Thursday, November 20, 2008

Baby Stuff

Today I took care of a friend's little boy (6 mos. old).

I had a bit of a "refresher" course - I have to admit, I didn't remember:
(1) how many diapers you go through in a day
(2) how little/light they are
(3) how I didn't have time to eat

My friend had this entire print out for naps/food/etc. I seem to be schedule-delinquent. Like seriously incapable of following a schedule. I don't know how this happened. Anyone who knows me, knows I - of all people - scheduled myself silly; starting in college (when my day-planner was filled with lists and color-coded).

Anyway, about an hour in to the day, we were about an hour off schedule. This of course, seemed to snowball. The nap at noon became a nap at 3 p.m. And instead of an hour (plus), it was a half hour.

The little boy was great, don't get me wrong, and Chase was AMAZING - helping me the whole day through. But it all made me worry, everso slightly, about the "scheduling" of number 2, and if I should even bother (as we never really did with Chase) and being housebound for naps and such will be really difficult for Chase.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cars With Ryder

Today Chase played cars with her little pal, Ryder. They are so cute together. Here they are sharing a cupcake after racing cars down the playground slide.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Playing Cars

After Chase told me she "loves cars," I went out and bought her a little, yellow, toy car. Watching her play with it went something like this...

Chase builds a house out of blocks. She lines up her animals and Einsteins. They talk to each other for a little while. Move around in the house. Talk to each other some more. So where's the car? Oh, it's in the garage. An Einstein or an animal might talk to the car briefly, but it mostly stays in the garage.

So today we met Reid for a play date, and I brought along a car for him. And he played with it like boys play with cars - it was the center of his attention - driving through sand, under tunnels, through things, over things and Chase played with him - just like him. After a half hour, she was the dirtiest I have ever seen her - and so happy. I wanted to strip her clothes off before putting her in the car, but I didn't. Her bath water was brown.

And then she fell asleep at the dinner table.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lady Music

This morning Chase was twirling in the kitchen.

"Music, Mama," she said over and over again and she twirled.

We were, of course, listening to NPR.

"Okay," I eventually gave in - sucker! - (Chase gets to listen to anything she wants in the car. I get to listen to anything I want in the kitchen).

I started flipping through the stations - first stop, classical.

"No, no, no,"' Chase sings out, still twirling. "I want Lady music, Mama."

Can you believe I tried every last station on the radio and there was not one song being sung by a woman? Chase couldn't believe it either. She ended up kicking and screaming on the floor, "Lady music! Lady music!"

Which brings me to the Terrible Twos. Not so bad for the most part, but the drama of tantrums can be so exhausting, especially when you can't see them coming. It's like weathering a tropical storm that rains down hard (as if from nowhere) and clears up just as fast. But when you're in the midst you wonder if and when it will end.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Few Of Chase's Favorite Things

Chase has started really enjoying bath time. She will spend up to an hour in it, splashing around. This afternoon she started singing, "row, row, row your boat," to her Einsteins, sliding back and forth on her stomach. Then she started calling them "kids."

"C'mon kids, let's sing!" she said. Not sure where she got that...

Another thing Chase loves is mixing colored water. We go outside and I set up three large pitchers of colored water, as well as a clear Pyrex plate and she spends the next half hour creating her own colors.

She's started to really love finger painting - creating animals and such from her hand-prints. Fabulous. We've been doing a lot of color wheel configurations.

And puzzles. She just can't get enough puzzles and mazes. She also enjoys measuring her stuffed animals.

She also has three favorite pairs of PJs. She loves the top/bottom separates and has three - one with Dora, one with a "fairy" painted on the top and another that has castles all over it.

We're still not into fairies or princesses. Tonight she told me she "loves trucks." Even though we don't own any and I've never seen her play with them. She went on to tell me that Ryder and Reid have trucks (two little guys she plays with), so I think trucks may be this year's princess crown.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Chase's "School" Experience

This morning I dropped Chase off at "school." I know one of the other moms, who asked me if I wanted to get coffee. With three hours to myself (one of maybe three times in the last three years), I felt like it would be silly not to. I had this plan of how I wanted to spend the time, but it went so quickly I didn't get much done.

Anyway, my friend said she was going to swing back by and check on her son, who she found in tears. Chase, meanwhile, was trying to comfort him. She was still playing with kids happily when my friend left (she reported back).

I arrived to pick up Chase about 25 minutes early, with a plan to sit in the lobby for her. I went to the bathroom and heard a child crying, so I looked in the room - the lights were out - for some kind of quiet time or something. Chase saw me and ran outside, giving me this look like, "where have you been mom?"

The lady at the front desk tried to lock me in for a month, but I told her I needed to chat with Chase first. So I asked Chase how it went and she said, "okay." I asked her what they did and she said, "I don't know," which is not a normal response for her. The "art" I received when I picked up Chase consisted of three stickers stuck to a piece of green construction paper - and for anyone who knows Chase, they would know that this is highly unusual (she is either drawing faces or putting more stickers on a page then the page can hold). When I asked her to describe the art, she didn't say a word and just pointed (also highly uncharacteristic).

And then tonight she told me, out of the blue, that she didn't want to go back to baby power because they made her sit in the dark, and she didn't like sitting in the dark. (Broke my heart!) Can't say I blame her - sounds pretty scary to me! They didn't mention anything about that in the overview.

So she's not going back. Luckily mom sent me some info about a couple schools I haven't heard of before, so maybe there's still a happy, good place for her to spend a little time this year.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Potty Blooper

Yesterday, Chase fell into the toilet.

She was going "all by herself," but forgot to put the small, Dora potty seat on first. Her knees hit her chin and she was seriously stuck. I saw the whole thing happen, because I was at the door of the bathroom - it was one of the funniest moments of all time.

As an aside, no pics for a while - Taggart, our dog, who fancies himself a photographer, was apparently trying to take pictures of our cat while we were gone and broke our camera lens. Now we're debating if we should "save money" and get the same lens we had, or spend more and get an even better lens.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


So there is this little place called "Baby Power," that offers Mother's Day Out sessions for kiddos from 9-12 a.m.

I just found out one of Chase's friends goes on Fridays, so we're going to test it out this Friday. It will be the first time I have left her in alone in an environment like this -- and while I'm kind of freaking out about it, I think it will be really good for her to have a chance to interact with other kids without me standing over her running interference (controlling? who, me?) And if she likes it, I might be able to accomplish something (like completing a thought) for the first time in almost three years.

The weird part is that I am totally overcome with guilt about wanting the time to myself. I feel like a very_bad_mom (and it's just three hours). It just seems so selfish. I mean, that's time I'll never get back. But then again, when you haven't slept in a very, long, time, space and time take on a different meaning. I've found it to be almost zen-like at times.

Anyway, Baby Power is totally play-based. They change activities every 15 minutes. There is nothing Montessori or language-based about it. It's just playing with other kids (gym, music, dance, snack, etc.) for three hours. We'll see how it goes...

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Chase has started saying no to me. And then giving me a little smile, as if to say, "so what are you going to do about it?"

Well today we didn't go to dance class and we didn't go to the library, because she said no to both. In fact, we didn't leave the house because she kept saying no and rolling around on the floor.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring?


Chase loves to measure her stuffed animals. We measure them every day. Not just one, but at least 15 of them (how did she get so many stuffed animals anyway?) I line them up against Inchie the Inchworm and she counts the inches. It's a good time.

Naming Her Animals

What we talk about these days...

Me: So who is this? (holding Pink Bear)
Chase: Tea
Me: Who is this? (holding a big fuzzy bunny)
Chase: His name is Huffy
Me: Who is this? (holding another stuffed animal)
Chase: His name is Soap

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

International Reaction Gathered By CNN

Definitely worth posting...

(CNN) -- Around the world, media reaction to the Democrats' victory has poured in, as newspapers and broadcasters reflect on the Barack Obama campaign and the global impact his win will have.

A member of the public picks up a copy of a newspaper with U.S. President-elect Barack Obama on the cover in Sydney, Australia

A woman picks up a copy of a newspaper in Sydney, Australia

The International Herald Tribune said that America had "leaped" across the color line, calling Obama "a 47-year-old black man who made history both because of his race and in spite of it."

The Times of London said Obama had revitalized U.S. politics. "The immense turnout in yesterday's election was testament to the energy, excitement and expectations of a rejuvenated American democracy, as well as the fears of a nation standing at a crossroads of history," the paper said.

It added that Obama's inheritance would be challenging. "The new president faces economic and social convulsions at home, conflict abroad."

Also in London, The Guardian focused on the historic nature of the Democrats' win, saying: "Victory in the end came as easily as the polls had predicted," and comparing Obama's achievement with Roosevelt's of 1932 and Reagan's of 1980.

In Germany, Der Spiegel's Gregor Peter Schmitz, writing from Chicago, called Obama's rise "astonishing," adding that his "curious ability to remain untouched by all the razzmatazz around him is likely to prove a source of strength."

Al Jazeera said Obama had "surfed to power on a wave of voter discontent generated by the failures of President George Bush and the Republican Party" and added that he faces "unique challenges." It continued that he must "act quickly" to restore confidence in the economy and with his country "sick of war" is "unlikely to make any additional major overseas military commitments."

The Jerusalem Post said that the transition in Middle Eastern policy from the Bush administration to Obama's would be "'evolutionary, not revolutionary,' according to diplomatic assessments in Jerusalem."

Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz called the U.S. election an "example of democracy at its best," citing Americans' "plethora of opportunities" to learn about the candidates' policies and stance on key issues. It also paid tribute to Obama's unifying influence, saying, "Whites and blacks, Jews and Muslims, all decided to give their votes to a candidate who is young, black and lacking in governmental experience," and expressed its hope that the President-elect would "rehabilitate the status of a superpower that remains unrivaled in its influence over the peace and welfare of all humanity."

Jordan's English daily, The Jordan Times, wrote an article entitled: "The American leader we need," in which the writer said: "Around the world, America's presidential election campaign has attracted as much attention as domestic political controversies in each of our own countries. The interest the world has taken in America's vote is the best example of America's soft power, and a lesson in democracy from the world's only superpower. If only we could all vote as well as watch and listen, because the outcome is vital for everyone around the world."

UAE Arabic daily, Al Khaleej considered in its editorial that "whoever is the winner, Israel had guaranteed that the White House will be biased to her."

In Tunisia, the Arabic daily Al Chourouk said: "Today America elects "The President of the World."

China Daily wished Obama well, saying that although it was elated at his landslide win, he faced "daunting challenges." It cited the economic crisis and the Iraq war as the driving factors behind the Democrats' victory, adding: "We have every reason to anticipate a more cooperative and talk-savvy new America."

And The Asia Times heralded the "End of a subprime era," calling the Bush administration "classic American salesmen" for whom "selling was their passion."

The Times of India called Obama an "advocate of strong partnership with India," saying the President-elect had "made it clear India poses no threat to Pakistan." But it also expressed concern about Obama's references to discouraging outsourcing, a policy it says would have an adverse effect on India.

The Kenya Times said Kenyans were "exuberant" and called Obama "the foremost blaze-trailing son of this land," adding that "[he] has convincingly shown that the world could be better through diplomacy than intimidation and arm-twisting tactics."

Japanese news agency Kyodo said Obama's task to repair the economy was "daunting," saying the American sub-prime meltdown had "sent global financial markets into a tailspin."


In Russia, Pravda was ecstatic, announcing that "Eight years of hell are over." It proceeded to catalog George W. Bush's perceived failures and slights against Russia and criticized the cost of the "grand American soap opera" during a time of economic crisis.

Over in Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald paid tribute to the Obama campaign, calling it a "stunning grassroots political movement, powered by massive multi-million dollar fundraising." It said his "stunning ascent" to the leadership of a nation "still riven by racial divides" would close an "eight-year era of turbulence under Bush."


I thought it important to post the results of the historic, 2008 election (CNN's recap below).

It occurred to me last night that this will be the first president Chase remembers. And, while she couldn't possibly understand the complexity of the situation, she will be exposed to a charismatic man who brings people together as he attempts to solve America's problems - a man who is humble enough to admit he can't do it himself - and intelligent enough to listen and weigh advice and direction from others who have more experience. It will be interesting to see where we are four years from now.

CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) -- Barack Obama did more than thump John McCain in the Electoral College tally; he also handily won the popular vote and redrew the great divide between red states and blue states.

Barack Obama addresses a crowd of more than 200,000 at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois.

Barack Obama addresses a crowd of more than 200,000 at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois.

Riding a Democratic tide that bolstered the party's presence in both houses of Congress, Obama snared about 62.8 million votes to McCain's 55.6 million, according to totals early Wednesday.

According to exit polls, Obama crushed McCain among women voters (56 percent to 43 percent); voters under 30 (66 percent to 32 percent); African-American voters (95 percent to 4 percent); Latino voters (66 percent to 32 percent); first-time voters (68 percent to 31 percent); and voters making less than $100,000 a year (55 percent to 43 percent).

"I think this is the passing of an old order," CNN senior political analyst David Gergen said as the results rolled in Tuesday night and the outcome became increasingly evident.

"I think what we see ... is a new coalition, a new order emerging. It isn't quite there, but with Barack Obama, for the first time, it's won. It is the Latino vote we just heard about. It is the bigger black vote that came out. Very importantly, it's the youth vote, the 18-to-29-year-old," said the Harvard University professor and former presidential adviser.

Early voting totals in the East suggested things would go traditionally, with McCain taking most of the Southeast, Obama most of the Northeast.

But then things quickly changed, as the senator from Illinois struck -- first in Pennsylvania and then in the Midwest state of Ohio, states McCain had to win in his bid for the Oval Office. Obama then delivered an uppercut in Virginia, a state that had not voted for a Democratic president since 1964.

As polls closed from East to West, Obama kept hammering McCain, as he snatched away Iowa, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada -- states that had been in President Bush's column in 2004. (Missouri, Indiana and North Carolina were still counting votes early Wednesday, but it appeared one or two of them could become blue-state converts as well.)

With McCain on the ropes, an Obama victory in Florida sounded the death knell. As the sun rose Wednesday, Obama had an insurmountable 338-163 lead over his rival in electoral votes, with only 37 undecided.

As he claimed victory Tuesday night, Obama told supporters, "change has come to America."

"The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even one term, but America -- I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you -- we as a people will get there," Obama said in Chicago before an estimated crowd of up to 240,000 people.

With Obama's win, he becomes the first African-American to win the White House.

McCain pledged Tuesday night to help Obama lead.

"Today, I was a candidate for the highest office in the country I love so much, and tonight, I remain her servant," McCain said.

The senator from Arizona called Obama to congratulate him, and Obama told him that he was eager to sit down and talk about how the two of them can work together.

Obama will also be working with a heavily Democratic Congress. Democrats picked up Senate seats in New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia, among others.

But Obama pledged to work across party lines and listen to the 46 percent of voters who chose McCain.

"While the Democratic Party has won a great victory tonight, we do so with a measure of humility and determination to heal the divides that have held back our progress," Obama said.

"To those Americans whose support I have yet to earn -- I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president, too," he said.

And he recited the words of Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican in White House, to call for unity.

"As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, 'We are not enemies, but friends ... though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection,'" Obama said.

Supporters in Chicago cheering, "Yes, we can," were met with cries of "Yes, we did."

Bush also called Obama to offer his congratulations.

The president told Obama he was about to begin one of the great journeys of his life, and invited him to the White House as soon as it could be arranged, according to White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

More than 1,000 people gathered outside the White House, chanting "Obama, Obama!"

Sen. Hillary Clinton, Obama's former rival for the Democratic nomination, said in a statement that "we are celebrating an historic victory for the American people."

"This was a long and hard fought campaign, but the result was well worth the wait. Together, under the leadership of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and a Democratic Congress, we will chart a better course to build a new economy and rebuild our leadership in the world."

Sen. Edward Kennedy said Americans "spoke loud and clear" in electing Obama.

"They understood his vision of a fairer and more just America and embraced it. They heard his call for a new generation of Americans to participate in government and were inspired. They believed that change is possible and voted to be part of America's future," the Massachusetts Democrat said in a statement.

Voters expressed excitement and pride in their country after casting their ballots in the historic election. Poll workers reported high turnout across many parts of the country, and some voters waited hours to cast their ballots.

Tuesday marked the end of the longest presidential campaign season in U.S. history -- 21 months.

Obama, 47, will begin his transition to the White House. He will be sworn in as the 44th president on January 20.