Friday, August 30, 2013

Phillips, WI: Population 1,461

My in-laws just moved to Phillips, WI. You've never heard of it. That's the kind of place it is. It lies just north of my hometown of Medford, WI which you've probably never heard of either, and whose only claim to fame is Tombstone Pizza and some long-dead astrologer. Phillips doesn't have any claim to fame. As part of my visit-every-relative initiative on this long, long, vacation, I am required to make the journey up north to Nowhereseville for a few weeks.

My first shock came when I tried to make a phone call. No reception. Yes, you read that correctly. While it sounds like some hipster urban legend, there are actually still places in the United States where this happens. And the North Woods of Wisconsin is such a place.

I thought Medford (pop. 4,326) was a small town . It was big news when WalMart and Taco Bell set up shop. There's only one high school. There's only one place in town large enough to host my friend's (350 person) wedding next week. Now I'm in Phillips for two weeks. And Medford, at 45 minutes away, is the nearest "big" town. 

While I love the outdoors, fishing, hiking, and being on the water in some way-shape-form, I have a feeling that it's only a matter of time before I have a Starbucks withdrawal. Or miss a bookstore. After spending a week and a half in Milwaukee, where there are, you know, things to do, it will be a big change to spend some time in a place where, when it's lights out, it actually gets dark.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Weaned, a.k.a. My Baby Doesn't Want Me Anymore


A few months ago, we started the weaning process. It was slow going at first, and I think baby girl would probably have been content to keep nursing for another year or two but I was ready to call it quits. I disliked being constantly pinched scratched and bit, and I figured a year of breast feeding is a pretty good commitment. And after the somewhat harrowing process of teaching her to fall asleep on her own, she really had no problem making the transition from tour times a day at a year, to three times at eleven months, twice a day at twelve, and then for the last month and a half just once a day. 

However, by the time we transitioned to once a day my resolve was weakening and I was the one who was becoming reluctant to finally cut it out. She even stopped asking for it before bed time. She was ready, but I was suddenly a little upset that she was just throwing in the towel. What? You're too grown up now for your poor mommy? You don't need me anymore? Come here and snuggle me.  

While I am, of course, proud at how well Lizzie handled this whole process, and am pretty certain that before this long trip up north was the right time to do it, I am of course sad that that part of her life is over so quick. I guess I can only be a clingy mom for so long. It really was a wonderful bonding experience while it lasted

Is My Daughter Too Friendly? 

We finished weaning just a few days before vacation, and this new independent phase is asserting itself in a big way. Lizzie has always been very outgoing but now she is positively friendly. Andrew and I aren't unfriendly people, but we are definitely not people people. Lizzie on the other hand, has started saying "hi" and waving in her sleep. She will grab complete strangers' hands in public and start walking with them. She has no fear of dogs, cats, cars, or anything else that moves. Is this normal behavior? I think I'm in trouble, this child is going to wear me out... 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Don't Blink-Toddlers

I'm back in Wisconsin for a wedding until next month and the weather is BEAUTIFUL. I'm so used to the hot, humid weather in Charleston that I'm really enjoying the 85 degree weather and Lizzie and I are outside almost nonstop. Of course, this also means more bumps and bruises.

Exhibit A:

Overall it's been a good time so far, though grandma and grandpa aren't used to having to baby-proof their house. Or their pets. And they aren't used to the constant mess and noise. Lizzie has had a pretty easy time of getting into a lot of trouble and I can't wait to see what else she gets into.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Baby Ghost Costume for Halloween

Halloween Costume I've been trying for days to think of a cute costume idea for Lizzie this year, and realized I never shared her costume from last year!

I wanted something out of the ordinary...and not some cheap-o baby outfit from Walmart.  The original idea was to have her be a baby Princess Leia, but that ended in disaster a few days before Halloween. So I needed a quick idea and decided to go with a cute ghost I found online. (I can't remember where the website was, but I'd love to credit them if I come across it again.)

This costume is super easy. You will need: a plain white onesie, black & white felt, and a white tutu. There are any number of tutorials on how to make baby tutus online, so I'll just stick with the basics for the onesie ghost.  

Simply punch out some black and white circles for the eyes and mouth. If you like, you can cut out some eyebrows as well.  Either super glue or use some type of fabric adhesive to make the face, and BOOM. DONE! This might be the easiest, cheapest costume you'll ever do. 

Lizzie, her ghost costume, and her awesome 1st pumpkin!
The pumpkin is just her hands and feet. :)


Friday, August 2, 2013

How Do You Sign "Pain in the Butt?"

Asking for more food.
Note the very serious, deadly look and the fact that
she still has her last meal on her face anyway. 
For the past several months, I've been trying to teach Lizzie some basic words in sign language. I started with just a few a few easy signs (nurse, more, and all done), and for over six months I diligently made the motions while my daughter simply stared at me, glassy-eyed with drool dripping down her chin. I was discouraged. I almost quit. But I'm quite a stubborn person. 

About a month ago she really figured it out. There was a sign-explosion. I was ecstatic.  She can communicate! Look at her cute little hands, honey! This euphoria lasted a good couple of weeks, until I realized that I created a little monster. 

Yes, I'm thrilled at all the new things she's learning. Every day she surprises me. And I now get a great insight into the mind of my little Elizabeth. And apparently I've been starving her. 

She has been signing "please eat" nonstop the past few weeks. Like, nonstop. When we wake up, when we are headed out the door, when she just finished eating, it's always "more," "eat," and occasionally "cracker" or "cheese," the two food items she's been interested in learning. 

Or if, on one of the rare occasions she is not still hungry, she realized that it is possible to negotiate a later nap/bedtime by asking for "book." And then "eat."