Monday, February 28, 2005

Rich and Famous

It isn't necessary to be rich and famous to be happy. It's only necessary to be rich.
Alan Alda (1936 - )

Well, I watched the Oscars last night, of course. But, before the Oscars can begin, we must have about 4 hours of pregame Countdown to Oscars. For this, you now have the option of watching Joan and Melissa Rivers on the TV Guide channel or Star Jones-Reynolds and Kathy Griffin on E!. Hmm....what a choice! You can either watch Joan in her dress straight out of the 80s and her daughter who would not stop pushing those little glider pens and the text message polls. Or you can watch Kathy Griffin (who would win hands down in the most annoying voice category) and Star Jones-Reynold try to catch the eye of everyone coming down the red carpet. Joan with her horrible sex jokes or Kathy who pretended to be just getting off the cell phone everytime the camera cut to her. Can you tell I watched them both? That previous channel button came in handy.

And the dresses! Apparently, every designer in Hollywood has gone with the
mermaid dress look. You know what I mean. The dress is form-fitting until the knee or just below where is flows out in several extra yards of fabric. Very few women avoided the mermaid dress. On some it looks good. On others, they forgot to ask if it made their hips/butt look big. Of course, there were a few that I loved. I thought that Kate Winslet's dress was gorgeous. I also liked Virginia Madsen's dress and Kirsten Dunst's dress (and I thought that it was so cute that she brought her brother).

What did I not like, you ask?
Laura Linney, Sean Combs (I just don't think that fabric looks right for a tux), and Melanie Griffin (I especially like the part in the back that comes up so that her butt crack doesn't show).

Thus ends my Ocsar rant. Can't wait for the shows that criticize critique everyone's dresses and tuxes. I think it's on tonight!

Friday, February 25, 2005

Cleanliness and Godliness

Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
John Wesley

If cleanliness is next to Godliness, well my daughter is very Godly. Actually, I don't think that Godly is a word, but that's beside the point. My daughter is a neat freak. I don't know where these genetics come from, but they are definitely not mine. They must have come from my husband's side somewhere.

Please don't get the wrong impression; we are not total slobs. We keep our dishes and laundry washed and our house picked up. But, really, how many 18 month olds do you know that like everything to be neat and tidy? My daughter likes to clean. She keeps her little
kitchen clean. She had managed to spill chocolate milk all over one side of it, and we had to clean that up. Unfortunately, I didn't know she had done that until about 12 hours later. Glad I found it then. The smell would have gotten much worse. Of course, she spilled it on the side with the "cutting board." It's got a cute little woodgrain look (lots of cracks and crevices for chocolate milk to get into and dry in a sticky mess). Where was this going? Oh, yeah. We had to clean it up before it got any worse. I got out the orange cleaner and started spraying it down. Then I started wiping it off with a paper towel. She pulled a paper towel off the roll (picture the paper towel roll rolling across the floor as she rips the first sheet on the roll in half to get it off) to help. But those paper towels couldn't be left out on the floor. They absolutely had to be picked up. Right away. Before we could do anything else.

That done, she moved on to helping clean her kitchen. She "scrubbed" out the sink and part of the door. Then she decided to do some cooking. Even my neat freak can get distracted, she is after all only 18 months old. She made macaroni and cheese. She took the tongs from the kitchen and was "feeding" me the macaroni and cheese while I finished cleaning her kitchen. I say "feeding" because most of the time she starts off getting the end of the tongs near my mouth. Then she puts them back in the pan. Then they don't get as close to my mouth. Then she starts giggling and moving the makeshift spoon back and forth to the pan in double time. Does this sound like an eye-gouging incident waiting to happen?

She feels the need to pick up after her parents. If we are watching a movie on a Saturday afternoon while she is napping, the first thing that she does when she wakes up is pick up our popcorn bowl and hand it to us to put in the sink. She doesn't like for there to be anything on the floor. Getting a glass of water? Drop some ice on the floor? She will pick it up for you. If this keeps up, I'm going to have the only teenager who picks up her room and does her own laundry.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

What About Lunch?

It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?"
Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne

Have you ever been in the store and seen the mother pushing the cart along with a toddler in the front? The one where the baby says something that sounds like gibberish, but the mother responds as if the child was speaking perfect English? I am now that mother.

My daughter is quite the little talker. She has quite a vocabulary ranging from the obvious Mama (which she draws out like Maaamaaa and says really loud -- do you think it sometimes takes her a minute to get my attention?) and Daddy to other words I'd rather her not say.

I was quizzing her yesterday to see what all she is learning. She often surprises me by coming up with some word that I didn't know she knew.

Me: Sweetie, can you say Mama?
Her: Maaamaaa.
Me: Good. Can you say Daddy?
Her: Daddeee.
Me: Can you say Mimi (her grandmother)?
Her: Mimi.
Me: Can you say Bitsy (our cat)?
Her: Bisssssss.
Me: Can you say Fungo (our other cat)?
Her: Gugo.
Me: Can you say Buddy (our dog -- yes, if you couldn't tell, we are pet lovers)?
Her: Woof. Woof.

It was so adorable. We haven't really been working with animal sounds becuase I haven't thought to, but apparently she picked that one up on her own. Further quizzing revealed that she knows what sounds are made by cows, ducks, kitties, and dogs. I thought it must be daycare teaching her because I also caught part of an E-I-E-I-O in there somewhere, but then I remembered what my brother got her for her birthday. It's a little tractor with Old MacDonald, a cow, a duck, and a pig. And it guessed it....Old MacDonald. So, now I'm not sure where she learned it, but I'll have to remember to keep working on the animal sounds.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

You've Got A Friend In Me

The only way to have a friend is to be one.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I took my daughter to daycare this morning, we walked in as usual, and I set her down on the ground to walk by herself. She's heavy. I'll carry her through the parking lot because, well, even though everyone driving up either works at the center or is dropping off their child, no one feels the need to slow down.

Anyway, we got inside, I set her down and as I was readjusting the diaper bag on my shoulder, she took off for the water fountain. The daycare has two water fountains side by side. One is designed for younger children and is at their level. I think some evil, cruel person decided to do this to torture parents by evoking temper tantrums in their children when the parent drags the child away. My daughter isn't tall enough to get a drink yet (thank goodness because that's a water-soaked shirt waiting to happen), but she does like to push the button and watch the water squirt out. For minutes on end. Now, as tempting as it may be to punish the cruel person who created this design by running up their water bill, we usually try to bypass the water fountain by focusing on the aquarium a little farther down the hall.

The center has a big salt-water aquarium full of very colorful fish. They have
Marlin, Nemo, and Dory. They have a starfish and some sort of crab. I really think they were going for the Finding Nemo look. My daughter has a fun time watching them swim (and so do other children judging by the number of fingerprints on the glass).

So, this morning, as I steered her toward the fish aquarium using the diaper bag to shield her from the water fountain, she saw one of her classmates. He had arrived earlier and was walking down the hall with their teacher. The little boy recognized my daughter and started squealing and jumping up and down. My daughter, recognizing him, said, "Hi!" and started running down the hall. That worked well because it saved me the trouble of prying her away from the fish aquarium.

I knew we were getting close to the age where social interaction was going to be more important, and I'm glad to see that my daughter is making friends. Not that I ever really had any doubt. She is quite the little extrovert which is surprising because my husband and I are not. We are social with the groups of friends that we have, but we aren't the kind of people who are comfortable starting up a conversation with a complete stranger. Our daughter, on the other hand, will say hi to a stranger in the store or bye-bye to any car she sees leaving. Unlike a lot of kids her age, when a little old lady in line behind us at Walmart smiles and says something like, "Well, aren't you a cutie?" she just smiles and starts jabbering. No bashfulness or shyness in my child.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

A Job I Like

Find a job you like and you add five days to every week.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

I've been very busy at work today. But, I think that I've gotten everything accomplished that was on my to-do list this morning. Or at least most of it. There was a lot on the list. The rest of the week should go pretty smoothly. My boss is out of town for the rest of the week, so I'll catch up on reading a few blogs and message boards. Post some comments and post to my blog. I still have a few things that need to get done, but when my boss is gone, our office is very quiet. Only a few people coming quickly in and out to get coffee.

I'm going to have a hard time giving notice. My stomach ties up in knots just thinking about it. Ugh. I know that they hired me hoping that I would stay on for at least a few years. Now I'm leaving after 6 months. But, I don't have a choice. My husband got a job that was too good to pass up. They will understand that I have to do what's best for my family, but I know they'll still be disappointed.

On a happier note, my husband comes home tonight. It's only been a couple of days since I've seen him, but I've missed him.

My daughter has been a little pill. :) She's like that sometimes. Last night we had macaroni for dinner because I'm a pasta freak and could eat pasta for 5 meals a day every day. We had elbow-roni with a little butter and cheese...mmm....but I digress. My daughter likes this meal as well.

We were eating at the table because she now refuses to sit in her high chair. She just stands up. Since she's not much of an eater anyway, anything that will distract her away from a meal has to go. Therefore, she sits in a chair next to me. I'm going to buy her a booster seat this weekend, but for now, she sits on a couple of phone books in the chair. Or, at my parents' house, on a big dictionary. It makes her the perfect height.

Anyway, back to the macaroni. She also feels the need to put salt and pepper on any food she is eating. This has been going on for a couple of months now. She sees my husband and I salt and pepper our food, and she has to do the same thing. And she has to do it. I can't put on just a little. So, last night, she wanted a little pepper. But, it apparently wasn't coming out fast enough. You know the part on the inside (after you screw the lid off), the little clear plastic thing that sifts the spices out? That was in the way. Using her teeth (her usual manner of prying), she took that part off and dumped almost an entire bottle of course black pepper into her food. Now, really, what can you say to that? She started sneezing, and I took the bowl away to dump it out. Then, she got mad! I don't know if she was planning on eating it or what, but she was hacked off when I took it away. And, she was still mad after I gave her more food. That wasn't good enough. Probably because it didn't have any salt and pepper on it.

Monday, February 21, 2005

My Best Friend

It's always good to marry your best friend.
Marie Curie (advice to her daughters)

My husband had to go back to work yesterday. He's going to be working the night shift, so I can't even count on a call when I get home at work every night. That's okay. He'll be home Wednesday, so my daughter and I are, once again, staying with my parents.

My husband and I went shopping this weekend for our little girl who is quickly outgrowing all of her clothes. Must be a growth spurt or something. Imagine that, an 18-month old having a growth spurt. I hope you can spot the sarcasm because I'm laying it on pretty thick. She got some new clothes for spring and summer and to transition from now until then. And she got shoes. Four pairs of shoes. We needed sandals and tennis shoes. And there was this little pair of boots. They were too cute to pass up. And I'm not the kind to overlook a buy-one-get-one-half-off sale, so I bought another pair of boots for next fall. They're way to big now, but they won't be then.

Speaking of the little tyke, she didn't fight me when she went to bed last night, and she didn't cry when I left her at daycare this morning. She's up to something.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Sleeping Like A Baby

People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one.
Leo J. Burke

Picture this. I go to bed about 11:00 after watching my favorite TV shows. At 12:15, my precious little girl wakes up. And won't go back to sleep. Until 5:30 this morning. Needless to say, I'm a little sleepy today.

I'm not sure what roused her from her slumber, but it was something. She had all the necessary ingredients for her to sleep--dummy, blanket, and Pooh Bear. Oh, and music on. Check. Going to sleep? Nope. Not even thinking about it.

Here's a brief rundown of what's on at that time of the morning. Well, between about midnight and 1:30, there's still quite a bit on. Usually reruns of The Tonight Show and stuff. After 1:30, the grid on the cable company's guide goes to Paid Programming. Every time slot. On every channel. Okay, there are a few exceptions. The premiums are still up and going. It's either soft-core porn or the sequel to the sequel to the sequel of something that might have been pretty good originally. And the innumerable discovery channels like Discovery Health and Military and such are still going. You basic Discovery, Learning Channel, History, etc. All paid programming at that hour.

So, from 1-2 I watched an very interesting documentary on the
U.S.S. Arizona. This was followed by Lifeline. Why do I watch shows about Neonatal Intensive Care Units? I guess it was 2:00 in the morning. Then I had to kill an hour and a half of flipping through channels until Old School came on around 4:30.

She finally crashed out about 5:30. And then I crashed about 5:45. The alarm started going off at 6:15. Two words: Snooze button. We had to get up and get ready to go. She was as tired as I was. Her daycare teachers are going to love me today. I bet she fell asleep in her food at lunch.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Shaving Cream Art

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist when he grows up.
Pablo Picasso

I went to pick up my daugher from daycare yesterday. When I got there, she was only in her onesie (I sent her in overalls) and her shoes and socks. Cute, but surprising. So, I asked her, "What happened to your clothes?!!"
Her teacher asked, "Didn't you see the pictures?"

I walked back over the baby gate and looked at the pictures just outside of her classroom. My daughter started throwing a fit because, well, once Mommy comes back, she knows that she is going home, and she wasn't going to stand for Mommy to leave twice in one day.

Her class had played with shaving cream.
There were 6 pictures. Three were of my daughter.

The other pictures showed silly children with shaving cream on their hands and a couple of them trying to put in each other's hair. But, it was obvious that the best pictures were of my little girl. Not because she is so beautiful and photogenic and such (even though she is), but because she was covered in shaving cream. Head to toe. Hair, face, hands, arms, overalls, you name it. Her teacher informed me that they had to give her a bath in the sink and that she must watch her daddy shave because she started with her face.

I'm starting to think that my daughter is a little more free-spirited than most of the children that go to this daycare. I don't think her teachers mind at all. I think they find her refreshing. There's nothing like a shaving cream covered little girl to put a smile on your face.

And, on a wonderfully great note, she didn't cry when I left her at daycare this morning. Normally she starts crying as we get to her classroom, and it gets worse when I put her down. I knew she was doing well when we got in the classroom and I set her down without her crying. The teacher was giving out goldfish crackers (her favorite), so she went to partake in her share. And then the teacher got out the mirror. Another mother was leaving at the same time, and her daughter was starting to cry (oh, good, mine's not the only one). I really hated to leave the teacher with two crying children, but I was going to be late for work if I didn't leave. I tried to get my daughter to play with the mirror, but she was more interested in the blocks on the floor. She started stacking them up, and I helped for about 30 seconds while the teacher got the other girl calmed down. While my daughter was engrossed in the blocks, I walked away. I didn't sneak out--I hate doing that. She watched me leave and didn't make a peep. Yea!!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.
Victor Borge

I love my baby's laugh. It is so innocent and heartfelt. Whenever she starts, I do everything that I can to keep her laughing. I don't remember how old she was when she started laughing, but I can't remember a time when she wasn't.

What makes her laugh the most, recently at least, is a nerf gun. I shoot the little nerf balls straight up in the air, and she thinks it is so funny! I get extra giggles when it comes down and bounces off her head.

This morning she woke up early (yes, I need that extra half hour of sleep, thank you very much!). I pulled her up into bed with me. She laid down quietly for a minute, so that I thought that she was going to snuggle up with me. Alas, it was not to be. She soon sat up. Then she laid across me. I rubbed her back, and she laid really still for me. Then, all of a sudden, she rolled over. I asked her if she wanted me to tickle her tummy, and, of course, she replied with that beautiful laugh of hers.

So many times, it's the little things in life that we forget to appreciate. Laughter. The smile on the face of someone we love. Coloring in a coloring book sitting next to the little girl busy alternating between scribbling away, dumping all the crayons on the floor (for the 5th time), eating as many of the crayons as she can, and then getting mad if you try to take them away and put them back in the box.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Just As Good

Every man in the world is better than someone else and not as good as someone else.
William Sarovan

As an avid people watcher (okay, fine, nosey busybody), I find it interesting to watch mothers of similar age children when they get together. It must be natural instinct to compare children and try to show how your child is naturally superior to another. Maybe in the caveman days of survival of the fittest, it was a quest for one mother to show others that her child was more fit to survive. No matter what, and no matter how strongly she denies it, there is not a mother out there who doesn't compare her children to others of the same age.

This comes to mind because today I went to my daughter's Valentine's Day party at her daycare. This is a prime example of subtle (or not-so-subtle) competition. There were 4 mothers there. Since my daughter has just started, I don't know any of the other mothers, and it appeared they didn't know each other very well either.

The first leg of the competition is how your child reacts when you arrive. Do they run to the door to greet you? Do they smile? Yes and yes for me. I'm doing well.

Next, the size factor. Is my child bigger than other children. Somehow, I think this one too goes back to the days of the caveman, "My child bigger, better fed, I better mother." Well, mine's in the middle. She does wear the biggest shoe, though, does that count for something?

And, of course, the all important intelligence factor. This is a biggie. You don't want your child to be the slow one in the class. At 18 months or so, talking seems to be the biggest factor showing intellingence, so every parent tries to get his/her child to speak. "Can you say grape?" The child obediently replies. Oh, one syllable. Gotta do better than that. "Can you say sandwich?" Two syllables. And from the parent at the end, "Can you say, 'I want more pineapple'?" Oooooh. Pineapple. Triple syllable score. And gotta give bonus points for trying for the sentence. Of course, this would be much more impressive if the child responded with something more than a screech of contempt for her mother trying too hard. My child, you ask? Pretty quiet. She can't say grape, sandwich, or pineapple. But, since she doesn't eat any of those, does it really matter?

My daughter is intelligent. She may not be a genius, but her ability to say pineapple doesn't necessarily determine the 150 IQ in my opinion. I'm doing it, aren't I? Trying to justify and explain how smart my daughter is in case someone is reading this and comparing their child to mine. See. It's human nature. We all do it.

In fact, it's not just humans. I once went to a zoo where their prize exhibit was the primates. A mother gorilla had given birth about two weeks prior to my trip. The zoo was proud of their habitats where the visitors seemed more in the cage than the animals. Only my mother and I were in the building, and the mother gorilla walked right up to the glass with her back to us. We stepped back because, well, this was a big gorilla on the other side of this glass which suddenly seemed really thin. She turned around and showed us her baby. I kid you not. She was showing off her baby gorilla to us. And we oohed and ahhed because the baby was so cute. Even gorillas see the need to show off their young.

To my husband who is working late this Valentine's Day, I love you. Thanks for the CD. Happy Valentine's Day. And to my parents, who must be the only ones left on the planet with dial-up, you need a cable modem. Or DSL. Anything but dial-up.

A Good Mother

The most important thing she'd learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.
Jill Churchill, O Magazine, May 2003

My husband came home over the weekend. I think he's starting to settle into a routine. He's incredibly intelligent (me, biased? never!), so I know that he'll do well in his new job.

We took my daughter to Toys 'R' Us on Saturday to spend the $15 remaining on her giftcard from Christmas. It's always fun to take her there. She likes to run around the store pulling at everything that she can reach on the shelves. We wanted to get her a doll. We were looking at the dolls when some unsuspecting 3 year old started playing nearby with the
McDonald's Food Cart. Just one push of the button as she walked by set my little girl off. Oooh, the toy makes noise. And there are lots of buttons. She ran over to the McDonald's kitchen excitedly. Oh, no. I'm not going to get her any toys that prepare her for a career as a burger flipper. We carefully steered her back toward the dolls. No go. She ran back to the Mickey D's kitchen. We steered her toward the other food stuff. That worked. She knocked over all of the carefully stacked boxes. Okay, precariously stacked is a better word. I mean, really. Who puts sets of dishes (little plastic ones that come in boxes that are about 18 inches wide, 15 inches tall, and 2 inches thick) lined up in a row on the bottom shelf? That's just a cruel joke on parents who have to keep telling their children not to touch and running around behind them trying to keep them from falling over when our children breathe on them. We finally got her back to the baby dolls. There was one that she was semi-interested in, so we bought it.

She loves this doll! She drags it around by the hand and talks to it. She was playing quietly in her room, so I went in to check on her. She had the baby on the counter of her
kitchen. She was moving its legs alternately up and down, and then she put them both up. She was changing its diaper. Then she decided that the baby needed a bath, so she turned on the water, pulled off the baby's hat (yes, unlike the picture above, our baby has a hat instead of a headband) and used it as a washcloth carefully and gently washing the baby's face. Apparently, the baby had dirty hair because she used the coffee pot as a cup to dump imaginary water over the baby's head. It was so cute to watch her playing with her doll.

But the best part was when we went to my parents house. My mom had gotten a little doll high chair and crib from a garage sale before my daughter was born. We had forgotten all about them, but we got them out yesterday to play with. The baby was carefully placed in the crib. Then, my daughter did something very funny and scary. The baby was not behaving properly. She would not go to sleep like a good little doll. When my daughter won't go to sleep, I will often go back in and tell her to lie down and go to sleep. I have unconciously added the hand gesture of pointing into her crib to emphasize my point. When the baby doll wasn't cooperating (meaning lying perfectly flat on her back perfectly centered in the crib -- yes, my daughter is a perfectionist), she started pointing. Oh, yes. The stern look was there too. The look and point.

Funny? Oh, yeah. It was hilarious. Everyone was laughing. You really couldn't help but laugh.

Scary? Even more so. She learned this great little trick from me.

She's at the age where she mimics everything! That includes Mommy's bad habits. But, that's okay. I never claimed to be the perfect mother.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Common Enemies

The reason that grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy.
Sam Levenson (1911-1980)

My daughter has officially made her bedtime later than mine. It doesn't matter when I go to bed. She wants to stay up. I've tried all the tricks that usually work with her.
I've started with the sweet, cooing, mommy voice. "Sweetie, lie down and go to sleep. You have your dummy, you have your Pooh Bear, and you have your baba (blanket--my cousin came up with that one about 20 years ago, and to this day, everyone calls a blanket a baba). It's time to lie down and go to sleep." I turn off the lights and close the door on my way out.
Crying commences. I ignore.
Screaming commences.
I return to the room and tell her to lie down and go to sleep. (Yes, I know the experts tell you not to keep going back or you're teaching them how to get what they want, but, you know what, screw the experts, I know my child better than they do. This usually works for me.) She lies down. Whimpers a little. I close the door on my way out.
Crying commences. I ignore.
Screaming commences. I ignore. I ignore. I ignore.
I return to the room. She has thrown everything out of the playpen. Upon seeing me, she says, "Uh-oh!" and points to everything on the floor. Now, I don't believe that it's an accident that everything ended up on the floor. I pick it up and give it to her and tell her to lie down and go to sleep. She lies down. I close the door on my way out.
Crying commences before I have the door closed. I ignore.
Screaming commences as the door latches. I ignore. I ignore. I ignore.
I throw my hands up and return to the room. Everything is on the floor again. I give it back to her and warn her, "Don't throw it out again or you won't get it back!" (Again, to all experts out there: I know that I won't follow through with this threat and that idle threats don't work, but I was getting just a wee bit frustrated). I tell her to lie down. She does. I close the door on my way out.
No crying. Hmmm, interesting.
Walk three steps. Crying commences. I ignore.
Walk two steps. Screaming commences. I have given up.
Luckily for the poor little thing, her Grandma takes pity on her and comes to the rescue. My mom went in and gently laid her down. She proceeded to rub her back lightly. And in just a few mintues, my dear little angel was fast asleep.
Just in case you are wondering why I didn't try that, let me explain. I do try that. When I try to rub her back, she thinks it's a game. She rolls over on her back so that I tickle her tummy. I love her little laugh, so I can't help but smile. And then the game begins.
My father explained to me why the poor little thing won't behave for me. "You're staying at Grandma and Grandpa's house." When I looked confused by this over-simplified explanation, he continued, "She's used to getting away with anything and everything here. That's why your discipline isn't working."
Oh, yeah. Why didn't I think of that? The three of them have it in for me.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Work Worth Doing

Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
Theodore Roosevelt (1858 - 1919), Speech in New York, September 7, 1903

I love my daughter. Of all the things that I have done wrong in my life (and there are so many), she is the one thing of which I am most proud. Of course, I am immensly proud of my husband and the fact that I was smart enough to marry the man who was perfect for me. My family is the light of my life. They are what keeps me going through thick and thin.

Right now, our family is in the midst of a big change. My husband has been staying at home with my daughter since October. I think that he has enjoyed this arrangement as much as she has. But now he is starting a new job. He is working in a small town about 2 1/2 hours away. He has been there since Tuesday. From what I can tell when I talk to him on the phone, he is happy with his job, but misses my daughter and I very much. We miss him too.

My poor daughter has been such a trooper through all of this. First, daddy left town for a few days. Then, she and I are staying with my parents while my husband is out of town. So, she's not even in her normal environment (although she's pretty familiar with my parents' house, so that doesn't cause too much trouble). On top of all that, she had to start going to daycare. Now she went to daycare from the time that she was 7 weeks old until last October, but she has been out for 3 months. So, that is just one more disruption in her life.

She's doing very well at daycare I'm happy to report. Yesterday was her first day, and I called at lunch to check on her. The conversation went something like this:

Daycare: *** *** Child Development Center, may I help you?

Me: Yes, my daughter started there today, and I wanted to call and check on her.

Daycare: Do you know what class she's in? No, I just dropped her off at the first classroom I thought looked nice.

Me: The 18-24 month old class.

Daycare: Do you know the room number? Of course not, I've only dropped her off one time, and I didn't happen to note the room number.

Me: No, I'm afraid not.

Daycare: Do you know who her teachers are? Score one for me for remembering the teacher's name!

Me: Miss Angela.

Daycare: Okay. Hold please.


Daycare: They said that she is doing well (Woohoo!) and that she ate about half of her lunch (Again, woohoo--that's a lot for her) and threw the rest on the floor. That's my girl.