the conference; a keynote address by Carla Rieger on the top three habits of highly resilient people, and how to cope with change.  She had me nodding along in agreement right from the very beginning, but the thing that really stuck with me was about choosing your attitude.  She instructed us to ask ourselves, when faced with a challenging situation, "What's good about this situation?  How could this unexpected change or challenge make me grow as a person?" 

She also talked about that person (we all know one) who is always negative, to the point where you're reluctant to even ask them "What's up?" or "How are you doing?" for fear of opening up a giant can of worms and getting sucked into their vortex of negativity.  So instead she suggested that next time we ask them, "What's good?''  It's hard to respond to that question in a negative way.  To demonstrate her point, she had us get up and move around the room for a few minutes, getting face to face with a new person every few seconds and asking them, "What's good?"  The rule was that you couldn't use the same answer twice.  But she also stressed the fact that it didn't have to be anything deep or profound, just pulling something off the top of your head would do the trick. My answers included the deliciousness of the brownies served for afternoon snack at the conference, the fact that my mum was coming to visit soon, and that I was looking forward to my workout later that day.  And you know what?  My commute home from the conference that day in very heavy traffic?  It didn't seem so awful - I had good tunes on the radio and I knew I was going to see my Lilahbility shortly.
Worth waiting in traffic for.
As someone who is "change-challenged," this is a really useful trick for me.  I have been trying really hard to find the good in every situation, and I really think it's (mostly) helping to keep my frustration at a manageable level.  I also firmly believe that life is what you make it, though I am the type to get caught up in the details and sweat the small stuff.  You can choose your attitude.  Sometimes just taking a step back and thinking about what things will look like when the challenging situation is over changes your whole perspective and makes you feel calmer and more together.  And there's got to be something to the theory that you reap what you sow, because on the second day of the conference (which was held at a conference centre that also boasted a hotel and casino), I headed downstairs to check out the slot machines for ten minutes and came back $70 richer!  How's that for good?

So go on, ask me what's good.

Spring at last!
And this:
Gratuitous, blueberry-stained cuteness.  Just because.
 And this, too:
My mum making Lilah laugh hysterically
And this?  This is all good:

Your turn!  Tell me, what's good?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wordful Wednesday: Maplewood Farm

We've been meaning to make a trip to Maplewood Farm since it opened for the year - we'd heard such great things from a number of friends who are also parents of toddlers.  On Saturday, the weather was unexpectedly nice (the forecast had previously been calling for rain), so we headed out with some friends for Lilah's first farm experience.

Before Lilah turned one, she used to launch herself head-first into new experiences.  She had the loudest, highest-pitched shriek of all the babies I knew (still does, though she uses it less often), she was a risk-taker, and fiercely independent.  Hence the early mobility - early to commando crawl, early to pull up and cruise the furniture, early to finger-walk, and very early to walk unsupported.  While she is still fiercely independent, she has become a lot more cautious.  Especially when it comes to approaching animals.  (With the exception of our cats, whom she loves to feed/tease with treats.)  Thus, most of Lilah's time at the farm was spent like this:

And like this (because horses can be pretty darn intimidating):

Lilah's BFF, on the other hand, is totally fearless when it comes to animals.  They say opposites attract!

Eventually, Lilah did allow her feet to touch the ground, but she still preferred to observe from afar.

We were concerned that the Hubs and I were going to be the only ones making use of the bird seed we bought specifically for Lilah.

However, there was one animal in particular that Lilah was not afraid to feed (though he prefers crackers to birdseed):

I think Lilah's favourite parts of the farm were the tractors,

and holding hands with her BFF.

And then, just as we were about to leave the farm, this happened:

Which had me running back to the little store to purchase more birdseed for the girls, since we were almost out by that point.

I ofen find myself sitting back and marveling at the little personality that is emerging right before my eyes, and these types of outings tend to highlight her developing traits.  Some of it is nurture, yes, but I attribute much of it at this early stage to nature. I see a lot of myself in Lilah, so it really shouldn't come as any surprise to me that, like me, she can be quite shy and a little slow-to-warm-up.

What do outings like this tell you about your own family members's personalities?  Do you think kids' personalities can change throughout their childhood, or do the core traits stay the same?  Please share your thoughts in the comments!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Who Does Number Two Work For?

Yes, my friends, this is it.  We have reached that universal milestone in our development as a family.  Conversations about poo-poo.  Here is just a small sampling of the dialogues overheard in the Lilahbility household of late:

Scene: Outside the door of our storage room.

Lilah:  Lilah close?  Lilah close!

Amanda: Lilah, please don't close the door to the storage room.  The kitties need to get in there to use the litter box.  The kitties might have to go poo-poo and they need to get in there.

Lilah: Lilah close?

Amanda: No Lilah, no close.  Kitties poo-poo.  That's where kitties go poo-poo.

Lilah: Kitty poo-poo?

Amanda: Yes, Lilah, kitties poo-poo.

Lilah: Lilah poo-poo!

Amanda: Yes, Lilah does poo-poo too.

Lilah: Too.

Amanda: That's right, Lilah poo-poo too.

Lilah:  Kitty poo-poo too?

Amanda: Yep, kitties go poo-poo too.

Lilah: Mummy poo-poo?

Amanda: Yep, Mummy goes poo-poo.

Lilah: Daddy poo-poo?

Amanda: Yes, Daddy poo-poo too.

Lilah: Ummmm... Annie poo-poo?  (Annie* is Lilah's BFF)

Amanda: Yes, Annie does go poo-poo.

Lilah: Ummmm... John poo-poo? (John* is Annie's dad)

Amanda: Uh, yeah, I'm sure John goes poo-poo too.

Lilah: Ummmm... Ellen poo-poo? (Ellen* is Annie's mom)

Amanda: Yep, probably.  Everybody goes poo-poo.  Lilah goes poo-poo, kitties go poo-poo, Mummy goes poo-poo, Daddy goes poo-poo.  Everybody goes poo-poo.

Lilah: Annie poo-poo?

Amanda: Yes, kiddo, Annie poo-poo, John poo-poo, Ellen poo-poo.  Everybody goes poo-poo.

Lilah: Poo-poo!!!

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent.


Scene: Outside the bathroom door.

Lilah: Mummy, open!

Amanda: Lilah, Mummy's going potty.  Please go play with Daddy.

Lilah: No, Mummy, open!  Lilah potty!

Amanda: Lilah, Mummy really wants to potty by herself for a minute.  Please?

Lilah: Mummy, open!  Open!  OPEN!  Lilah potty too!

Amanda:  Sigh...  okay Lilah, enter at your own risk.

Lilah: Yaaaaaay!  Mummy potty!

She likes to talk about it, stand on it, and carry it around the house,
but she won't actually use it.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Monthly Recap: What I learned in March 2011

Amber Strocel does a monthly recap and has invited others to play along and link up. So here's what I learned in March:

1.  My husband can rock a rainbow butterfly bag like no body's business.

2.  Monthly trips to the aquarium provide a yardstick for Lilah's development.  On our most recent visit, the changes that had taken place since our last visit were striking.  She got so much more from the exhibits - exclaiming in excitement over the "pishies" (fishies), "boggies" (froggies) and "boogas" (Belugas).  One thing that hasn't changed?  She's still convinced that the otters are kitties that swim.

Watching the sea "kitties" with Daddy
3. Writing a letter to myself as a brand new mother was extremely therapeutic and sparked some valuable discussion.

4.  Nap battles are not fun for anyone.  However, if losing the battle means a short catnap next to this sweet sleeping soul, I can be okay with that.

Lilah finally napping - in Mommy's bed
5.  My kid is a puker.  Anytime there is a bug going around, we can assume she's going to catch it.  And just when we think she's all better, we can expect a mini-relapse.  But according to the comments I received, the mini-relapse is actually fairly common.  Wish I knew why that happens and how to prevent it!

6.  I'm not a fan of guns but I do enjoy a good gun show once in awhile.
7. I finally understand what all the fuss around smart phones is about.  Oh, and Hipstamatic?  Dripping in pure, undiluted awesomesauce.  Retrolicious!

8.  Lilahbility: fashion icon.

9.a) It takes over an hour to clean a public pool that has been pooped in. 9.b) The technical term for poop in the pool is "a fouling."  9.c)  There's only so long a toddler can spend on the ramp into the hot tub.  (In case you're wondering, Lilah was not the fouler and we were thankfully not in the pool when said fouling actually occurred.)

10.  When you walk down the street with two small toddlers holding hands, you are sure to get a whole lot of smiles and exclamations of "awwwww!"

Walking down Main Street with her boyfriend
Tell me, what did you learn in March?


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