Leah and Katie update April 30th 2014

We have been pretty nonexistent here on the website.  That is due to a multitude of reasons, but really it’s just been lazy and out of routine.  So here is what happened last weekend.

Saturday was spent outside ALL day.  The weather was beautiful and the girls wanted to spend as much time outside in the backyard as possible playing with their water table.  This was easy to accommodate as Todd was working on fixing up the backyard and I wanted to be outside as well.  The girls developed a pretend house on the deck with the water table being the bath and the sling chair being the bed.  They would go “upstairs” and “downstairs” very often and with much announcing of what they were doing.  Katie felt it necessary to say, “bye, Leah” every time she went downstairs.  It was rather amusing.

Sunday was very much like Saturday only hotter.  Todd continued to work on the pool fence and fixing the backyard (it was in rough shape) and the girls played outside again.  We decided to have grill burgers and eat on the patio in celebration of a tidy yard.  Todd also went to the store and bought marshmallows for “fire night.”  We made a fire in the fire pit and used up a lot of the branches we cut from the trees.  The girls loved it and Katie got a kick out of hearing a frog towards the end of the night.  Leah then proceeded to tell us about poisonous frogs and snakes.  The exchange went something like this:

Leah: some frogs are poisonous and will bite you.

Todd: no.  They are only poisonous if you eat them.

Leah: snakes are poisonous.  But I could touch them on their back and run away fast.

Todd: snakes don’t have a spine so they are able to turn around and bite you faster than you can run away.

Some mention of staying away from snakes because we don’t know for sure which are poisonous and which are not was made by Todd.  He also gave a short little story of why a scared snake would bite you .

Leah: but I can run really fast and touch them.  Snakes are afraid of dogs because dogs are bigger than snakes.

Todd: you’re off to the races talking about dogs and snakes.  Just stay away from snakes.

The next day Katie told Miss Jen an entire story about how there was a frog and a snake that bite her and it “hurt me” during fire night.  I had to explain to Miss Jen where this story most likely came from as she was quite confused but amused.

Tuesday was pretty uneventful aside from the mention of Thunderstorms.  We were expecting some pretty nasty weather and Leah wanted to be sure that she could come into my room if she became scared.  I told her that was fine and she agreed to let me use her purple flashlight if the power went out.  I was the only up at 3am because of the storm.  The rest of the house was fast asleep.

On a side note, we have been trying to put Katie down in Leah’s bed (it’s a double bed) to transition her out of the crib.  It worked well two nights, but the last few nights have been difficult.  I give the situation about an hour and then I put Katie back in her crib.  It’s an hour spent listening to both girls get out of bed and explain why the other is being uncooperative.  According to Katie last night there was a monster.  This was something Leah pretended to be the night before.  Nevertheless it’s interesting at night.

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Leah just learned the number 1 hundred in the past week or two. So whenever she is trying to represent a large amount she says a HunDREAD
Mom: Leah, how many kids do you have
Leah: Like A Hun DREAD.

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Leah’s Big Mess and Such 6/2/2013 (Sunday)

Sundays are usually rushed days  to get done the chores needed to set up for a less chaotic and hectic week.  Yesterday after finishing shopping and some light cleaning, Todd and I took the girls on a hike in South Carolina to break up the typical routine.  Let me preface, by saying this was meant to be a light hike, however about ten minutes into our hike I decided to “go big.”  I strapped Katie onto my back in our new Boba carrier and we hiked about three miles.  A lot of those miles were uphill which proved to be an awesome workout with a 30 pound toddler slung on my back.

At some point, Leah decided that she wanted to race and so I tried my best to run away from her with Katie bouncing happily along with me.  Leah was fast!  Many times she bounded up hills with rather large tree stumps and rocks in her path and managed to catch me.  I admit that some of those times I let her catch me, but she still kept pace which was pretty darn exciting for Todd and I.  She flew over all sorts of obstacles and looked pretty natural doing it!  We even crossed a small stream with stepping rocks, that Todd named Spider Gorge.  I think he read a bit too much from the Magic Tree House series.

As we rounded the halfway mark, we realized it was getting late and there were storms predicted for early evening so we made getting to the car a fun challenge.  In order to keep Leah motivated, who  was pretty spent at this point, we set ice cream for dessert as the reward.  I know, perhaps not the best parenting tactic, but it worked and we managed to get to the car and home by quarter to six.  All in all, we spent about two hours on the trail and both girls had a blast.  Todd and I were happy just to make it to the car without collapsing.

After dinner, I took the girls up for their bath.  Todd had already started the bath and stopped the water.  This is normally fine, but tonight I wanted to add bubbles and so I needed running water to accomplish the bubble-making.  Leah found this to be most disagreeable and threw an epic fit.  I couldn’t understand her at first and finally through her wails I came to understand that she was upset because there was already water in the bathtub and I didn’t need to add any more.  I was pretty unnerved during her fit, but after hearing her reasoning I couldn’t help but laugh.  I think we have a water conservationist.  Katie, meanwhile, was quite content playing with the running water and so saw no reason to get upset.

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UhOH another Katie speech update

For record purposes only:

Katie is still only consistently using the word UhOh however it has taken on multiple meanings.  UhOh you took my toy away.

UhOh I can’t reach that.

Uh Oh I dropped that thing on purpose againnnn.

UhOH you are leaving – followed by cry cry.


She is saying Dadda and Momma and mumbling like a maniac about something very important on a regular basis.  But still only one consistent word.


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Waffles and self governance-

This fine morning whilst eating a fine waffle breakfast, Leah proclaimed to me

“I am going to eat all of this and then I am going to have a lollipop”

I responded

“No you are not little one”

She was undeterred

“Yes I am”

Due to her confidence I decided to investigate further.

“Did mommy tell you you could have a lollipop after you ate?”

She shook her head no emphatically.

Did Miss Jen tell you you could have one?


Who told you you could have a lollipop?

She took mercy and explained: “I did… I will finish my breakfast and then have a lollipop”

Out of her mind…. Several minutes later, half-way thru her waffle and a few minutes after I got done explaining how these types of decisions are handled (namely being not by her)- she got off her chair and said, I’m going to go watch a movie and then I will finish my breakfast. ok? (her ok was more of a “you got that” as opposed to a real question)

I was momentarily speechless and she took this as agreement, complacency, or sleepiness;  She began to head to the living room at which point I collared her and gave her another little talk….

Mayhem in this abode. Mayhem

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Tuesday May 7th, 2013

Things have been very busy for me at work and consequently it has left me with little time to update on a regular basis so I will try to sum up the past few days as best I can.

Yesterday was a marathon.  I stayed late at work to grade graduation portfolios and arrived home just in  time to relieve Jen at 4:15.  She quickly gathered her things and left and that left me with the girls.  We read for a bit and then Leah found Dinosaur Tales on Netflix and decided she would watch an episode or two while I got dinner going.  I was impressed  that she knew how to use the Roku and was happy that she was watching some 90s cartoons instead of the standard fare.

I decided to make buttered cabbage, carrots, and bow-tie pasta.  This was suppose to be my Meatless Monday meal, but that was cancelled when I stayed super late yesterday evening to call parents and Todd had to take over the cooking.  I was expecting both girls to enjoy the meal, but Katie hated the cabbage and Leah, once again, was dismayed at the fact that she needed to eat anything at all.  Eventually we made it through dinner and I gave them their yogurts.  I, at some point, agreed to give them one chocolate chip cookie as well.  I turned to Leah and said, “what do you say?”  Katie looked up at me and said, pretty clearly, “dank you.”  I was astonished that she knew the phrase and even more impressed by her ability to know when to use the phrase.  I quickly came to the conclusion though that this exchange between Leah and myself has been ongoing for pretty much all of Katie’s life and so she is probably conditioned as well to use the phrase.  We, rather, are just now hearing her vocalizing what she knew for some time now.  Still, it was nice to have Katie parrot a phrase!

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Water Treament and the meth head

In an attempt to get back into updating this I will provide two very quick notes:

1) Cold water treatment.  Leah loves having cold water poured on her in the hot bath and we have found that Katie likes it too.  (when I originally told Nicole- she did not believe me at all).  Nicole yelled down one night while giving them a bath that I had to witness something.  Katie was rapidly signing more more and kind of mixing up eat eat with it.

Well we have noticed that her talking is corresponding with the signs she knows so Jen has been focusing on 5 signs.  Eat, More, Outside, Shoes (i forget the last)… anyway, tonight I was bathing and giving them water treatment and Katie started running thru all of her signs rapidly.  Like her brain was dumping everything at once.


2) Leah quick story:  I gave Leah too much chocolate tonight and then after her bath she wanted to clean so i gave her a wipe and let her go while I focused on Katie.  I went into the playroom after occupying Katie and Leah was cleaning Gruville (train city) piece by piece while talking to herself.  She reminded me of a Speed head on a cleaning spree.  She was nuts!  I said Leah, What are you doing- and she mumbled (with speed) some gibberish.  She then said (swear it), “Nana likes when I clean”

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Cauldron of Evil Little Germs

Sickness has enveloped this house like a tidal wave washing over a sand castle.  Sure, we’ve all had some version of a mild cold/virus for the past month or so but it wasn’t until about 10 days ago where things started getting really interesting.

Katie began wheezing and stopped eating.  Diagnosis: double ear infection and bronchiolitis (apparently this is one step beyond bronchitis and one step before pneumonia).  Treatment plan: nebulizer with a coctail of albuterol and a steroid and a 10 cycle of antibiotics.

4 days ago: I felt extra sick on my drive into Greensboro and developed a high fever that night.  I’ve had a fever every night since.  Diagnosis: A plethora of viral infections and some form of bacterial infection (probably in the lungs).  Treatment: sleep and antibiotics

3 days ago: Leah developed double pink eye.  Treatment: antibiotic drops.

1 day ago: Nicole got the first fever of her sickness stint and felt the accompanying aches and unpleasantness.

1 day ago: Double pink eye for me.  Lots of vomiting (possibly from the cough medicine prescribed which is half hydrocodine).


Nic took Leah to dance this morning.  Leah and Katie appear to be doing much better.  Katie responded well to the breathing treatments and Leah’s eyes are once again as blue as the blue cross-blue shield logo on our withered insurance card.

We are in a battle with the germs of the universe and we will win.

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First Words and LR Camping

Couple of quick updates:

Katie’s first official word… Wait for it…. “UH-OH”.  That’s right.  The first word that has consistent meaning to Katie is uh-oh.  She has said “daddy” sporadically but not consistently enough to call it her first word.  Whenever anything falls or she drops something intentionally its “UH-OH”.  I walked by the bottom of the stairs the day before last and I heard something tumbling down- it was a child’s play stethoscope.  I looked up just in time to see Katie clutching the bars of the baby-gate at the top of the stairs and with a look of complete despair- she said “UH OH”.  So I grabbed her stethoscope and  brought it back up to her and a big smile.  She instantly proceeded to toss the stethoscope back down the stairs with the same look of despair and again “UH OH”.  She has taken to jettisoning things out of her crib- with accompanying uhohs.  If she sees someone else drop something….

Don’t know what the psychologists would say about that being a child’s first word- but I’m guessing it can’t be good for the  parents.


Leah:  On Saturday night we decided to have movie night with Leah- only this time we would watch the movie from a tent in the living room.  Once Leah heard the idea, she locked on and we couldn’t rethink our decision.  I looked for the compact 2 man tent that we have due to the size limitations but I realized that I lent it to Daryl.  So…. Out comes the 4 man full size tent- right in the middle or the whole of the living room.  I twisted it so that the opening sort of kind of faced the tv.  We watched Toy Story 3 and Leah had a blast.  Camping training part 1 was a success.


Also… When I brought Leah home from dance on Saturday she was not happy.  She was ranting and raving about how she didn’t want to come home ANYMORE (this is her new thing; everything is absolute “I don’t want to eat dinner (pause) ANYMORE (with emphasis).  Anyway, after I almost drag her thru the front door she collapses and cries about the unfairness of it all.  Nicole was there to greet us holding Katie who looked sort of puzzled about Leah’s state.  Katie was reaching toward Leah, still a ball of crying mess on the floor, and grunted; Katie’s way of telling you that she wants something is by reaching, sort-of half-pointing and half-grunting like ugh-ugh.  It appeared that Katie wanted Leah… So Nic put Katie on the floor and she immediately walked over to crying Leah and gave her a hug- she then advanced her hug by moving the side of her face into Leah’s chest, giving her the tried-and-true-universal snuggle-hug.  It was the first unmistakable gesture of grand empathy.  Classic moment.

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Friday, Saturday 2/8-2/9

Friday night was a blur.  I had to work late and then run to the store to pick up milk.  By the time I got home it was near five and Katie had a cold.  I let Jen go home and sent Todd out to pick-up McDonalds.  We usually don’t eat fast food but it was late and everyone was tired and cranky so we lifted our spirits with fat and grease.

After dinner, I put some music on everyone danced.  Katie is hysterical when she dances and Leah several times grabbed Katie’s hands and they danced in circles; it was a dance party!

Todd had to do some work after the dancing event so I took the girls up and we had a quick but effective bath.  I feed the fish, Tar, and read Leah a story.  Katie was harder to put down as she stayed awake until 11pm or so just babbling.  Todd finally went up and gave her a bottle and she was able to sleep some.  I think it’s time to put away some of the bottles as she doesn’t take any until bed time and that will end soon as well.


On Saturday we had a flurry of chores to finish.  Todd took the downstairs vacuuming and I did laundry, went grocery shopping and took Leah to the library.  I did manage to get in a 5 mile run at the gym so that wasn’t too bad! During this time, Katie was exceedingly cranky and needed a lot of extra attention.  This seemed to slow our chores down quite a bit.

After the chores, we ate some fried chicken and I let the girls take a bubble bath in my soaking tub.  Their bath was used to clean the fish tank out (gross!) and I didn’t get a chance to scrub the tub so it worked out well because the girls had a blast. After the bubbles, we put Katie to bed and Todd set up the tent in the t.v. room.  We all crowded in the tent and we watched Toy Story III, which was pure genius.  Leah stayed up throughout the movie and even teared up at the part when Daisy replaced the pink bear with a new one.  It was touching to see, but it also marked a major developmental achievement as well.  She really got what was happening!  Once the movie was finished, Leah ate her cookie and drank her milk and then it was off to bed.  At some point, Todd and I both realized we had caught whatever the girls had and so it was an earlier night for all of us.

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