Dear Diary...

Thursday 11.28.2002

All morning long, Lilly was bugging us about the pumpkin pie we were making. Once she figured out that we weren't going to eat it at home, she was all about going to Sarah's house. We finally went over to Will AND Sarah's house in the afternoon for Thanksgiving dinner. Lilly was well behaved and ate well, including the long-awaited pie. She also enjoyed Monsters Inc., which we watched both before and after dinner. She sat still for both 45-minute stretches and seemed quite taken with Boo and Kitty. Poppa liked it too.

Friday 11.29.2002

I went to work and Momma and Lilly picked me for lunch at Happy Wok. As we drove back to the office, Lilly was pretending to talk on a phone. I asked her who she was talking to and she told me "Lilly's office." We were able to make out bits of the conversation: "What are you doing anyway?" "Too much paperwork..." The kid is getting a leg up on the rat race already.

Saturday 11.30.2002

We went over to Waunakee to buy a Christmas tree (45 bucks this year!). She was fascinated by the pair of reindeer in the pen out back but wasn't so keen on her parent's discussion about which tree to get. Back at home, we set up the tree and Lilly and I decorated it. She "helped" by finding bits of string and plastic and draping them on the tree. She was so proud of her handiwork that I didn't have the heart to take them off... until after she went to bed. When we were all done, Lilly stood back and, with wonder in her voice, pronounced: "it's beautiful." We unpacked the rest of the Christmas decorations and she walked around the house carrying her stocking and an 18-inch wooden nutcracker figure that she insisted on referring to as "the king." We finished off the day of festivities with our own family Thanksgiving dinner. Lilly didn't eat much but it was wonderful to set around the table as a family during the holidays.

Sunday 12.01.2002

When we ask Lilly "why" about something, anything, her latest response is "cuz yeah" or "cuz no." Cute, I guess, but infuriating as hell. This afternoon I reprimanded for something, saying calmly (yet firmly) "no." Frustrated, Lilly burst into tears and ran to Momma, telling her "Poppa yell at me." Clever, yet manipulative...

Monday 12.02.2002

Today when we got home from daycare, Lilly ran to turn on the Christmas tree lights by stomping on the connected foot switch. Then she tore around into the front hallway and clambered at the front door so she could turn on the candles on the front porch. In the middle of the night, we awoke to hear Lilly over the baby monitor. Wilson had come upstairs and was meowing outside her door. Every time he meowed, so did she: "meee-OW." Eventually, when he couldn't get in, Wilson went downstairs and Lilly went back to sleep.

Wednesday 12.05.2002

As we were headed up to bed, I was goofing around with Lilly trying to imitate her saying night-night: "go noyt noyt." With hurt in her voice, she said "don't SAY that." I felt like such a heel.

Friday 12.06.2002

We took Lilly to the Olbrich Gardens Christmas train display after work. She loved the choo-choo trains and ran from one side of the crowded room to another to catch a glimpse of the bubble-spewing locomotives, not realizing that she would have been better off staying put and letting them come to her. We dragged her away from the trains and took a walk in the conservatory. She didn't like the dark and damp jungle and got very clingy and tearful.

Sunday 12.08.2002

This morning as we puttered around the kitchen Lilly played in the family room. When we went in to investigate, she had a bunch of stuffed animals and dollies lined up on the couch. She told us it was a family and carefully pointed out each toy's role. Later at lunch, Lilly was investigating the individual creamer containers for Poppa's coffee. As part of her investigation, she put one between her teeth. Before I could tell her to remove it, she bit down causing an explosion that sprayed both me and her. Her look of surprise, immediately changed to fear and she burst into tears. It took a pizza to overcome her grief.

Monday 12.09.2002

Our usual weeknight routine is to watch Barney after dinner. I knew it was having an effect (mostly positive), but I never realized quite how much until I told her it was time for night-night. Doing her best BJ impression, she looked at me and said "oh maaaan." I don't think she understood why I was laughing so hard. When we got upstairs and I told her it was time to brush her teeth, she waved me off and told me, "in a minute." She's got her own timetable, apparently.

Tuesday 12.10.2002

Today Lilly was very snuggly, giving me lots of hugs and kisses. Even though I was basking in the warmth of her affection, I had to cut Barney short for an early bedtime (I had to leave for Momma's office Christmas party). She threw a fit and I had to carry her upstairs. As she sat on the potty, she pouted and told me in no uncertain terms: "I'm mad. I don't love you. You be naughty." I choked back my laughter as I told her that she shouldn't talk to Poppa that way.

Saturday 12.14.2002

For some reason, we ended up at Perkins for breakfast this morning. A sign on the door informed us that Santa would be in attendance and we did indeed catch a few glimpses while we waited to be seated. Lilly was all a flutter at each sighting. Once we were sitting at our table, Santa came over, gave her a cookie and assured her that she would get a new dolly and books. Later, Lilly kept saying something about five Santas. I tried to tell her that there was only one Santa, but she persisted. Finally I realized that she was saying that she wanted to "high five Santa." I called Santa over and slapped him some skin.

After breakfast we ran into Best Buy. While I was looking at speaker cable, Lilly ran away from Lisa. In a panic, she finally found the little one sitting in a comfy chair watching TV. Lisa observed for a few minutes and determined that Lilly wasn't the least bit concerned that she was all alone and had no idea where her parents were.

In the afternoon, we attended a children's holiday party for Lisa's work. The party was at the Children's Museum and, as usual, Lilly enjoyed digging in sand and driving the jeep. She also consented to sit on Santa's lap and get a present, though she was a little confused about the fact that she had seen Santa just this morning. On our way home we drove through Fantasy in Lights at Olin Park. Her favorite displays (the ones she squealed over) were the dinosaur and Santa.

Monday 12.16.2002

After daycare, I stopped at a local frame shop to get a print framed for Lilly's new room. She was good, but noticed that Pick'n'Save was right next door and relentlessly asked for a cookie. I gave in and we ran into Pick'n'Save to grab a free kids' cookie. Watching Barney later, Lilly got all excited when Barney yelled "super-dee-dooper!" and spun around. She clambered off the couch and spun around like a spaz.

Tuesday 12.17.2002

Lilly was cranky and out of sorts today. On the way home from daycare, she spied Pick'n'Save and wanted a cookie. When I told her no, she wailed "I NEED a cookie" all the home and then some. In keeping with her lethargic/cranky attitude, she insisted that Poppa brush her teeth before bed.

Friday 12.20.2002

We set out on our drive to New York at noon. As we pulled out of the driveway, she asked, "We're going to Nanny's house?" We confirmed that we were, but she continued to asked off and on over the course of the 15-hour drive. We arrived at 3:00 a.m. and not even hugs and kisses from Nanny and Grandpa could keep the wee one awake.

Saturday 12.21.2002

Christmas time at Nanny's house is one endless game of night-night with dolls and people. She also loves to line up various objects and then proudly pronounce them choo-choos. A considerable amount of time was also spent playing hide and seek with 12-year-old neighbor Sarah. Lilly undoubtedly loves being the center of attention.

Wednesday 12.25.2002

On Christmas morning while all the grown ups were trying to get coffee and breakfast, Lilly broke into the living room and discovered the John Deere pedal tractor that Grandpa and Poppa had put together the night before and placed under the tree with a ribbon. As us oldsters straggled into the living room, Lilly began to rip open presents. Often she stopped flow to play with toys or read books and we had to get her back on track to serious business of opening presents. In the afternoon, Lilly went sledding with Poppa, Uncle Kevin, Aunt Sandra, and Grandpa. She was timid at first but eventually went down the hill with Sandra and Poppa. At the bottom of the hill after each run, she insisted on yanking off her mittens only to be equally insistent that we put them back on at the top of the hill. At the end of our excursion, Lilly made a few solo runs, only wiping out once. Red-faced and wet, we piled back into the car and went home for hot chocolate.

Friday 12.27.2002

Momma and Poppa went away for a overnight getaway (Lisa's first) to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. Upon our return, Nanny reported that the little one didn't even ask where we were the entire time. She was, however, very lovey and clingy when we got home. Just before bed, she got into a serious game of tickle monster with Uncle Eugene and Aunt Tracy.

Saturday 12.28.2002

The little neighbor-girl, Sarah, gave Lilly a terrible fright when she told her the boogey man was going to get her if she didn't go downstairs for dinner. She burst into tears at the mention of the boogey man at the dinner table and didn't want to go to bed or to sleep. She kept suspecting that monsters were hiding in the shadows.

Monday 12.30.2002

This morning, Sarah took Lilly to the potty but neglected to mention to us that she didn't put a new diaper on the child. So off we went to Wegman's oblivious to the impending disaster. Of course, it was inevitable that she had an accident at the store and we had to whisk her out and home. Speaking of Wegman's, Lilly loves "driving" the toy cars mounted to some of the grocery carts. She has so much fun that she usually behaves all the way through the store. Lilly often accompanies Nanny to the grocery store and on other errands. Inevitably, Lilly returns from these excursions with a present of some sort purchased by her doting grandmother. Another development this week has been the use of doorknobs. Yes, the child can now easily get in and out of rooms at will. In addition, her vocabulary and sentence construction have improved dramatically, no doubt in response to all the family stimulation and interaction.

Friday 01.03.2003

This morning Lilly crawled in bed with us and announced, "I need to go home. I want to see Hanky-boy." It just so happened that we WERE going to be leaving today, so Lilly made a great show of going around to everyone and saying goodbye. However, the fact that our car was not yet repaired and a blizzard was bearing down on us delayed our departure until the next day.

Saturday 01.04.2003

We made our best time ever on the drive home — 13 hours. Lilly was good for the most part, though there were a few hours towards the end of bloodcurdling screams imploring us to get her out of her car seat. We could do nothing but steel ourselves against the cacophony and push on. When we did get home, Lilly had a very hard time going to bed and getting to sleep. She told us that she was scared of the dark and was really agitated. The legend of the boogey man combined with the long drive and the now-missing familial attention had taken their toll. She eventually drifted off and we were able to unwind and unpack.

Sunday 01.05.2003

I told Lilly that Uncle Chris was coming over in the afternoon and then I didn't her the end of it from her until he arrived. Just before he got here, she was running to the window every couple of minutes to look for his car. She warmed up to him immediately and they played with her trains and her new Legos, a present from her Uncle. We had to tear her away from jumping on top of him to put her to bed.

Monday 01.06.2003

While I was heating mac and cheese for her dinner tonight, I asked if she also wanted a banana. She replied, "No, just mac and cheese. That'll be fine." I stood there scratching my head at her sophisticated language skills, but that was nothing compared to her next feat of intellectual prowess. We listened to a message from Nanny on the answering machine. Nanny was asking if Lilly was home. Lilly looked at the machine and said, "No. I at daycare." This floored me. Not only did she realize that Nanny had left the message in the past, but she also understood where she was at the time of the message. !!!

Saturday 01.11.2003

We drove down to Illinois for my great Aunt's 90th birthday. We checked into our hotel early and hooked up with Aunt Beth, Uncle Tim, and cousins Adam and Sarah. After lunch, we hit the pool. Lilly was timid at first, just splashing around on the stairs to the pool and not willing to venture in. Finally I coaxed her in and she quickly took to it like <ahem>... a fish to water. With obvious glee, she shouted over and over, "I swimming Poppa." Her cousins left and she still didn't want to get out. I finally got her out and she made a beeline to the hot tub. I was eventually able to convince her to go back to the room by bribing her with the promise of a party and cake. Auntie's party was a country club and Lilly ran around like a banshee with her ten cousins in attendance. The whole lot of them move like an unruly pack of dogs, bumping into each other and tumbling from room to room. By 8:00 p.m. Lilly was running on pure adrenaline. She was so tired, but she couldn't slow herself down and started running around the lobby in circles. She fell asleep in the car on the way back to the hotel and didn't put up much of a fight when we put her to bed on a roll-away.

Sunday 01.12.2003

The whole family reconvened for brunch at at my cousin Julie's house. She was well-behaved, playing with Auntie and cousin Sarah AND by herself. In the afternoon we visited my old college roommates, Hans and Amanda. Lilly enjoyed playing dolls with seven-year-old Celia and bouncing on the trampoline with four-year-old Ben. Once again she was wiped out and slept all the way home to Madison.

Tuesday 01.14.2003

At daycare, Lilly's teachers reported that she was troubled and cranky and cried a lot in the morning when Lisa dropped her off. Her teachers suspect that she's worried about the impending arrival of the new baby. I asked her, "Did you miss Momma?" She replied forcefully, "No I miss you." By the time we got home, she'd changed her tune, however. When I told her I loved her, she responded, "You don't love me... I only love Momma."

Friday 01.17.2003

Today we moved into the next phase of potty training. This was the first day without diapers. It was, simply put, a disaster. Whenever, Lisa tried to get her to go, she'd say, "later" and then turn around and wet her pants.

Saturday 01.18.2003

On her second day without diapers, we had no accidents. She used bathrooms in various stores throughout our extended shopping trip. At West Towne Mall, she was immediately attracted to the cool play area. Once we got in there though, she clung to my legs and watched what was going on for a long time. Finally she'd scoped out the situation and joined the fray. She had a blast jumping on and off the foam tucks and houses and we had to drag her away with the promise of a ride on one of the coin-operated rides by the mall entrance.

Sunday 01.19.2003

On her third day without diapers, Lilly regressed. To be fair, she seemed to be running a fever. She made sure to let us know that she was under the weather: "I not feeling well." We spent the afternoon fixing up her new room; her new room with a big bed. We need to get her old room ready for the new baby and tried to get as excited as possible about the change. I'm not sure who loves the Hello Kitty accessories (blanket, clock, lamp, and rug) more: her or Momma. When she went to bed, she asked for Hank to sleep with her. Hank was more than happy to curl up on his blanket in the corner and that seemed to make her very happy.

Monday 01.20.2003

On the fourth day without diapers we were still having problems — things weren't any better at daycare either. She kept telling them "later" too. As she brushed her teeth and then peed in her pants, I had to remind myself: ALL adults have gotten it. Things would work out. She woke us up twice at night — "I have to go potty." And she did...

Wednesday 01.22.2003

When I picked Lilly up at daycare, Ms. Katrice reported that she had gone on the potty four times today. hooray. She did have an accident as I got there, but we appear to be making progress. As I was trying to straighten up her bookshelf before bed, the books were not cooperating and kept falling over. I got frustrated and let a "god dammit" slip. Lilly looked at me with surprise and said, "Poppa, you said dammit." How does she know that's a bad word?

Friday 01.24.2003

When I got home from work, Lilly greeted me at the door and told me "We go to a restaurant." Who was I to argue. While we were waiting at Tony's in DeForest, Lilly and I looked at the fish in the tank by the door. We were both especially interested in the catfish-type thing in the corner, sucking on the glass. I pointed out its mouth and asked her what it was eating. Her reply? "apples!" As we ate pizza, Lilly suddenly remembered that there used to be Christmas tree in the other room and wanted to go look. How can she remember stuff like this? We made many trips to the potty but only one fruitful. As we were about to leave we found her hiding under her chair. In what was to become a familiar pattern, she was hiding in order to poop. ick.

Saturday 01.25.2003

Throughout a day full of errand and a visit to the puppy doctor, we had no accidents of any kind. hmmmm...

Sunday 01.26.2003

We met Will and Sarah for brunch at the Original Pancake House. She paused while eating her pancakes to tell me that she had to go to the potty. So we did and she did. We ran into our old friend Paul while out and about and he came back to our place for a visit. Lilly was very outgoing and was excited to show Paul her new big-girl room. That night she said she was tired because of all the fun she had with Will and Sarah and Paul. Then she added, "I LOVE Paul."

Monday 01.27.2003

"This morning Lilly told me, "I such a big girl now. I not a baby anymore." Indeed. Her potty training continues to go well and we've only had a few accidents over the last couple of days.

Tuesday 01.28.2003

Ms. Katrice reported no accidents at all at daycare. She told them each time she had to go and even pooped on the potty. The last time she went, Katrice offered her a sticker as usual. Lilly declined saying "No, I don't need one." Maybe we have this potty training thing licked and it only took it a week. On way in the house, she observed her surroundings and told me, "There's a lot of snow outside." After considering it further, she added, "...for driving." I'm constantly blown away by her leaps of logic.

Friday 01.31.2003

We heard Lilly coughing tonight while we were watching TV. Not terribly unusual, but when Lisa went up to check on her, she found that she had thrown up in her bed covering her bed and herself with vomit. We split up. I plopped her into a bath and Lisa set about making her bed suitable for sleeping. Lilly was frightened by the whole thing but she went back down. Half an hour later, she threw up again. We finally got her cleaned up and back to bed and she slept through the night.

Saturday 02.01.2003

First thing in the morning, Lilly announced, "I feeling better." After going over yesterday's events, we came to the conclusion that it must have been a experience with some yogurt well-past its expiration date. We went to Tumbleweed for lunch. At some point I noticed a special report on the TV. The scrolling text at the bottom of the screen filled us in on the space shuttle accident. Fortunately, in the blissful ignorance of youth, Lilly was much more interested in her balloon.

Sunday 02.02.2003

Today Lilly was not feeling well. Her malaise made her clingy and whiny. At Target, she wanted every item she came across and caused when her rampant consumerism met with Poppa's disapproval. At home she made an unprecedented request to take a nap. We were surprised but took her upstairs to bed. The poor little thing actually slept for two hours — something she hasn't done for two year. After her nap we installed a hanger in her new room for her copious artwork. She seemed very pleased with the results and made a point of telling us that she "made" all of the things now hanging on her wall. We went to the dog park and Lilly "drove" the van while I walked around with the dogs. In an effort to continue the trend of disgusting bodily-fluid cleanups, Lilly decided to poop in the bathtub while she was alone with Momma this evening. A not-amused Momma told me all about it when I got home later. ick.

Monday 02.03.2003

Apparently Lilly has a new boyfriend at daycare: Brock. Her teachers told me that she went absolutely bananas over him and refused to leave his side all day. I didn't get to meet him because, as Lilly told me, he was crying for his daddy and went home early. During her dinner tonight, Lilly decided that she needed to clean the table. When I told her that it looked great, she continued to scrub and told me, "no, it's not great yet." Then when I asked if she was done, she replied, "Not just yet." Later, as we watched Dragon Tales, she ate a bag of mini carrots. Her mother was happy that Lilly was eating something healthy for a change.

Tuesday 02.04.2003

This morning Lilly insisted on wearing tights and a skirt to look nice for Brock. She told us that she LOVES him because he's her friend. Lisa reported that her daycare teachers were laughing about our son-in-law-to-be.

Wednesday 02.05.2003

I woke up sick this morning. Lilly crawled in bed with us and said "Me too. I cough like Poppa." She's always got to one-up you. When Lisa dropped her off at daycare, she told everyone that Poppa was sick. Later, at dinner time, she pointed at me and told me that I needed to wash my hands. Why? "Because you're a dirty monkey."

Thursday 02.06.2003

Every morning at 6:30, Lilly appears at the side of our bed and announces "Good morning. I slept well." This morning she also asked me if I was better. When I told her that I was a little better, she turned to Momma and reported, "Poppa a little better."

Monday 02.10.2003

Poppa woke up sick again. As I was throwing up in the bathroom, she told Momma, "I throw up too." She then proceeded to make some coughing and choking noises to back up her claim. Out of the blue in the car home she asked me, "You throw up?" When I answered yes, she replied, "I throw up too... on my pillow."

Tuesday 02.11.2003

Lilly's naughtiness tonight culminated with her squirming around at bedtime in an effort to avoid getting her sleeper on. She struggled so fiercely that she ripped the tab off her diaper as I tried to wrestle her into it. I got mad and yelled her. She burst into tears immediately started asking for a hug. I was still angry but when she started saying "You hurt my feelings; I'm sad," I quickly relented. Trying not to laugh, I reassured her that I loved her. An hour later she woke up and called me upstairs to tell me again that her feelings were hurt and to get some reassurance.

Thursday 02.13.2003

Tonight Lilly decided to practice medicine in the bathroom on her ailing and aging Poppa. First she was concerned about my hair. Apparently it had a boo-boo in it caused by a bite from Cody! She used two of her mini carrots to inspect my hair at length and then moved on to my ears. She reported that "it's deep in there." Then she used her carrots to rub and probe my ears. Next, it was my eyes. She spent a great deal of time cleaning them with pieces of wadded up toilet paper. Every time I tried to get her to stop, she cautioned me: "Hold on Poppa. It's almost all better." Finally after finishing with my eyes, she started on my hands. Again she employed tissue to clean them on both sides. After spending the better part of 20 minutes on this examination, I decided that I was healthy enough and that we had to move on to a dental examination for the little girl. She wasn't happy about it, but she finally brushed her teeth and went to bed.

Friday 02.14.2003

Lilly bought me Valentine's Day present. While at Target with Momma, she insisted on getting me two pairs of boxer shorts (Sweet Tart and Twinkie patterns). She would not be deterred or hear of any kind of substitution even though the ones she brought home were the wrong size.

Saturday 02.15.2003

We took Lilly to her first circus today. We sat in the nose-bleed seats in the Coliseum but still had a pretty good view. Lilly was pretty intrigued by all the people and the comings and goings; then the lights went down. The darkness and the loud music scared her and she stared, with her hands on her cheeks as if she didn't know whether to cover her eyes or her ears. By the time the first act (a tiger tamer) was over she was clapping and dancing. She the elephants and the monkey in the diaper and gobbled up an entire box of popcorn. "I like popcorn," quoth she. As I was putting her to bed later, she reminded me, somewhat wistfully, that there were "no lions." Maybe next year.

Sunday 02.16.2003

When I collected the girls from church this morning, Lilly excitedly informed me that she went poop in the potty at church. Wow. You go girl. We headed out to the country to see our friends Jackie and Michael. Lilly couldn't quite get both names but she seemed excited to see "Jackie and Milk." We'd also been telling her about their llamas and over the last couple of days and she was beside herself when we pulled up and saw them in the pasture. We had a nice visit and Lilly behaved herself admirably. We walked around the farm and visited with the llamas and chickens. Just like her mother, Lilly seems to favor fuzzy animals and shy away from feathered ones: she loved the llamas and didn't want a thing to do with the chickens.

Wednesday 02.18.2003

This morning, Lilly crawled into bed us as she does every morning. As usual, she dragged along a book, a doll, and her water bottle. This morning the book was The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss. She settled in between us and began paging through the book. She begin, "At the far end of town..." I was blown away, because that IS exactly how it starts. Then Lilly pointed out the Onceler's groovulous glove to Momma. Lisa was not that impressed with these things because, as she admitted, she's "not up on the Lorax." When Lilly heard that, she began thumbing through the pages, furiously in search of something. Then she found what she was looking for. Pointing to a picture of the title character, she turned to her mother and sternly said, "that's the Lorax, Momma."

Saturday 02.22.2003

While Momma and Poppa went to a "refresher" child-birth class at Meriter Hospital downtown, Lilly spent the entire day at her friend Shelby's house. Shelby's mother is Katrice, who, until recently, was one of Lilly's daycare teachers. This was the first time that Lilly had been looked after by a non-grandparent during daylight hours. Lisa did remarkably well, considering... Lilly, for her part, didn't miss us at all. Katrice reported that the girls played well all day behaved themselves.

Sunday 02.23.2003

Sunday afternoon was spent lazing around in front of the fire. All of us read for a few hours, with Lilly taking a break every now and then to climb on top of me or chase the cat. The room was very warm and I'm not just talking about the fire. Makes me wonder why I waited so long to be a family man (with all apologies to Henry Rollins).

Monday 02.24.2003

Today while she was eating dinner, Lilly turned to me and stated very matter-of-factly, "I'm so cute." Well... yeah...

Saturday 03.01.2003

We spent the day cleaning the house and cooking in preparation for a dinner party in the evening. Lilly was right in the thick of things: helping to swiffer and vacuum, and helping Momma make a cake. She was shy for our guests when they arrived, but warmed up soon and wanted to show everyone her "new big-girl" room. Once she got people in her room she hammed it up and got all goofy, pointing out everything she could think of. I'm not sure how impressed my friend Todd was by the fact that she had tissues on her night stand.

Sunday 03.02.2003

We had brunch with Uncle Chris to celebrate his birthday. Lilly and he interacted very well together and really seemed to enjoy each other's company. Later that day I asked her what she thought of her Uncle's long hair and she replied that he had a "pony tail like me and Momma."

Tuesday 03.04.2003

I know that to those of you who are not parents of young children, there seems to be an inordinate of amount of discussion in this journal about poop. I'll give you that, and I certainly never expected to become so preoccupied. But, with baby ground zero approaching, our goal of having only one child in diapers at a time looms large in front of us. So OK... Lilly is having pooping issues. She just doesn't seem to want to go in the toilet. Pee issues are nonexistent, so we were stumped. Lisa did some research and we talked to people at daycare. It may have something to do with the impending arrival of a sibling. Who knows? I can only hope that at some point in the near future that the switch will flip and all will be resolved.

Wednesday 03.05.2003

Lilly is one smart little whip. Tonight as I watched her gobbled down a veggie dog (with ketchup, of course), I observed that she had eaten the whole thing. She looked at me with an air of frustration and pity and told me, "not yet." Moments later she was leafing through a magazine and saw an add for a Day the Earth Stood Still DVD. I asked her what the retro tin-can robot was. She looked at it and replied, "spaceman." She's now regularly using the past tense in sentences and often future tense. Lisa thinks that this shouldn't be happening until she is four or five. She is even using possessive pronouns correctly. Sometimes she frightens me.

Friday 03.07.2003

Lilly was mommy's little monster today. She refused to cooperate over even the slightest issues and whined and cried constantly. I got home late from work and Lisa was putting her in bed. Lilly was happy to see me, but Momma was frazzled beyond belief.

Saturday 03.08.2003

Lilly appeared to be in a much better mood this morning and we went to the mouse house at the Badger Gymnastics Complex. The thing is basically a huge Habitrail for kids. Lilly loved every minute of it: the ball pits, the steps, the slide. At one point we lost track of her and Lisa began to panic a little as we walked around the entire perimeter trying to spy her. Suddenly, she came running towards us from the front of the complex. She had escaped to get a drink. For lunch we bowed to Lilly's request for French Fries and went to Red Robin. The dreaded bird was there but we assured her that it was leaving soon and that she shouldn't be scared. Her response? "I don't like the bird." She inhaled an entire grilled-cheese sandwich as well as the requested French Fries. The kid has been eating like a bear about to go into hibernation. Next stop was the Design Mart. While we wandered around the kitchen showroom, Lilly informed us that she had to go potty. I escorted her down the hall to the bathroom where she triumphantly pooped in toilet. Her reward was ice cream at Culver's (of course Poppa treated himself as well).

Sunday 03.09.2003

When Lilly refused to clean up her mess of books and toys in the living room when asked, I picked her up and carried her to her room. When the screaming subsided, I asked if she would help clean up now. She meekly said yes and by the time we got downstairs, she was actually fairly enthusiastic about tidying up.

Friday 03.14.2003

Lilly and Momma met me at 11:30 a.m. for lunch in the American Family cafeteria. Lilly was very excited about the chips and also managed to scarf down a large amount of macaroni and cheese and "tay-TOEs." The entire way back to my desk, she reminded me that she wanted to play on the 'puter, my explanation that it didn't have any games on it notwithstanding.

Sunday 03.16.2003

After brunch at Pasqual's we walked across the street to the park and Lilly scampered over the play equipment without a second thought. I remembered how, less than a year ago, she was very hesitant about playgrounds. Now she was making laps: up the stairs, through the tunnel, and down the slide; over and over. She's still hesitant and pensive around other kids, choosing to stand and observe rather than interact. We ended our stay at the park with a marathon swinging session. She kept yelling "push me WAY high" and squealing with glee and dizziness.

Monday 03.17.2003

I met the girls at the daycare across from my office to check out whether it would be a good place to move Lilly to. Lilly seemed comfortable walking around and checking everything out. She even used the toilet in one room when nature called. She kept catching glimpses of the playgrounds outside and hung on me asking to go out. We finally agreed to go to the park on our way home. On the way, she reminded me constantly that we weren't going home, but to the park with other kids. Fireman's Park in DeForest was a pretty soggy due to the recent thaw, but Lilly ran full tilt around the equipment trying to get everything in before we whisked her away. Back at the house, Lilly was very excited for me to try the the Irish Soda Bread (or cake as she called it) that she and Momma had made during the day. We then set about preparing our traditional Saint Patrick's Day boiled meal. As I plopped the carrots, potatoes, and cabbage into the boiled water, Lilly warned me: "it's very hot; you'll get burned." Despite her love of carrots and potatoes, she didn't like the non-raw and non-mashed varieties. I wasn't surprised either when she told me that cabbage was "yucky."

Friday 03.21.2003

Warning to readers who are non-parents: poop discussion ahead... Daycare called today. Lilly, who has been having a runny bottom for some weeks now, had a major blow-out this morning. She completely soiled everything she was wearing and basically had to be given a bath in the bathroom sink. She was quite upset and complained that her tummy hurt. When I got to daycare to pick her up, she was laying down on her sleeping bag a corner, whimpering. Shortly after I got her home, however, she perked up a bit. I spent the whole day watching her play. <sappySentimentalism>A few times I felt tears welling up because I couldn't believe it was possible to love anything this much.</sappySentimentalism>

Monday 03.24.2003

After a bit of research, we think we may have an explanation for Lilly's GI woes: lactose intolerance. We're unsure whether this is going to be a permanent condition or whether it's aftermath of some other malady (apparently a common occurrence, according to the experts). In any event, we're curtailing her dairy intake and we bought her lactose-free milk (also known as "special Lilly-milk").

Saturday 03.29.2003

Today I took Lilly to her first movie. We hit a matinee of Piglet's Big Movie. The first scene, where our heroes are chased by bees, had her squealing in her seat: "the bees are coming, the bees are coming!" When something struck her fancy, she would lean over to me, put her face right next to mine and laugh. Lilly was very well-behaved, asking to switch seats only a few times. The springs on the theater seats were quite strong and I had to help her up into the seat and scoot her back. The slightest movement on her part, however, was enough to fold her in half. Then we had a little crisis involving a stuck foot and a missing shoe. Lilly ended the movie in my lap, but paid close attention for the entire hour and fifteen minutes. When Lisa asked her what she liked best about the movie, Lilly gave it some serious thought and eventually answered, "the popcorn."

Sunday 03.30.2003

We spent a good portion of the day cleaning out and organizing one of the closets in the nursery. All the baby clothes, toys, and paraphernalia made Lilly quite emotional (childhood lost, I guess). We accomplished our task but at the expense of a cranky and wound up toddler.

Monday 03.31.2003

On the way home from daycare, Lilly told me that she wanted eggs for dinner, but emphatically stated that she didn't want toast. She was very insistent, though, that I eat some toast. I was still trying to dodge the issue when we got home. In the middle of the kitchen, she stopped, turned to me, and laid it on the line: "You want toast? Yes? No? Maybe?" I reluctantly agreed to have some toast as long as she did and that seemed to be an acceptable compromise. As she ate her eggs, she paused, looked up at me, and in a genuinely concerned tone asked, "How was your day, Poppa?" Later, in the bathroom as we were getting ready for bed, she noticed me stretching out the sleeves of my freshly laundered sweatshirt and asked what I was doing. When I explained that Momma often shrinks things in the wash, Lilly reassured me: "It's OK Poppa. Don't be angry. It's not monsters or fighting." Then as an afterthought: "I like BUH-flies." As she brushed her teeth, she pointed out that the yellow toothbrush holder and soap dispenser matched. Then she pointed at Momma's hair dryer, noting that it too was yellow. She thought about all this briefly and then announced, "My [rain] coat matches." Continuing her stream-of-conciousness observations: "It's dark outside. No stars yet." And later, "I don't eat meat at daycare. I'm a vehgeHAtarian!"

Tuesday 04.01.2003

We took advantage of the 70°-weather and played outside with Lilly's wagon, swing, and sandbox. Though it took some convincing, I eventually got Lilly to come over to meet Chandler, the four-year-old granddaughter of a neighbor. She didn't really seem at all excited about meeting another little girl around her age. As she was getting her sleeper on, she was a little wild. While dancing around, she bumped her head on a piece of furniture. I picked her up and she tearfully explained to me, "I don't like boo-boos anymore; I don't like owies anymore. I like BUH-flies."

Saturday 04.05.2003

Lilly's new obsession is playing horsy with Poppa. This involves her old man getting down on his hand and knees and her clambering onto his back. She squeals with glee when I pretend to be a bucking bronco. Once, as she flew off, she grabbed my glasses and twisted them severely, prompting a quick trip to Lenscrafters for an adjustment. We tackled the other closet in the nursery this afternoon. Lilly insisted on trying on just about every piece of clothing she came across, regardless of whether it fit or not. Like last weekend, Lilly got emotional and over-stimulated. That, combined with a lack of sleep and low blood sugar, made for a cranky little girl.

Sunday 04.06.2003

Returning from brunch and a brief visit to some friends, Lilly and I both crawled into her bed for a nap. She got up before I did and went downstairs and told Momma to get me up.

Monday 04.07.2003

We'd read about night terrors, but we hadn't experienced them before tonight. Lilly woke up screaming. She cried for 15 minutes and could not be calmed down. She was unresponsive and clingy until we actually tried to hug her, at which point she shoved us away. She was asleep with her eyes open and terrified of some unseen horror know only to her. We just sat with her and rode it out until she eventually calmed down and went back to sleep. It was definitely more than a bad dream and pretty scary and distressing for Momma and Poppa as well.

Saturday 04.12.2003

There's been a crazy robin outside our house lately. It keeps flying into windows trying to get into the garage and the house. Now that she's aware of it, Lilly screams to bring it to our attention when she spies it outside. Then she usually tells me to make it go away. It's a big game, spot it before we do. This morning, we went to big-sister class at the hospital ("HAHS-i-bow"). Lilly liked holding the baby dolls and rocking them. We were warned that she probably wouldn't pay much attention, but she sat quietly with the other children on the floor in front of the teacher and didn't fuss too much. The class ended with a tour of the birthing center and by chance the open suite that we toured was the exact room Lilly had been born in. The coincidence didn't really impress her, though it brought back a flood of memories for her parents.

Sunday 04.13.2003

We went to brunch at Will and Sarah's house. Lilly was well-behaved and stuffed scones into her scone-hole like there was no tomorrow. She delighted our hosts by reciting her ABCs and doing somersaults. Their dog Hank is still not thrilled with Lilly's presence, but we avoided any major confrontations.

Tuesday 04.15.2003

A big box clothes arrived from Nanny and Grandpa this afternoon. Lilly insisted on stripping down and trying on every last article of clothing. I had to step in when she started eyeing sleepers for the new baby. She was so taken with her new swim suit that she ate her dinner with it on and insisted on wearing it upstairs to brush her teeth. Thankfully, it wasn't too hard to convince her to take it off before bed.

Friday 04.18.2003

We had architects measuring the entire house this afternoon. Lilly insisted on being held for a while. After she got to show off her room, she went in the other room and played and read quietly by herself. I'm not sure it's related, but later Lilly wanted use to measure her with a measuring tape. I stood her up against the wall in the kitchen and, in the time-honored tradition, made a pencil mark on the plaster. The measuring tape returned its verdict: 27¼". As we watched Dragon Tales this evening, Lilly began squirming around and had a very small accident on the couch. I calmly tried to get her into the bathroom to go potty, but she refused. I told her that if she didn't go (or at least try) it was time for bed immediately. She threw a temper-tantrum so I carried her upstairs and began putting her in a night-time pull up and jammies. She screamed even louder and tried to kick me. Momma took over and tried to explain that if she went potty, she didn't have to go to bed right away. Lilly screamed and flailed and yelled for a good 15 minutes. Finally, she went potty and came downstairs to apologize: "I sorry Poppa."

Saturday 04.19.2003

Not knowing what to expect, we drove to the Easter-egg hunt at Warner Park in Madison. We got there not a moment too soon; the grand marshal was just blowing the whistle to start the hunt. We pointed Lilly in the direction of a couple of eggs and she scooped them up. Then she stood there rather bewilderedly as kids much older than her ran around, pushing each other out of the way in search of chicken embryos. She did get a consolation prize though. A volunteer with a garbage bag full of stuffed animals let her pick one. Lilly took an excruciatingly long time deciding on her choice as the noisy queue behind her became increasingly restless. Finally she settled on a teddy bear in a bunny costume. We asked her if she wanted to see the Easter bunny and, true to form, she told us that she was scared and wanted to get in the car. We went to lunch at an Indian restaurant and although she wasn't crazy about her cheese Nan (it sure wasn't the French Fries she had requested) she was a good sport about it. In the afternoon, Lilly and Poppa napped on the sofa and then played the hiding game. We would cover ourselves with a blanket and then peek out at the "Mommy-monster" across the room, squeal and cover back up to "be safe."

Sunday 04.20.2003

Lilly was very taken with her Easter dress this morning, especially when she accessorized with a brand-new necklace that came as a gift from Grandpa. She also had fun hunting for the few eggs that the Easter bunny had left around the house. As she searched she asked herself "Where could they be?" Her loot this morning also included a few Cadbury eggs. We told her that she couldn't eat any candy now and she asked if she could just hold them. Momma reported that as soon as they got into church though, she tore into one and devoured it. The resulting sugar high had her bouncing off the pews. The rush continued all afternoon when Uncle Chris stopped by. She put him through the paces requested stories, showing off her room, and playing pony and airplane.

Monday 04.21.2003

"I poop in the toilet." These were the first words out of Lilly's mouth when I picked her up at daycare. ...and there was much rejoicing. Later, when getting for bed, Lilly assembled her pajamas, socks, and pull-up ("POLE-up"). Then, as she muttered to herself, I distinctly heard, "Let's figure out how we're going to do this." As she took each article of clothing off, she pranced around and tossed the item halfway across the room in the direction of the laundry basket. She made about half her shots on the first try. Apparently it was almost as much fun to miss though: she squealed with delight and tired again with no indcation whatsoever of fustration.

Tuesday 04.22.2003

Tonight as she was getting ready for bed, Lilly announced that she was going to wear underwear instead of a pull-up under her pajamas. I was hesitant, but it seems like a good sign (and we had plastic mattress pad on her bed). After all she'd been dry at night for months. The next morning was no exception: dry again. Another corner turned.

Saturday 04.26.2003

We had to put down Erin, one of our beloved greyhounds, this morning. She'd been sick for a month and just wasn't getting any better. Lilly didn't really understand why we were sad. Lisa tried to explain it to out in the car while I was holding Erin in my lap and watching her slowly drift off. Lisa reported that when she explained that Erin was too sick to come home, Lilly was silent and then said, "I think about it." She asked several times throughout the day if Erin was coming home. Obviously, telling her that the dog had died meant absolutely nothing to her. We went to a friend's wedding in the afternoon and Lilly was very interested in watching people get married. I think the highlight of the ceremony for her was blowing bubbles outside on the sidewalk. True to form, she managed to spill more than she actually blew. As I was putting her to bed, she asked about Erin again and wanted to know where she was. I took a different tact and, putting aside my agnostic leanings, told her that Erin was up in heaven and wasn't coming back. I think she got it a little when she said, "That's why Momma and Poppa sad?" Yeah, honey, yeah...

Sunday 04.27.2003

We worked out in the yard today and Lilly spent hours playing in her sandbox. She took great care in putting sand in various buckets and then putting the buckets into her nearby swing. She explained her actions as "baking a cakey-cake in an oven." I also got her to help me out by collecting pine cones in a bucket and dragging sticks to the burn pile. She didn't stay on task for long, but was proud that I had asked for her help. Later we wandered down to the pond because Lilly wanted to throw rocks in the water. As I sat there in the sun watching this beautiful little girl scamper at the water's edge, I realized just how worthwhile life can be.

Monday 04.28.2003

Lilly took a header on the pavement today at daycare. Her faceplant resulted in a big goose egg on her forehead and nasty scrapes on her nose and upper lip. The fact that she had a runny nose making it hurt to wipe didn't help matters either. I babied my poor little girl and gave her a couple of extra kisses when I tucked her in at bedtime.

Tuesday 04.29.2003

Without telling us, daycare personnel moved Lilly to the three-year-old room today. Add this to the list of stressors in her life that already includes the arrival of a new baby and Erin's death. Lilly still asks regularly about Erin but often answers her own questions: "Erin up in the sky?" She seems to be getting along with the other dogs well, if not better. This afternoon, she let Hank down from upstairs and asked him, "You want to go out buddy?"

Saturday 05.03.2003

We made an expedition around the pond today. The trip included spying a huge snapping turtle just under the surface, watching lots of fish swim by, and glimpses of dragon flies and bumble bees. She kept poking sticks into the water claiming she was going to catch a fish. She was particularly fascinated with the elusive dragon flies that zoomed over the surface of the pond. The first time she saw one, she stopped in her tracks and in hushed tones, asked "Poppa what's THAT?" On our way back, perched on my shoulders, Lilly announced with some solemnity, "Some fish are big and some fish are little. We mad a quick visit to my friend Tony's to drop off some equipment. She was shy but warmed up a bit and graciously accepted the gift of a gorgeous story book. Next stop was the dog park and despite the beautiful day, she preferred pretend driving to actually running with the dogs outside.

Sunday 05.04.2003

The scab on Lilly's lip finally fell off, making her look much more healthy. Lilly helped me check the burn pile a couple of times in the afternoon and reminded me not to go in the fire because it was dangerous. Thanks darlin'. Despite the 50°-weather, Lilly insisted on taking her shoes off so she could play in the sandbox. I was finally able to convince her that she was indeed cold and that we needed to go inside.

Sunday 05.08.2003

Lilly's third birthday. It was a low-key affair since we didn't want to make elaborate plans and then cancel them if baby-ground zero came early. Lisa made cupcakes for Lilly to take to daycare for her party. She picked up the birthday girl in the afternoon and went to the airport to pick up Nanny. Lilly had been beside herself with the prospect of a visit from Nanny and, of course, there was a suitcase full of presents from New York to open. At home, Lilly dove into her loot and kept asking for more: "another one?" We went to Tony's for a birthday dinner and Lilly decided she wanted pizza. It was hard to tell who was more excited or smitten: Lilly or Nanny.

The end of the story...

Well, not really. LillyWeb will not be updated anymore, but you can keep up on Lilly's latest exploits as well as those of her new baby sister, Maeve Emerson, at Crumbcrunchers.

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