Twenty-one to Twenty-three Months

Sunday 01.13.2002

We trundled over to our friends Will and Sarah's house for brunch. Lilly enjoyed the soufflé and the French toast and made quite a messy pig of herself. She and Will and Sarah's dog Hank were intensely interested in each other. Hank, not having much experience with children, growled a bit but behaved himself. At one point though, Lilly made a sudden movement and Hank's instincts got the better of him. He barked and snapped at her. Luckily he only got the sleeve of her sweater. While Will quickly escorted Hank to the bedroom, I rushed to comfort Lilly. It wasn't necessary; she just seemed a little bewildered about all the commotion but that was about it.

Next stop was a Packer party at our friends Todd and Rylee's house. We hadn't stayed long but Lilly was starting to have a meltdown so we were getting ready to leave. Then Lilly started playing with baby Bailey, our friend Mary Kay's nine-month-old, and got her second wind. Lilly started following Bailey around on all fours; reverting to babyhood, I guess. She even gave Bailey "lovies," Lisa's name for Lilly's display of affection when she hugs someone, puts her head on them, and goes "ahhhhh." Lovies started out in New York with her Nanny, Grandpa, aunts and uncles. It continued back home with Momma, Poppa, and Hank (our Hank, not Will and Sarah's). Now it was extended to her new little friend. Lilly also had grand time playing horseys with Todd's daughter Ryann and running around like a banshee with his other daughter Raine.

Wednesday 01.16.2002

We had a parent-teacher conference at Lilly's daycare this afternoon. While Lilly did laps around us, Lisa, I, and lead teacher Cailin, sat in little kiddie chairs and went over Lilly's progress. As expected, she is meeting or exceeding all the developmental milestones expected of a 20-month old. Cailin reported that as Lilly is more able to express herself, she bites less and less. In fact, most biting incidents involve her on the receiving, rather than inflicting, end. We asked about her refusal to take naps. Apparently they are able to get her down for naps but she has to be in solitary confinement for it to work. We also asked about her apparent infatuation with Max. It seems as though they actually have a love-hate relationship; they steal each others toys and fight all the time but Lilly still lights up whenever we mention his name and the two of them run up to each other every morning. Who knows? Lilly also seems to be taking a shine to the new boy Anthony (thee-thee)...

Thursday 01.17.2002

On the way home from daycare, Lilly wanted to play with her piano book. This book, a Christmas present, plays one of a number of songs and then asks her to play it back by following a glowing red dots on the appropriate keys. Until today Lilly just used it as a music box. Today she was actually hitting the keys as they lit up. Her rhythm left a little to be desired and she sometimes had to make a couple of attempts to hit the right note, but I was amazed at how quickly she had caught on.

Friday 01.18.2002

Lisa woke up sick, so I stayed home to take care of Lilly. First order of business was a bath. I approached it with trepidation because of Lisa's recent tales of splash fests and acrobatics. Lilly was as good as gold (pardon the cliché) for me. We used two wash clothes: one for me, and one for her. She seemed very interested in washing her toes and her neck and got no end of enjoyment out of sticking her wash cloth into a cup.

Later in the afternoon, Lisa was feeling better so we ventured out to the back yard for some sledding. It was, of course, quite the ordeal bundling Lilly up into her snow suit and boots (which she absolutely adores, by the way) but we finally made it outside. She screeched with delight as I pulled her down the little hill in her sled. As soon as we reached the bottom, she wanted me to pick up the rope to pull her back up. We had a couple of wipeouts sending her face-first into the snow. The first time she laughed and wanted to do it again. The second time, her leg got caught under her rather uncomfortably and she burst into tears. We took her in warmed her up and it didn't take long for her to get back to her old self.

We piled in the car for an early dinner at Red Robin. Lilly saw me dipping my onion rings in ranch dressing and wanted to follow suit. Soon she was demanding a dollop of dressing with each French fry she picked up. Not the healthiest of dinners, but she was happy. On our way out she spied a car-driving arcade game and grinned ear-to-ear as she violently spun the wheel around. We didn't leave without a fight. On the way home we stopped at the library to pick up a movie and Lilly behaved herself admirably, picking out some books and "reading" them to herself in the middle of the floor. Her one outburst occurred when she spied the HUGE stuffed red dog perched atop one of the book shelves. I accommodated her by pulling it down so she could ride it like a horse for a few minutes. When she turned her back, I returned it to its proper place.

Saturday 01.19.2002

We had to run a few errands at the (shudder) mall this morning. By the time we left Lilly was insisting on being held and pushing her stroller by herself. Because she kept slapping our hands away when we tried to steer, I had to make continuous corrections using rather awkward body contortions in order to avoid running over other patrons in Lilly's line of fire. We grabbed a quick bite at the food court. Lilly wanted nothing to do with Momma's burrito but was all about Poppa's pizza (zaah-zaah).

Next stop was the Madison Children's Museum, which, incidentally, was just named in Children's Magazine's list of top twenty children's museums. Lilly was a little unsure of herself at first; just standing in the middle of the floor and watching all the kids and activity around her. She finally dove in and played, but it wasn't until we went upstairs that she really came alive. To our surprise, she ignored the life-sized moo-moos in the milking-barn exhibit. She spent an agonizing ten minutes waiting for another little girl to finish "driving" the jeep in the dinosaur-expedition exhibit. When she got her hands on the wheel she was in heaven and we literally had to drag her away to let other kids have a turn. She also played quite a while in the sandbox filled with dinosaur bones and paint brushes. She put up a fight when we left but zonked out the moment the car headed home.

Monday 01.21.2002

Lately, Lilly has been refusing to sit in her high chair while I eat breakfast before work. Instead she asks for a set of keys (keeysh) and runs around the kitchen jingling them. She also asks for raisins (eee-eee) from my raisin bran. I feed her a raisin and a little milk (mook) on my spoon. Then she runs around the table a couple of times and returns for another. Momma took Lilly to the VW dealership today and had to wait close to an hour and a half for an oil change. Lilly saw all the cars in the showroom and wanted to play behind the wheel. When Momma decided that might not be a good idea, Lilly decided to express her displeasure in the waiting room, much to the chagrin, I'm sure, of the other patrons waiting for their cars. As soon as the car was ready to go, Lisa made a bee-line to Rocky's Pizza where she knew there would be arcade games. They were pretty much as good as the real thing as far as she was concerned. Lilly also impressed her mother by eating an entire slice of pizza. In fact, she even asked for more. Upon returning with an additional slice however, Lilly had decided that she didn't actually want anymore. Typical. Lisa also passes along this word of warning to other parents: don't get the salad bar if you're alone with a toddler. It ain't easy balancing 25 pounds on your hip and trying to build a salad at the same time.

Saturday 01.26.2002

Although Lilly loves pizza (zaah-zaah), she was much more interested in the driving arcade games at Eduardos. We did manage to get to sit down and eat once the pizza came out, but not in her high chair. She sat proudly in a booster seat for a while and shoveled pizza into her face. Then she decided that sitting in the booth like Momma and Poppa was much cooler and refused to take no for an answer. After lunch we went to a park in Middleton where Lilly had a blast on the slide (slyyy) and the swings. We even helped her swing in the big-kids swings (she insisted) but kept a watchful eye out for any problems. She didn't really seem to grasp the concept that if she let go of the chains, she'd fall off.

Monday 01.28.2002

Lilly has decided that part of our normal morning routine is to now sit on my lap while I eat my cereal. Of course this involves some awkward contortions to feed myself and allows easy access for feeding her. By the way, her pronunciation of cereal (eee-yo) reminds me more than a little of some Police-era Sting lyrics. As I was walking out the door, Lilly threw a fit because I had forgotten to give her a goodbye kiss. It melted my heart that she needed a kiss so badly. Over the last few weeks, Lilly has been adding more and more two-word sentences to her repertoire. Most are statements of ownership, such as "my socks," but she also has other thoughts on her mind: "more milk," "sit here," or "bye-bye Hank."

Tuesday 01.29.2002

Lilly was quite the sleepy head this morning. She refuses to take naps at home (though she naps just fine at daycare) so she is just exhausted by bedtime and really doesn't want to get up in the morning. This morning she did the wet noodle and then tried to climb back in her crib. This afternoon when I was picking her up from daycare, Lilly decided to show off and do a somersault. I was amazed. She had never attempted such a feat before and she executed it more-or-less perfectly. I inquired about it and her teacher wasn't sure where she had picked it up. Must be from hanging around all those dirty boys.

Thursday 01.31.2002

Tonight while playing after dinner, Lilly started whining and pulling her shirt up to show off her belly. I asked her if she was hot and wanted her sweatshirt off. She nodded yes, but continued to fuss once it was off. Finally I realized that she also wanted her shirt off. In fact, she had decided it was naked time. After we had her shirt off, we had to continue with her shoes and pants. She did consent to leaving her socks on though and showed great restraint by not removing her diaper. Once naked time had commenced, Lilly began her dance-and-twirl routine and continued until it was time to go upstairs for brusha-brusha.

Saturday 02.02.2002

We chose Tumbleweed's for lunch today because we figured that the chips that they bring out right away would distract and entertain a very squirmy Lilly. Things did not go as plan. We waited ten minutes before our server found us and then another five minutes for the basket of chips. By this time Lilly was literally bouncing off the walls and refusing to sit in either a booster chair or a highchair. Thirty-five minutes later, we still hadn't gotten our food and Lilly was at melt-down stage. When our server assured us that our food would be out in five minutes, we said forget it and went across the street to Rocky's. Lilly loved the pizza, the big-screen TV, the driving games, and the Jurassic Park shoot-em-up game. Whew!

I had to pick up some software from my friend Jon, but as we approached his house, Lilly was asleep. We detoured to pick up dog food and let her sleep in the car while I got the goods. She roused herself once we got to Jon and and Marcia's house. Lilly was a little unsure about how to react to their new Husky puppy: dogs aren't supposed to be this small are they? She was also fascinated by the giant aquarium and despite repeated attempts to band on the tank, Lilly was generally on very good behavior and, I think, charmed our hosts.

The last stop of the afternoon was Toys'R'Us to buy Play-doh for Lilly. I also spotted a stuffed duck that I got for her in light of her rather recent fascination with ducks of all kinds. When we got home, we all played with Play-doh though Lilly seemed more interested in putting hunks of into the various containers than actually making anything with it. Later in the afternoon, I was absolutely mesmerized by Lilly as we played and rough-housed. She is absolutely amazing and the most wonderful thing in my life.

Sunday 02.03.2002

Lilly loves eggs, especially when they're scrambled with cheese. We all had a lovely hot breakfast together. Later we headed downtown to go the Children's Museum. Lilly was so taken with the babbling brook exhibit that her left hand turned red and then blue from sticking it under the very cold water. We had to drag her away to the upstairs where she reacquainted herself with the rocking cow and the dinosaur-exhibition jeep.

Monday 02.04.2002

I got a call at work from Lisa this morning. Lisa was having a friend over for brunch and got Lilly all dolled up. Just as her guest was about to arrive, Lilly decided she didn't want to wear her shirt and didn't want her hair in a pig tail. Lisa called me distraught, frustrated, and confused. I guessed that once Dee Dee arrived Lilly would be distracted and would keep her clothes on. That, in fact, was what happened and Lilly had a fantastic time playing, drawing, and dancing with Dee Dee. Once she was gone however, the clothes came off again. Lisa finally decided to see if Lilly would wear clothes if she picked them out herself. She did, but she chose a very silly long dress-pants combination that was not at all flattering.

When I got home from work, Lilly seemed somehow smarter to me, though I'm not exactly show how. She chattered non-stop, telling me all about her day and excitedly pointing our the window. She was an extremely good mood tonight as she brushed her teeth, got into her sleeper, read her bed-time story, and settled down for nighty-night.

Wednesday 02.06.2002

Lilly started coughing a little on Sunday afternoon. By this afternoon she had progressed to a hacking, rattling cough accompanied by a runny nose. Daycare reported several cases of pneumonia and RSV and we discussed taking her to the doctor. After consulting our baby books, we decided that since she didn't have a fever or trouble breathing and was in generally good spirits, we'd wait to see what the morning brought. After dinner, I asked Lilly to come over to me so I could wipe her nose. When she said no, I asked her if she'd come over and do it herself. She ran over, grabbed the tissue and very carefully and thoroughly cleaned up her nose and upper lip. Not only was I impressed, but Lilly was pretty proud of herself as well, presenting me with her handy work before running away.

Thursday 02.07.2002

Lilly's cough, if not improved, at least hadn't worsened. She was tearful and irritable when she first got up, but was in good spirits by the time we got her bundled off to daycare. If she's not better by Friday, we'll consult Dr. Whalen. Daycare called around noon saying that Lilly had a fever of 100.8°. I picked her up by 1:00 and she definitely wasn't feeling so hot. They had given her baby Tylenol (with our permission) and her fever had eased somewhat. She was rather subdued during the afternoon and despite her being under the weather, we had a grand time hanging out and wrestling and snuggling on the couch.

Friday 02.08.2002

This morning, Lilly's cough was markedly improved. Her mood, however was worse and she was a hell child for Lisa all day. There was a brief respite when Lisa got her cleaning supplies out. Lilly grabbed the Swiffer (uuffer) and seemed to know exactly what to do with it. I'm not sure why Lisa didn't actually put a Swiffer cloth on the bottom and get some work out of her.

Saturday 02.09.2002

Lilly was better today. Her nose was running more, but she was in a better mood. We went to Toys R Us to get her set of toy keys. Lately she has become fascinated with Momma and Poppa's keys making it difficult to go anywhere and actually use them. The toy version featured a "remote" that made a number of sounds including a very annoying traffic jam sample. Around 2:00 we went over to our friends Leslie and Peter's house for a visit. Their son, Glenn, is almost four and we weren't sure how (or whether) he and Lilly would play together. They actually got along fairly well considering the huge age gap. Lilly especially enjoyed playing with Glenn's fishing game.

Sunday 02.10.2002

This day must be what people mean when they refer to the Terrible Twos. Lilly threw a temper tantrum at Target, doing the wet noodle and screaming at the top of her lungs. Later in the afternoon she threw all her Playdoh on the floor and pulled all her books off her bookshelf. When we tried to discipline her she howled and slapped at us. It was a trying day.

Monday 02.11.2002

Lisa reported much of the same behavior today, though by the time I got home from work, she was a little angel. We sat in the kitchen and watched our wonderful little girl play with her magnetic fridge letters and babble on and on about her day. She is a gem.

Monday 02.18.2002

Lilly is soaking stuff up like a sponge. She got a little dribble of milk on the leather couch while drinking from her sippy cup. As soon as she noticed it, she ran to the kitchen, grabbed a towel out of the bottom drawer, and returned to clean up the spill. Lisa has now begun attaching a Swiffer cloth to the Swiffer and letting Lilly clean the kitchen floor. She reports that the results are somewhat haphazard but that Lilly is way into it. Lately when I get Lilly into her sleeper at bedtime, she grabs the bottle of baby lotion on the changing table and pretends to lotion up her chest, arms, and legs, just like Momma does after her bath.

Thursday 02.21.2002

Lilly seems to be getting more affectionate. When we tell her "I love you," she eagerly responds with "Ahh Boo." In fact the other day she said it to Becca, one of her teachers at daycare. She loves sitting on my lap and telling me all about her day when we get home. She babbles on and on excitedly and occasionally I'm able to make out a few words like Max, night-night, or ball. This morning as I buckled her into Momma's car, she very gently told me "bye." When I asked her for a kiss, she eagerly complied. When I went in for another, she puckered up, smooched me again, and giggled. I had a smile on my face all the way to work.

Sunday 02.24.2002

Lilly had a fever all weekend; up to 102° by Saturday night. Tylenol helped bring it down but she was really not feeling well. She wouldn't eat; she cried constantly and wanted to be held all the time, though when we were holding her, she didn't want to be touched and swatted away all attempts at comfort. There were respites when she seemed happy and healthy but all-to-quickly her foul mood returned. Her fever had subsided somewhat by Sunday night but she still wasn't eating and was very cranky. We suspect she may be cutting her last four molars but since she won't let us near her mouth, it's all speculation.

Monday 02.25.2002

I heard a cry for help over the baby monitor when I got out of the shower this morning. Lisa had thrown her back out while trying to lift Lilly and was on the floor of the nursery. Lilly looked on rather dispassionately as I tended to her mother. Lisa was obviously in no shape to care for Lilly today, so I called in to work and got to spend the entire day with my girls. Lilly was in a marginally better mood today as long as I kept her occupied. We read every book she had multiple times and a couple of time resorted to <gasp> some television. In her hazy state of fever and sickness, it helped us get through the day. Rest assured, that it will NOT become the norm. Lilly still didn't want to eat much and we began to worry about dehydration.

Wednesday 02.27.2002

Daycare called Lisa at work both yesterday and today reporting that Lilly had a fever. We asked them to administer Tylenol and that seemed to keep the fever under control. They didn't call again asking us to pick her up. She still wasn't eating much, or drinking for that matter. In fact, this afternoon she threw up in my lap while nibbling on a few crackers. She hadn't had a wet diaper in a few days and dehydration was becoming a real concern. To make matters worse, I'd been feeling really lousy the last couple of days.

Thursday 02.28.2002

We sent Lilly to daycare with a bottle of Pedialyte. She ended up drinking most of it and produced a couple of wet diapers during the day. She had also begun eating at daycare and continued at home, chowing a cheese stick and a peanut butter sandwich. She seemed in better spirits and enjoyed playing with my security badge from work. The badge is attached to a retractable string on a belt clip and she wanted it clipped to all manner of things: her pants, my pants, my shirt, her book. It was nice to see her happy after a trying week.

Friday 03.01.2002

Lilly and Momma picked me up at work and took me out to lunch. Lilly ate a whole lot of cottage cheese. Not all of it got in her mouth though, some ended up in her hair and ground into Poppa's pants.

Saturday 03.02.2002

Despite the blizzard, we knew Lilly needed to get out. She goes a little stir crazy cooped up indoors all day. We figured the library was a safe bet and it was close. The library turned out to be closed—in some sort of location limbo since its new building is not quite finished yet. We couldn't very well turn around and go home right away so we continued up the road for a snack at Culver's. Lilly was really funny with the ketchup. She quickly and exuberantly wiped up any drips from her French fries. She got squirmy while we were still eating so Momma and Poppa took turns following her around the restaurant. She seemed especially taken with a table of teenage boys and kept shuffling by them and giving them googly eyes. The boys, of course, totally ignored her. That won't be the situation for long, me thinks.

On the way home we stopped at the Pick'n'Save. In the middle of the cereal aisle, she suddenly announced that she had pooped ("poot! poot!"). To let us know that she wasn't kidding around, she stuck her hand into her diaper and removed it with the proof on her fingers. I was laughing so hard I thought I was going to pass out. Lisa wasn't so amused and rushed Lilly off the the bathroom in a panic. She was cleaned up in no time and we headed home.

Monday 03.04.2002

Today during her morning nap, Lilly was talking to herself and her animals. Lisa also heard the sound of Velcro ripping but since her Lemur has Velcro hands, she thought nothing of it. When she finally went up to get the little angel (who, incidentally, hadn't slept at all), she found Lilly standing stark naked in her crib. During her afternoon nap, she began screaming bloody murder. Lisa rushed upstairs to find Lilly with with her head AND arm through the neck hole of her shirt. She had tried to undress herself again and gotten uncomfortably stuck in the process. In was unclear whether she was screaming from pain or frustration.

As Momma began preparing dinner, Lilly pushed a kitchen chair up to the counter and wanted to help. We got her up and put her to work. She layered the pasta into the pan and sprinkled cheese. She tried her best to imitate our sprinkling method, moving her hand quickly back and forth, but just managed to look rather palsy. She was very happy working with us and standing up like a big girl at the counter. When we told her she was a good girl, she smiled and repeated "goo grrr."

Tuesday 03.05.2002

When I picked up Lilly at daycare, I noticed that she wasn't wearing the same clothes we put her in this morning. When I inquired about it, I was informed that Lilly had decided to take off all her clothes including a very poopy diaper. She managed to get pretty mucked up and had to have a bath in the sink and a change of clothes. At home, we discovered a package from Nanny at the back door. Lilly squealed as we opened it and she saw the new outfits. She especially liked the Easter purse and immediately wanted to put her sippy cup in it. She then gave me a self-satisfied grin, announced "bye-bye," and headed off to the back all. I imagine she was imitating Momma when she loads up her diaper bag with bottles and snacks. The coolest gift though was a rubberized yellow rain slicker. She immediately wanted it on and wanted the hood up. She marched proudly around the house clutching all her new possessions until the slicker got too hot and we had to get it off her.

Wednesday 03.06.2002

As we left the house this morning, birds were chirping loudly. Lilly announced "birdie" and began trying to imitate them. The cacophony of eees, ooos, and aaas lasted until she was safely buckled into her carseat. At daycare this afternoon I asked about her propensity toward nakedness. Becca told me that Lilly had indeed tried to disrobe several times today but that she and Cailin had been able to intervene and prevent it. At least she hasn't tried it in public yet. Wait, I probably shouldn't have said that...

Saturday 03.09.2002

Lilly is absolutely the most gorgeous thing I've ever seen. We were at the library today and people were coming up to us to tell us how beautiful she is. I am totally head-over-heels in love. Nuff said.

Tuesday 03.12.2002

Lilly refused to take a bath for Lisa yesterday during the day and for me before bedtime. Instead of putting up a fight, we just figured we'd do it the next day. Well, tonight I tried again. She screamed, kicked, cried, and caterwauled the entire time and refused to even sit down in her tub. I managed to get her washed by crooking my arm around her to keep her from taking a header into the side of the tub or the faucet. She was clean; I was wet. As soon as I got her out and started toweling her off, her mood brightened. We suspect that maybe the impromptu bath in the sink at daycare last week (Tuesday 03.05.2002) was more of a traumatic experience than we thought.

Saturday 03.16.2002

Lisa didn't even attempt a bath on Friday so we wrestled her in to the tub this morning. It was a repeat performance of screaming and crying. We still can't figure out what's going on. After bath time we headed to the library for a program given by some wildlife rescue group from Illinois. Lilly was enthralled by the sugar gliders, macaws, monkey, and lion cub. She chattered and pointed along with the rest of the kids packed into the basement meeting room. Towards the end of the program though, she began to grow restless. We were on our way out the door when she spied her classmate Max. The two of them wanted to be together but kept pushing each other out the way and appropriating each other's toys. Finally we went home for a nap which never really happened. After deciding that it was an exercise in futility, we hit the road for lunch at Red Robin. Lilly didn't eat much but she greatly enjoyed using a straw to drink from a glass of water. She also had great fun walking around the bench of circular corner booth and, of course, playing in the driving games. Next stop was the guitar shop to drop off Poppa's instruments for a tune up. Lilly liked looking at all the brightly colored effects pedals and sitting on the Fender® stool.

Sunday 03.17.2002

We made an excursion to Whole Foods in search of vegetarian corned beef for Saint Patrick's day. We failed in that mission, but we bought the rest of the items (potatoes, carrots, and cabbage). Lilly had a blast pushing her miniature shopping cart and helping us load in the various items. Here steering has improved, but we still had to keep a watchful eye out for displays of glass bottles and hapless shoppers. At home, Lilly helped us cook. She pushes a kitchen chair up to the counter and watches intently as we prepare food. She helped Momma stir the batter for the Irish soda bread, and played with the baby potatoes, putting them in little boats made from cabbage leaves. She enjoyed her meal, especially the soda bread and the vegetarian sausages.

Monday 03.18.2002

Lilly has developed her kissing technique into a full-fledged smooch. She now puckers up proudly and makes a smacking noise. When I got home from work, she ran to the back hallway, shouting "Poppa. Poppa." As I bent down, she rushed into my arms gave me a hug and covered me with smooches. Then she grabbed my face with both hands, turned it sideways, and planted a big one right on my cheek. She is amazing; who could ask for anything more? Actaully, I guess I could ask that she'd take a bath without throwing a tantrum. Again tonight, we had to wrestle her into the tub and quickly scrub her down, trying all the while to ignore her caterwauling.

Tuesday 03.19.2002

Lisa had to pick up Lilly from daycare because of an alleged fever. At home, we could not reproduce the temperature and surmised that the combination of Lilly's sweatshirt and the very warm environment at daycare led to a false reading. In fact, Lilly was absolutely fine for the entire afternoon. Suddenly today, when Lilly asks to be picked up, she no long says "up." The new term is "uppy." We have no idea where that came from.

Wednesday 03.20.2002

Oops. Spoke to soon. Lilly was sent home with a fever from daycare again today. It was my turn to pick her up and take her home. She was running a temperature, had a runny nose and cough, and was generally out of sorts. It was a trying afternoon with her crying and throwing fits but at the same time, not wanting to be held or comforted. I finally got her to eat something and put her down for bed. She woke up every hour or so screaming and I had to go up hold her, rock her, and sing to her in order to get her back down. The poor little thing obviously wasn't feeling well but she finally was quiet after midnight. Until 5:30 a.m. when she woke up screaming and absolutely inconsolable.

Thursday 03.21.2002

Lilly screamed non-stop for two hours. By then it had become pretty obvious that she wasn't going to go to daycare. While I settled in for a long day, Lisa headed off to work and put in a call to Lilly's clinic. She called me back after having scheduled an 11:15 a.m. appointment. We met there and the doctor quickly diagnosed an infection in her left ear. After picking up antibiotics at the pharmacy, Momma and Poppa did the baby handoff. I headed to work and Lisa headed home with Lilly. By the time I got home, Lilly was doing better after a couple doses of Tylenol and we crossed our fingers for a peaceful night. Unfortunately, Lilly repeated her performance of last night.

Friday 03.22.2002

Thankfully, her spirits seemed much improved by morning. As I left the house, she was happily paging through her photo album, squealing "Babee! Babee!" Her behavior quickly deteriorated after I left as she used a cheese stick to draw on the kitchen table crayon-style and smeared her peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich on her chair and worked it around with her legs. By the time I got home, she was on her third outfit and had to plunked kicking and screaming into the tub.

Saturday 03.23.2002

We dropped the puppies off at the "spa" for baths and nail trimming and went to Sir Hobo's in Sun Prairie for breakfast. Lilly ate a whole lot of Momma's omelet, perhaps more than hungry Momma really wanted her to eat. Lisa now has to make a point of keeping a supply of bendy straws on hand, because Lilly has to have her water (a-boo) whenever we're at a restaurant. Later, after we picked up the dogs and returned from the dog park, Lilly refused to take her noon nap. She didn't scream the whole time but she didn't sleep either. She sang and talked to her animals (maa-moos) and "rested" for about an hour.

In the afternoon, Momma went to get her hair cut and Lilly and I went to the library. I got a couple of books to look at and then settled myself on a couch in the children's area. Lilly wandered around looking at the books, playing with some of the toys, and pretending to talk on my cell phone, much to the amusement of library patrons and staff. After an hour we went to check on Momma's progress and finding her still 45 minutes from completion, we zipped over to Culver's for an ice cream. Lilly loved my chocolate shake and kept trying to grab my spoon from me. I tried to avoid this conflict by getting her a spoon of her own and putting some of my shake in a small dish. She still wanted mine though so I took the dish. As soon as I started eating from the dish, she wanted that and I went back to my orignal shake. This pattern continued and we kept switching every few bites. Lilly is not the neatest of eaters under any circumstances but a melting shake and no bib was a disaster waiting to happen; and happen it did. Oh well, we had fun. We retrieved Momma and went home where an increasingly tired and cranky toddler was put to bed early.

Sunday 03.24.2002

Lilly was pretty good in the morning: behaving at church, at brunch, and at Menards. She fell asleep on the way home at around 1:00 p.m. and that's never a good thing. Moving her from her carseat to her bed always wakes her up and makes it virtually impossible to get her back to sleep. She caterwauled for half an hour before we gave up and gave in. Throughout the afternoon, the missed nap took its toll and by 4:30, she was absolutely insufferable. She wandered around in a stupor crying and asking to be picked up. As soon as we picked her up, she'd slap at us and squirm to get down. Once down, she started screaming and asking to be picked up again. We tried another nap out of frustration but of course that didn't work. We fed her some goldfish crackers (the only thing she would eat) and had her in bed by 5:00. There is something about the bedtime routine that calms her right down though. After brushing her teeth, washing her face and hands, getting her into her sleeper, and reading her a story, she rests her head on my shoulder while I sing "Mockingbird" and doesn't make a peep when I lay her down.

Monday 03.25.2002

Lilly still throws a fit at bath time and we still can't figure out why. At this point, it's an absolute requirement that both of us be on hand to administer the washing: one to scrub, one to restrain. Aside from her disagreeableness during bath time, she was an absolute angel and very affectionate. Her daily rap sheet from daycare noted it too: "Gave lots of hugs and kisses."

Friday 03.29.2002

Nanny, Grandpa, and Aunt Sandra arrived at noon at played out in the yard until I got home from work around 12:30. After lunch we relaxed at Nanny and Grandpa's hotel. Grandpa napped but Lilly did not. It warmed my heart to see everyone fawn over and snuggle with Lilly. It gave me quite a feeling of family. We went out to eat downtown and while we were finishing up Grandpa grabbed the baby and walked up and down the stairs in the courtyard of the restaurant. We put an exhausted Lilly to bed around 7:30 p.m.

Saturday 03.30.2002

Nanny cooked breakfast for us this morning and Lilly impressed everyone with her very grownup table manners. She shoveled in her eggs and resorted to fingers only as a last resort. We all piled into the van and were off to the children's museum. Grandpa kept shaking his head about how advanced she was. I guess we take for granted how much she's progressed since we see her every day. The change must be quite striking having not seen her for three months. She has gained a lot of confidence in her physical presence and now runs and plays quite happily and unconcerned about falling. She also knows her own mind. When she wants a plastic cabbage in her shopping bag at the museum, then that's what's going to happen. We all had lunch at Red Robin and charmed not only her grandparents, but the entire wait staff as well. We had playtime at home in the afternoon and Lilly continued to impressive everyone with her dazzling displays of dexterity and intellect. This included coloring Easter eggs. She did a good job despite being a bit rough with some of her eggs. Dinner was at Tony's and once again Lilly was in bed late. Well, I guess it's not every day that the Fords are in town.

Sunday 03.31.2002

As Momma and Nanny tried to get Lilly dressed for Easter, she decided that she didn't want to wear the Easter dress that Nanny sent months ago. This was surprising considering she tried it on last week and absolutely loved wearing it. They struggled against her screaming and kicking for a while and finally gave up, settling for another new dress. Lilly did consent to wear the Easter shoes and purse that went with the original outfit. Following the Easter dress debacle, we had the egg hunt. Lilly did well finding and collecting the eggs and putting them in her basket. Of course, Momma allowed no candy. Next up was brunch at the Concourse hotel. We all helped ourselves to the buffet and them Lilly made our table her own private buffet by hopping from lap to lap and grazing on everyone's plates. She ingested a massive amount of eggs and still had some room for a chocolate cake from Poppa's plate. Lilly was perfectly happy until we went to leave as an actor in a very large bunny suit crossed our path. Lilly was absolutely terrified and we had to cover her head like a bird and whisk her out of the building.

Tuesday 04.02.2002

Lilly made her usual plea for television after dinner ("phoebe, phoebe"). As I flipped on the TV, we discovered a Discovery Channel show on monkeys that she went (pardon the expression) bananas for. She was fascinated and tried to recreate each sound she heard on the screen. I promised her a bedtime story about monkeys and was able to dig out my old Curious George book. She very helpfully pointed out that there was a monkey on each and every page of the book.

Friday 04.26.2002

OK I've been rather derelict in my journal entries. Rather than trying to remember the last three and a half weeks, I'm just going to try to deliver a state-of-Lilly address... Lilly has gotten over her aversion to baths (for the most part). She once again splashes and plays happily. Hair washing is still a bit traumatic but at least it's only a one-person job now. She still loves monkeys and chatters and squeals at the TV when we happen upon a nature show. (There seem to be an awful lot of monkey documentaries on these days.) Speaking of TV, we've been letting Lilly watch a very limited amount on weekends. Her favorite kid shows seem to be Dora the Explorer and Oswald.

Lilly seems once again to have made some leaps intellectually and developmentally. It's probably not all that noticeable to others, but she just seems smarter and more confident to us. She's gone pee-pee on potty a number of times. We had decided that we were going to let her take potty training at her own pace, and she's been up for the challenge. Occasionally she announces that she has to go pee-pee. We put her on the toilet using her training seat and she actually goes. Of course Momma and Poppa act like cheerleaders and make a big fuss and Lilly, for her part, is very pleased with herself. She's talking more too, moving up to three-word sentences. The other day, for example, when we were going out to the garage in the morning, she saw Lisa's car and said "Momma car go." The other day I tried to get her to say "Hey dude." She picked it up immediately, though when she says it, it comes out "Hey doodt." For some reason though she's associated that phrase in her head with her daycare teacher Becca. Now whenever we say "Hey dude" to her, she excitedly exclaims "Gekka!" We haven't heard any reports as to whether Becca herself has picked up on this.

For a while Lilly was refusing to sit in high chair to eat. We had to seat her at the kitchen table in a regular chair and let her eat off a plate at eye-level. Suddenly, she changed her mine and now eagerly climbs into her high chair when she wants to eat. She hasn't been eating much though (with a few notable exceptions). She's typically not very hungry at dinner time but she loves her juice. She especially loves juice boxes. She refers to them as "my joose" as opposed to just "joose" when referring to a sippy cup full of juice from a big refrigerated carton.

Lilly loves being outside. Many days after daycare, we spend quite a while on the back porch in the glider or in the back yard in her tree swing. I have to drag her (sometimes literally kicking and screaming) inside for dinner and bed time. When the weather has allowed us to do yard work on the weekend, Lilly has played happily outside: pulling her wagon, pushing her cart or lawnmower, or riding her motorized Jeep. She also likes helping with the chores by picking up sticks or raking with her toy plastic rakes.

The long and the short of it: Lilly is absolutely amazing and I'm still head-over-heels in love.

Sunday 04.28.2002

Sunday was a trying day. She was squirmy, owly, crabby, demanding, and disobedient. (I will refrain from making any cliché and gratuitous statements about the terrible twos.) While having lunch at Red Robin, Lilly became absolutely hysterical at the sight of the hideously terrifying Red Robin mascot. Every other kid in the restaurant was enjoying getting balloons and high-fives from the actor in the red plush costume but not Lilly. We had to spirit her out of the place carefully avoiding crossing paths with the dastardly fowl. She DID like the balloons though. That almost made up for it. We did have respites from her crankiness. Just before bed time, she was running back and forth from the living room to the kitchen with her stuffed animals and tea towels. At one point she had been in the kitchen for quite a while. (A minute is a long time for a two-year-old to not make any noise.) We called to her and she eventually came into the living room, put her elbows on the arm of the couch, and rested her chin on her hands. We asked what she was doing and she pointed over her shoulder, explained that she was playing "night-night," and tore off to the kitchen, doubtless to attend to some important manners.

Wednesday 05.01.2002

When I picked up Lilly this afternoon, Becca mentioned that Lilly was doing really well with her words. Apparently, during lunch today she said "I want some more." While I was getting her coat on, Max came up pointing at Lilly and announced "purple coat." Not to be outdone, Lilly stated "I like juice." I know. I know.

Friday 05.03.2002

When I got home from work Lilly and Momma were waiting for me in the back yard. Lilly wanted to swing so I pushed her and she told me about her day. Then we rolled around in the grass and giggled. She kept running up to me, grabbing my face, and saying "Get down!" Then she'd push me on my back and jump on top of me laughing. For twenty minutes I was obliviously in love. Even the splitting headache brought on by work was forgotten as we wrestled, tickled, and laughed.

Saturday 05.04.2002

Lilly started her day off by hearty a big breakfast. We watched in amazement as she wolfed down two scrambled eggs with cheese, a breakfast bar, and a bowl of raisin bran. I showed her how to stab her eggs with a fork and created a monster. She started stabbing everything including her juice glass and the high chair tray along with her eggs. After a few errands and a nap, we had some outside play time while Momma took a shower. Lilly helped me rake twigs and put them in the wheel barrow for a while until she wandered off in search of a swing. She pointed out all the birds by yelling "boodie, boodie" constantly and then telling me what sound they made: "teet, teet." In the late afternoon we went to a neighbor's going-away party. As usual, Lilly was a hit. It never ceases to amamze me that Lilly attracts so much attention even from parents of other small children. The most common observation: she has very pretty eyes. Lilly was once again fascinated by dirty adolescent boys climbing trees and jumping over rocks. The boys, for their part, totally ignored her even when she insisted on lifting up her dress at every opportunity. In a totally unexpected turn of events, Momma let Lilly have a whole cookie. Half an hour later, the sugar kicked in and she began bouncing off the walls. We finally got her to bed sometime after 7:00, as opposed to her usual bedtime of 6:00 p.m.

Sunday 05.05.2002

Breakfast this morning was at Panera Bread Company. Lilly made a cream-cheese mess out of Momma's bagel but was in good spirits through breakfast and on to a stop at Menards. At home we worked outside all day. It was a fantastic day getting the odd jobs done and being able to stop from time to time for a kiss and a hug from my little girl. Lilly continued with her outstanding appetite of the last few days by eating TWO veggie hot dogs and a whole mess of kidney beans. She eats them like candy and calls them "kiddies." Lilly was awakened in the night by an incredible thunderstorm. The thunderclaps were so lound that they shook the house. Lilly was so frightened that she kept repeating "no, no, no." I finally took her in bed with us until the storm was over. At that point I returned Miss Squirmy to her own bed and tried to get some sleep.

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