Sunday, October 26, 2008

Birthdays, Road Trips, and Other Fun Stuff

Well hello, readers! Yes, yes, I know, I have been neglecting you again. We have had a really busy couple weeks here in Delta Junction!
Let's start with the really fun stuff. Beans is ONE! All the mommies out there will know what I am saying when I say it was a bittersweet occasion. I put her to bed the eve of her birthday, giving her extra kisses, and realizing that this was the last time I was going to be putting my BABY girl to bed. As if to prove my point, she woke the following morning a "big girl". And just for kicks, added three words to her verbal vocabulary right off the bat. She woke and said, "Eat, Mama! Drink! Cereal!"

And yes, I bawled like a baby because my little baby is growing up.

After a hearty breakfast (cereal for little Beans, eggs and moose sausage for the rest of us), it was time for presents. I'm not one for lots of presents (um, you already know that). So we made a big production of the one gift we got her, the Fisher-Price Little People Farm, and a few accessories to go with it.

A side note here: The BEST gift wrapping for toddlers advice I ever got is wrap their presents in tissue paper. They need less help, love the mess it makes, and the crinkling of the tissue paper keeps their interest longer than the regular wrapping paper. Beans had a blast ripping the paper to shreds (as you can see ).

The rest of our day was spent peacefully, playing with the new farm and watching Beans imitate animal sounds. J and I spent the day alternating between laughing at her antics and getting a little teary-eyed that she is already a year old. (Yes, even J was kind of emotional about it.)

After dinner, it was time for cake. I changed my recipe a bit, since the strawberry cake didn't really work out. Plus, the commissary had a huge sale on bananas that were about to expire and I had bought a 15 lb bag of them and had them in the freezer for future muffin and bread projects. So... banana cake with added wheat germ (did you really think I was going to give Beans plain old refined flour?) and vanilla icing. Since she is our little punkin', and little Beans is currently obsessed with Jack O' Lanterns and ghosts, I made the cake look like a Jack O' Lantern, and she spent the entire day looking at it and trying to make spooky ghost noises at it.

The poor cake did not stay in such fine looking shape, of course. it was not long after dinner before little Beans was more than willing to give it a try. I won't post all the pictures, but here was the end result:

Doesn't she look so proud of herself?

I would like to add that orange and black colored frosting does mysterious things to baby poop. Because I know you all wanted to know that.
Overall, the day was a success, the orange frosting eventually washed off her face and out of her hair, and J and I collapsed into a birthday cake coma shortly after putting little Beans to bed.
I can't believe she is a year old. And each day since her birthday, she has been on a mission to prove what a "big girl" she is.
I am excited about what the next year brings for little Beans, who will be growing and learning and doing all kinds of neat things.
In other news:
Another reason you haven't heard much from Ol' Moose Nuggets is because we have been busy with doctors the last few weeks.
Oh, everything with the new little nugget is going well. We have an ultrasound next week and hoping we are going to be able to see gender parts. For those of you who think babies should be surprises, well... I am WAY too much of a planner for that sort of thing. If it's another girl, then great. I can sort through Bean's old stuff at my leisure. If it's a boy, well, I'd better do some shopping or this poor little baby is going to wear pink regardless of it's gender, because that's what we've got.
No, New Nugget is fine. It's little Beans that we have been arguing with doctors over.
My grand conclusion? Doctors are idiots and they really DO get their licenses out of Cracker Jacks boxes.
The long and short of it: Beans didn't gain enough weight to make the doctor happy. Since I'm not a big believer in those stupid charts anyway (besides, they are growth charts intended for formula fed babies anyway!), I don't watch my baby's weight as a sign of health. Silly me, I watch other indicators like: is she still growing? Developing properly? Active? Looks healthy?
Um, the answer to all those questions is yes.
But her doctor is a moron, like I already mentioned.
Well, after ignoring MOST of the doctor's advice (things like, "Stop nursing cold turkey and do it immediately!" or- I'm NOT kidding about this- giving us a sample toddler menu that includes items like bologna and pop tarts), I DID follow her advice to encourage Beans to drink more milk. Um, that was a big mistake, for the record. Now we are in the process of determining whether she has an allergy or just a bad intolerance. I am STILL trying to clear up the rash and eczema that it created two weeks ago, and she is finally not having so many tummy troubles as she was those first couple days of the Great Milk Mistake.
And like that wasn't bad enough, since her poor little immune system went into overdrive because the milk, she is now reacting to several other foods and environmental allergens that she was previously tolerating pretty well.
Oh, and the doctor didn't call back for 4 days. When she did, she said she wanted to see Beans, and I declined, letting her know that I had already given benadryl FOUR DAYS AGO, and we were handling things just fine on our own.
Add to that the fact that J has been pulled for overtime more days than he has been home. It's a little short staffed here. Anyone who has ever wanted to be a fire fighter, please apply. I miss my husband.
As anyone can imagine, that kind of stuff is a bit stressful. I don't know about stress in your house, but in our house, it causes tension. it causes tempers to flare. It causes stupid bickering over little things like, "Who folded the socks the wrong way?" and "Why don't you find something useful to do instead of bugging me?"
When stress gets out of control in my life, I do what I have always done. I run away from home.
OK, calm down... I didn't abandon anyone. And I didn't do it in the same fashion that I did when I was a teenager, you know, running away, hanging out on street corners, and doing naughty things like prank calling my parents' house to see if they were looking for me.
No, nothing that extreme.
I decided I needed a road trip.
I should add that I had every intention of leaving J at home. You know, to "teach him a lesson" about annoying me. The annoying thing about Alaska is: it takes a long time to get yourself and a baby out the door. J, realizing I was planning on (temporarily, folks!) running away from home, dashed upstairs and threw on some clothes and was seated in my van before I could storm out of the house with beans in tow. All because it was cold and we needed coats, boots, mittens, hats, and various other winter junk.
Well, after a few minutes of bitter silence, I was glad to have his company. And we did "get over" our stress induced grumpiness once we set some ground rules. Ground rules like, "If you irritate me, I WILL pull this van over and leave you on the side of the road and I don't care that it's 5 degrees outside". (Hey, no one said I was nice ALL the time.)
After a quick dash back to the hose to load up some overnight items and make some hotel accommodations, we headed into Fairbanks for a "vacation" of sorts. The truth is, we never get to ENJOY our trips to Fairbanks. They are always rushed, always full of errands, and everything has to fit into one day, a few hours, and in between doctor appointments or visiting with friends.
This trip was different. We were able to take our time getting into town, do the shopping and looking around we WANTED to do, and spend a little time actually enjoying our meals out instead of wolfing something down before our next errand.
The night in the base lodging was a little rocky... but that's another story. The highlight of that story is that after a crummy night of J running back and forth to the front desk for items our room was supposed to be stocked with but wasn't, the hair dryer literally burst into flames when I tried to dry my hair.
ANYWAY... we woke the following morning to 3 inches of snow on the van, and snow falling hard. Since we were already in town and not in the mood to go back home yet, we decided to spend the day out and about, poking around in stores and just having a good time. After several stops, and another 3 or 4 inches of snow fall, we decided it would be a good time to head back home, before we ended up staying another night. A quick stop at the Santa House (I had some Christmas shopping to tend to), we began the trek back to Delta Junction.
For the record, driving in snow is not so bad, once you get used to it. Especially when the snow is loose and powdery. Driving on ice? Not so much fun, but we made it home safely. And more importantly, we were in a much better mood and decided that fighting over the way socks were folded was really ridiculous. It's much more productive to bicker over who loaded the dishwasher incorrectly.
OK, y'all. Hopefully our next entry won't be so long in coming. We DO have a busy week coming up, with more doctor visits, ultrasounds, and various other things we have to accomplish, but I should be able to return to my normal blogging soon.
Until then, my little toddler is reminding me that nap time is officially over and I need to go play.
Until next time,
Happy Moose Trails!

1 comment:

Susan Stevenson said...

Happy Birthday to your precious baby girl!