Monday, November 29, 2010


We're deep into the bathroom remodel. Finally! Didn't I say last year at this time that we were going to be doing the bathroom? Well, we didn't. Mostly because I kept resisting. I just was not ready to live in a construction zone again. That and we decided to focus on the decks instead because we thought it would be nice to have more outdoor space to play. But, the time has come. We have officially started the bathroom project -- meaning the walls are down. There is no turning back.

I'll post pictures one of these days, but it's like a mini version of the kitchen remodel. I say mini because, as you may recall, the kitchen project really took over the whole house. It was a kitchen/bedroom remodel and there wasn't really anywhere you could be in the house without being in the middle of construction debris. That's not true this time. Kai's room has been completely overtaken with the construction tools, but that leaves our bedroom, the living room and the kitchen that are not really impacted by the remodeling project.

Kailey is quite interested in the construction work. She likes to hang out in the bathroom and "watch daddy" or, even better, she'll tell me that she's "busy HELPING daddy." Yeah, right. What she really means is that she is getting into things that she shouldn't be getting into. Like razors. Yes, razors. She cut her finger on a razor that we didn't put away. It bled. A lot. It's better now, but it was quite an owie for a few days.

Yesterday morning she woke up and was examining Eric's hands which are covered in owies and bandaids and she declared, "OHHHHHH... OWIE dada!!... Did you touch a razor?" It was hysterical.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

When Life Hands You Chicken...

Kailey was quite hungry this evening on account of the fact that we forgot to feed her lunch. We flunked the day, clearly. We were busy looking at bathtubs for the remodel project we're embarking on (yes, another remodel. It doesn't end. But, a bathtub will be sooo nice. As will a new paint color in the bathroom. And a new vanity. And a skylight. Anyway, I digress). Anyway, we forgot about lunch, so this evening when I started to cook dinner Kai came up to me and said, "I'm HUNGRY, Mama!" Guilt.

She didn't dwell on her hunger for too long, though. Instead, she proceeded to get out all her plastic bowls, set them up in the bedroom, and grabbed Eric by the pants and said, "Dada!! Come HERE! Tea time!! Have some tea? What kind?" As she offered him a bowl of "mint tea." Keep in mind -- we don't drink tea. Ever. We don't even have any in the house. I don't know where she got this idea of a tea party. Is it the gender? All I know is she played tea/restaurant until we finally had our own meal ready.

I made chicken for dinner. Kailey helped. We whipped up a marinade off my favorite blog that had lime, olive oil, garlic, cumin, cayenne, and honey. It was good. A little tart, a little bit of a kick. We also had seasoned (read - slightly spicy) sweet potato fries and broccolini.

So, given the choice of chicken with a bit of spice, fries with a bit of spice, or broccolini... and keeping in mind that Kai was basically starved... what do you think she ate? Well, the mayonnaise (which was the dipping sauce for the fries), of course. That goes without saying. She's my daughter. But, after the mayo... the broccolini. Lots of it. Because, when life hands you spicy(ish) chicken, you should definitely eat the green stuff. I'm not really complaining. She ate the veggies! But, still, talk about your aversion to spices!

In other funny Kailey stories... earlier in the day, Eric was poking around (literally) in the bathroom with a hacksaw and a drill and other things that put holes in walls. Kailey wasn't really supposed to be in the bathroom, but I was busy trying to do something on the computer and wasn't really keeping that close of tabs on her. I heard her open the bathroom door and yelled after her, "Kailey... get out of there. Come here." No answer. I heard Eric say, "what are you doing, Kailey?" No answer. I said again, "Kai... now. Come here. Now." Kailey, in her very best imitation of me, said, "I'm busy watching daddy." She even managed to get her voice to go up at the "busy" with that note of irritation that I use when I have explained to her what i am doing a zillion times and she asks, again, "doing, mama?" I tried not to laugh while shouting back, "Kailey, no. Not watching Daddy. Come here." Kailey replied, again in a spot on imitation of me, "In a minute." I think I say, "in a minute" to Kailey a dozen times a day, so she definitely has heard it enough to imitate it. But, still, it was a bit unnerving how MUCH she sounded like me. Slightly annoyed. Trying her patience. Clearly not planning on moving any time in the next minute or two. The kid is good. We're in trouble.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Capturing Two and a Half

So, I haven't been writing many updates lately. This is partly due to a lack of time. My job has gotten a bit insane and has me traveling nearly every week and trying to squeeze in my actual work (every meeting results in an additional to do list, but the number of meetings keeps me from ever getting to said to do list... it's a vicious cycle). And part of it is because I used to write during Kai's naps on my days with Kailey (especially the weekends) and now Kai doesn't really nap on her days with us. She still naps at school, which is infinitely annoying for us because it means she stays up until 9:30 or 10 at night, which is the other time I used to write (post bedtime).

But, none of that is really why I have posted so much less frequently. There is just too much to say and not enough ways to say it. Kai has hit that age where she is pure fun. She can carry on a conversation that has us cracking up half the time. She is full of cuddles and hugs and kisses. She now likes to give us "massages", demanding that we put our "head down" and then she squeezes our shoulders for about a second and yells, "head up! all done!"

She is so excited to show us her art projects when we pick her up from school and lately has been doing a lot of drawing of lines. She'll fill up a paper with a bunch of lines, rather than the swirls and circles of her previous efforts. The other night, after she had filled a page with her lines, Eric asked her "what did you draw?" and Kailey looked at him as though it were obvious and said, "LETTERS!" Kailey loves letters and now that she knows her letters she is determined to learn how to write them. She gets that a lot of letters are a series of lines, but can't quite figure out how to connect them up. But, in usual Kai-style, she is going to keep at it until she gets it right.

She's decided she likes "nastics" more than soccer, even though she twisted her knee last week when she dropped from the trapeze into the foam pit. It was terrifying, but she seems to be fully recovered and spent many evenings reenacting the injury with her sock monkey, who would go "upside down" and then fall and "need ice" for his knee.

Our days our little moments like these, that are so hard to capture. And yet, I wish I was better at remembering them all and writing them all down because I know I won't remember these little conversations for very long. In many ways I wish I could just bottle two-and-a-half. Instead, I'm barely capturing it -- but, I am enjoying it. Immensely.

Kailey's Job

Yesterday, Kai and I dropped Eric off at the train and were driving back home having this conversation:

Kai: Kailey on train

Me: Later. We have to eat first. Daddy went to work and we'll go on the train later.

Kai: Kailey work.

Me: Oh really? What is your job?

Kai: Ummmmm.... ummmmmm... ummmmmmm.... COOKING!

Me: You're a cook? Where do you cook?

Kai: (I was watching her in the rear view mirror and could see her scrunch up her face - which would have been an eye roll if she were just a bit older and she yelled) WORK

Duh. She cooks at work. OF course.

Me: what do you cook?

Kai: Noodles!

(of course. This is all Kai wants to eat lately. Noodles. She asks for noodles at every meal. Luckily, she isn't really that insistent and still is pretty good at eating at least some of most of the things we put in front of her. But, man, she can really pack away the noodles).

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Recap 2010

As I mentioned a few posts back, Kailey has been eagerly anticipating the arrival of Halloween (even though I doubt she really understood what it was she was so excited about). She knew there would be costumes. And candy. I suppose that's all one really needs to know about the day.

About a week before Halloween, Kai decided to be a bee instead of a monkey. We had inherited a monkey costume from Penny and then, at a playdate at Ava's house the Sunday before Halloween, Ava gave us her bee costume from the prior year. As soon as she saw the bumblebee, she was sold. Kai is both monkey (with her mad climbing skills) and bee (with her busy little personality), so she really couldn't go wrong. I just found it amusing that she has such a preference about things like costumes -- at 2!

Anyway, I think Halloween fully lived up to her expectations. We had a full weekend of festivities. To kick it off, Kai and I headed down to the Montclair Halloween Parade, which consisted of a fire truck, followed by a marching band, and then all the spectators just joined in behind the band and walked the few blocks that make up the Montclair village.

After the parade, we headed to her school/daycare for a rare Friday afternoon appearance in order to join in on the annual Halloween party (how incredible is Kai's daycare? Lauren organizes her neighbors to be home at about 4:30 so the kids can go trick-or-treating and even provides them with the candy to hand out so that she knows exactly what each kid gets. I am in constant amazement with how incredibly fortunate we have been with Kailey's caregivers. First we lucked out with Doug. And now Home Away from Home. I hope we continue to be so lucky with Kai's caregivers in the future!)

Kailey LOVED trick-or-treating with her friends from school. Ava was a little hesitant at first, but she and Kai buddied up, holding hands most of the time and running from house to house. Kailey was being a total goof-ball, dancing around, singing songs, jumping up and down. When we got to the first house, she was the first kid up the steps (does this surprise me? No, it does not) and when the door was opened, she marched right inside, declaring "trick or treating!" (perhaps more trick than treat!). We explained to her that she didn't need to go inside the house, although, I think she was skeptical.

When the kids got back to Lauren's after their trick-or-treating, they posed for a group shot (also, genius to pose for the group shot AFTER trick-or-treating, since the kids actually sat for a moment for the pictures because they were distracted by their newfound loot!)

Kai was the first to abandon the picture taking, because she wanted me to help her open her M&Ms.

Kailey doesn't really know what M&Ms are, of course. After I opened them for her, she popped one in her mouth and then promptly spit it out, looking at me in disgust and declaring, "it's CHOCOLATE mommy!" Too bad Kai had to inherit my dislike of chocolate, and with it a lifetime of not getting to enjoy the supposed upside of holidays (of course, with it comes the ability to bribe just about anyone with the chocolate you are willing to hoard after said holiday). Kai abandoned the M&Ms in favor of a fruit roll-up. A model child!

Once everyone had consumed some candy, the kids entertained us with some songs.

It was the cutest party I think I've ever been too.

On Saturday, we made Halloween cookies with Penny, Sarah and Max. Penny and Kailey loved decorating the cookies. And I discovered that I don't really know how to make cookies, even if they are the sort of cookies that are already made for you and all you have to do is open the packet and put them on a cookie sheet. Maybe this is because we don't actually have a cookie sheet? And I don't seem to understand measurements, so when the instructions said to space the cookies out by 1", I took it to mean that they could be right next to each other. It was like a thin cookie cake with a LOT of sprinkles. But, hey! It was fun!

Sunday Kailey spent the day in her costume. We went to a Halloween party at our friend Amy's house, and then went trick-or-treating. By this time, Kai was an old pro at trick or treating. Well, maybe a semi-pro. She would march right up to each house, all by herself, and start pounding on the door while yelling, "TRICK OR TREATING". When the door opened, Kai would hold out her bag and say, "Thank you!" before any candy was deposited in the bag. But, whatever, she had the basic concept down. After each house, Kai would turn around to head back down the stairs shouting, "NEXT HOUSE!"

As we were driving back home after trick-or-treating, Kai pulled out a pack of M&Ms and asked me to open it for her. I told her it was chocolate and that she didn't like chocolate (and she had heard me tell the story about the M&Ms at school to about 4 people since she had spit out her chocolate a few days before). Kai declared indignantly, "I LIKE chocolate NOW, Mama!" Ahhh rebellion. So we gave her an M&M. To her credit, she managed to swallow it, although it was clear from her expression that she wasn't really enjoying. She did say, "mmmmmm," as she chewed it up(although, not very convincingly), But, what really gave her away was that as soon as she managed to eat that single M&M, she declared - "now a LOLLY POP" rather than finishing the pack. A good effort, but I think that Kai is wrong that she likes chocolate now!

Today, when I picked Kailey up from school, she wasn't really ready for the fun to be over. I asked her, as we were headed to the car, if she wanted spaghetti for dinner (Kai's favorite food... seriously, she can eat more spaghetti at a sitting than I can). Kailey replied, "No. I want more trick or treating again!" I told her we could do that next year.