Sunday, January 30, 2011

Uninvited Guests

Dear Evil Creature Insomnia,

Who invited you? Seriously. Kindly pack your bags and ship on out of here. As in, GET OUT. Now. Please.

It's bad enough that I wake up multiple times in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I don't need you hanging around afterwords leaving me to just stare at the ceiling. Now don't go blaming this all on my bladder. She may be what knocks me out of dreamland, but you make it seem impossible to ever get back there. The problem is, insomnia, when you settle in and decide to stick around, I begin to think... about the laundry, and all the things that need to be done. I begin to wonder if I am working enough with Marin on her colors and number. I redecorate entire rooms in our house in my mind. I daydream about the design of our master bedroom addition someday (and yes, its completely decorated in my mind, too.). I debate if I still like the boy and girl names we have picked out. I decide to call my Grandma in the morning.

I have taken to jotting the important things you bring front of mind, in the calendar of my phone by my bedside, in the hopes that I can drive you away and go back to sleep. But sometimes you stick around for hours. Really, please. It isn't kind.

Now, I understand that times are tough and that you have a job to do. However, perhaps you'd be better suited to bring energy to someone else in the middle of the night. Say, a new mother. My neighbor, Kristy, just had a baby; did you mean to bring her the extra boost at 2am? Because until my baby comes, there really is no point in us both she and I being up in the middle of the night.

Thank you in advance for never returning again.

Now, while we're at it...

Dear Bladder,

I know that we've been through some changes together in the last two years. After all, the birth of Marin really did a number on both you and your friend, my abs. And I realize that my being pregnant again isn't doing either of you any favors. That being said, I was hoping that you could maybe man up and getting a little stronger. I really can't be woken up three times in the night to go to the bathroom. Plus, your buddy insomnia is being a little you-know-what. Let's just say that she's being a chip. Turns out she's stubborn. So you see, if you stop waking me up, she won't be able to keep me up.

What's that? Now now, don't go blaming the kegels. I'll deal with them later. You are at least half to blame here. There is just no reason for me to wet my pants when I sneeze. I'm a grown woman. Plus, I don't have that many pairs of pants that fit.

Thank you very kindly. Now hit the gym for strength training.

And just one more...

Dear Kegels,

I know, I know. I haven't done a kegel exercise since 2008. Can you work with me? Perhaps we can meet in the middle? I'll start to do my exercises if you promise to work with my bladder to make me stop wetting myself? What do you say, old buddy? Is it a deal?

Your Truly,

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Talks like an angel

For those three of you who got a kick out of reading the funny things Marin says, you're in luck! I'm back today with more. Who says I have to appeal to the masses? This one's for those three, and me.

When we give Marin a snack or a meal and she really likes it she looks up at me and enthusiastically says, "Thank you, Mommy!"

She says "I love you" like this: "I'll to". So if she says, "I love you, Daddy" she says, "I'll to, Daddy!" It's maybe the most precious thing that she says.

There have been some guys here installing hardwood floors in the area where we knocked back that wall and in the new powder room. The first day that they laid the wood down Marin came down after her nap and said to me, "Ohhh! Ah Nice, Mommy!", meaning, "It looks nice, Mommy."

She loves to put pepper on her food - specifically mac and cheese and cottage cheese. I do this, so I imagine she sees me and wants to do it like I do. Whatever the reason, she loves pepper. And she asks for it by saying, "peppa?!"

When she wants you to snuggle with her or sit with her she demands, "Sit, Mommy." and pats the spot next to her, like I am the dog. Still, it is almost always a good reminder to get back in the moment, stop whatever else it is I am doing and take a few minutes to enjoy my darling daughter.

When something spills, for example, Marin says, "Uh oh! Mess!" And then "Sarsy (sorry), Mommy." Most of the time I'll say, "It's okay, it was an accident." But sometimes she says sorry when it was my fault so I'll explain "You don't have to be sorry, honey. That was mommy's fault." Now she loves to say, "Mommy's fault" and giggle. She thinks its hilarious when it's mommy's fault.

We have been counting a lot. Almost anytime I hand her a small amount of something I count them out to her. She loves the numbers two and six. I have caught her counting to herself, pointing to the objects like we do together, saying, "two, six, two, six, two, six." over and over. We also talk about how we have one nose, two eyes, two ears, etc. She loves to count two eyes. So sometimes when she counts things she says, "two eyes, two eyes, two eyes."

She is learning to shake hands. She is still sometimes shy about it, but she'll hold out her hand and excitedly say, "Meet you!"

When she wants to get by you, she'll say, "skews me" for "excuse me". When she sneezes she also says "skews me." And when someone else sneezes she says "skews me". I guess we'll work on pronouns later.

I usually get her up and dressed in the morning. When we come downstairs and she sees Jason she very happily says, "Morning Daddy!"

She knows what paint is and says "Daddy paint" and when she sees on it on his clothes, "Uh oh, Daddy paint". This just cracks me up because our house is a constant construction zone. She knows how to do it, too- running the roller in the pan and then along the wall. She also knows how to spackle, and pretends to do it next to her daddy. I mean, that just can't be right.

She loves to point to "Mommy's baby" and then says, "Kiss?" to lift my shirt and kiss the baby. The other day she wanted to do this to "Daddy's baby" too. Hmmmm.
Her pediatrician and my ob/gyn are in buildings right next to each other. Recently, I took Marin to the pediatrician to get her cough checked out. When we pulled into the same parking lot we do when we go to my ob visits, Marin started asking me, "Mommy's baby?"

She loves to bathe. She loves to splash in the bathtub and blow bubbles as much as she loves to "showa" (shower). You literally can't mention that you are going to take a shower in front of her, unless you have the time to also let her get in there with you. At the first sound of the word, she starts to strip down naked and jump up and down yelling, "showa! showa!"

Mostly, she loves Norah. Jason and I affectionately call Norah, "Norries". Marin can say Norah, but she always calls her "Norsies", which is her version of Norries. When Norah is sleeping she tells Jason and me in a whisper, "Shhh. Norsies seeping". She also loves to "pet Norsies" and "huggie Norsies". And when Marin drops some food on the floor accidentally she says, "Norsies get it."

She is starting to help dress herself. With this, she is starting to remember where things came from. Grandma recently gave her some cute socks and she loves to say, "Namma sockies" when she wears them. Today I put a hoodie on her that Uncle Jake and Aunt Katy gave her for Christmas and she said, "Shirt. Jake! Daty!" She also likes to wear my jewelry. She comes out of my room wearing five and six bracelets at at time and will point to my necklaces saying, "On me, Mommy."

And the girl can pose. When I take her picture she turns to me and brightly says, "Cheeeeeeeseee!"

You just can't beat this age.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Talking a blue streak

I mentioned in my last post that Marin recently said her first sentence. In fact, she's been saying a lot of new things everyday, and the more she puts phrases and sentences together, the funnier they are. To me at least. If you don't find that at all funny, stop reading here, or you'll be bored out of your mind for the rest of this post.

Here are a few things that she says that make us giggle:

She's obsessed with babies. Baby Tess and Baby Logan are two of our favorite "babies", although they are closing in on a year pretty quickly. At a recent holiday party, she loved making "baby Logie" laugh by going up to him and saying, "tickle, tickle, tickle." And no matter where we are, or what we're doing (say, in the middle of church or across the grocery store) Marin will yell, "Look!! Baby!!" very proud that she was able to pick the baby out of the crowd. When she is within reach of a baby, she likes to give them hugs. She loves Kai and calls him "baby" Kai as well, even though he's only six months younger than she. The other day before we went to my mom and dad's I asked her, "Marin do you want to go to Grandma and Grandpa's?! Normally this is sure to warrant huge excitement. She just looked at me and very matter of factly said, "Nope, Kai." Then when we were really going to see Kai a week later, I told her so and all day she kept saying, "Baby Kai. Funny baby Kai."

I have mentioned how Marin loves snow. Recently she has started singing Frosty the Snowman. Only her version goes more like this, "Frosty Nos! Frosty Nos! Frosty Nos!" Then she mumbles something about a hat and two eyes mumble, mumble.

She can't say chocolate, so she says "locklate". At Grandma's she loves to say, "Locklate milk please, Namma."

She can't say banana so she just says "blahlahlahla". She's been doing this for a long time now, and so far hasn't learned how to say it correctly, nor does she try to call it a "nana" or something shorter. And why should she. Everytime she asks for a "blalalahlah" we crack up and hand her one.

After a recent trip to the doctor's office where she got a sticker at the end of the visit, she has a new found love of stickers ("sickers"). She loves to find them on her oranges ("ownj"), and put them in her pocket ("pockie") for some reason. When she does she says, "Oh! Sicker! In pockie!" Like, of course that's where it should go. This is all fine and good- until they go through the wash.

The other day she was pushing her shopping cart around the basement and told me, "Bye Mommy! Shopping!" Then she stopped dead in her tracks because she didn't have "pockies" to put her play money in. I suggested she put the money in her purse, so she dumped out the entire contents of the purse on her arm on the floor, put the money in and waved bye as she walked away- apparently on her way to the store.

Marin will ask us for something, like a "srawberr" (strawberry) by saying, "Mommy, srawberr?" and we'll repeat to her, "Strawberry? You'd like a strawberry?" mostly to make sure we have deciphered what she has said correctly, but also so she hears the way the word should be pronounced. She responds back to us, "Okay!" like it was our idea, instead of a question clarifying hers. This is particularly funny when she asks for something like "iceam", which is ice cream:
"Mommy, iceam?"
"Ice Cream?"
Then I have to explain that we don't eat ice cream at 9am. (Right? I mean, generally that is frowned upon, right? Because if I missed something, my pregnant self is happy to become current with the times and eat dessert for breakfast.)

The words Potty, Pappy (Jason's Dad), and Paci all sound the same when Marin says them. Nearly the only way to tell the difference is watch her when she says the word. If she means Potty she usually is pointing to her potty parts (which is something we realize we'll have to fix in time, but right now it helps us decode her speech). If she means Pappy she is usually on the phone, or has her arms folded up at her side, hands upside down as if to ask, "where is Pappy?" And if its paci that she wants, she says it with a little more of an "s" sound at the end. We then have to say, "Paci?" and then again she says, "Okay!" And then again, unless its bedtime, we have to explain that we don't need a paci right now.

Speaking of Pappy... Pappy gave Marin pop recently (her first taste of it). He was alone with her, and when Aunt Lindsay and I came to get her, Marin walked up to me holding her pop with two hands like it was the holy grail. She looked at me with eyes as big as sauces and said, "Pappy pop!!" To which I said, "Pappy gave you pop?!" "Okay!" she said. It was fine, but when we got home and she asked for pop I had to tell her that pop was for adults. Now whenever she sees someone with pop she looks at me and says, "Pop. 'dults pop." She's learning that other things are for adults too. Like booze. If only that could last through high school.

The other day Marin was playing with this dollhouse that Nana and Pappy gave her for Christmas. In the bathroom is has a potty and little spot where the doll can sit on the potty. Marin promptly put her doll on the potty and then proudly said to her, "Goooood girrrrl!!!!"

Today the doorbell rang right as I was cutting up turkey for lunch. It was some guys delivering the marble top for the new vanity in the powder room. Norah was jumping around excitedly, so I closed the house door on Marin and Norah, and went out to the front porch to let the guys in and to sign some things. When I came back in the house Marin looked at me, and anxiously asked, "Pizza?!!"

The things Marin says as she continues to learn more about how the world works keep us laughing! After all, if it weren't for children, life would be just a bunch of boring 'dults.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


This Saturday marked 23 weeks into my pregnancy with 2.0 on the same day that Marin turned 23 months old. Time is flying by in so many ways, I am literally a little beside myself. How is it possible that this is the last week of my second trimester? And who has a two year old? Certainly not me. My daughter just turned one. Oh wait. That was apparently 11 months ago.

Although at closer examination Marin is far from the wobbly one year old at her first birthday party. She is very much a toddler and is very much what we should expect from a two year old. When we ask her how old she is she proudly says, "Two!" and holds up ten fingers. We'll work on that last part. We are practicing our colors every day, and her favorite appears to be pink. Good thing, because we are painting her new big girl room two shades of pink in a few weeks. We've been talking a lot about big girls and big sisters and how they do big girl things like sleeping in big girl rooms in big girl beds and wear big girl underwear. Yesterday we bought her a big girl bed. Marin said "Oooh! Bed!" I think she'll be excited to see it in her room, hopefully she'll be as excited to sleep in it all night long. (Quit your snickering.)

The other day Marin said her first sentence. After she ate her dinner we gave her a special cookie- a gingerbread girl that Gigi (Great Grandma) made and put in her stocking at Christmas. When we gave it to her we said it was special because Gigi made it just for her. She said, "Oooh! Gigi's cookies! They're good, Mommy!" Jason and I literally looked at each other with mouths open, speechless. Thank goodness we were both there, because we would have never believed each other if we hadn't heard it with our own ears. We told her, "That's right, Marin. Gigi's cookies are good!" and then called my grandma that very instant to tell her what Marin had said.

But perhaps the biggest thing that makes me realize that Marin is a toddler, is that she is going to school. (gulp!) Well, it's not really school; it's more like a toddler program/mom's day out. We heard of this really wonderful program just down the street that many of our neighbor's children attend as well. So we signed Marin up for two days a week. She'll be at school for three hours- playing, practicing sharing and learning. But hold onto your hats: she has to bring a lunch! Whoa. That was the toughest egg for me to swallow. Something about packing a lunch just seems so grown up. Of course no daughter of mine is going to school with a brown paper bag. So naturally, I ordered her a monogrammed lunch bag with coordinating water thermos, faster than you could say Pottery Barn Kids. Her first day of school is February 1st. We already have her outfit picked out. I am sure kleenex will be required for myself, post drop off.

Luckily I have other things to occupy my mind. tells me that at 23 weeks pregnant, 2.0 is the size of a mango. They always compare the size of the baby to a fruit or vegetable. Which I suppose is appropriate since it is easily relatable, however, much like in my pregnancy with Marin, I have been craving fruits and vegetables. If you tell me that my baby is the size of a celery stick, I salivate. The mango this week about did me in. Mangos are so delicious. And usually when I am eating a delicious, juice-running-down-your-face mango, I am beach side. Who doesn't love that thought in January? Most of my cravings are similar to those with my pregnancy with Marin. In addition to fruits and vegetables I have been craving buffalo wings and ice cream. Not so much tuna melts this time, but more grilled cheese and BLT sandwiches. Mmmmm.

Most other symptoms seem to be similar as well. I have gained a little less weight this time, but I attribute that to running after Marin all day. When I was pregnant with Marin I sat at work all day, and I swam, rode my bike, or did prenatal yoga after work. This time, I just run after Marin all day and then after she is in bed I collapse like a lazy pile of nothing. The activity levels in the pregnancies are similar, just flip flopped time wise. I think that I have gained weight in the exact same places, however, so that makes me feel like it's a girl. In fact, although I know there is obviously a 50% chance that this baby is a boy, I almost always picture it as a girl. Take that for whatever you want. I feel the baby move about as much as I remember with Marin, and its just as much of a thrill the second time around. It's also just as strange the second time around to feel something moving inside of you.

But no matter how many times a day I marvel at how grown up Marin seems to be, or how soon I will be holding this new baby in my arms, I am trying my hardest to live in this very moment and enjoy today. Most days that's easier said than done, but I'm trying none the less. Before I know it, Marin really will be ten fingers old. And she'll want a more grown up color on her walls, and will be embarrassed by her monogrammed lunch box and thermos. So for today I feel very blessed to live this life with my active big girl two year old and a baby kicking me from the inside out. What could be any better?

Friday, January 7, 2011

2011: The Year of Becoming Four

Christmas came and went in what now seems like the blink of an eye. In typical Patterson fashion we traveled all over the place, cramming in as much quality family time as humanly possible. Then the new year came, and we headed out of town again for Jason's cousin's wedding. But not before Jason and I both caught the flu and Marin came down with a nasty cold. Luckily, by 1.1.11- the day of the big wedding, we were all in nearly tip top shape and ready to boogie.

Marin especially boogied. Man, that girl loves a party, and she loves to dance. And at her first wedding where she attended the reception (she went to my brother's wedding in June of 09, but she was just a tiny peanut so we sent her home with Aunt Vee after the ceremony) she hit the dance floor like she was born to be there. And don't think she didn't shake her rump proud and high in the air when the DJ played "Baby Got Back". She was the hit of the dance floor, and she danced until she was so tired, that after nearly three solid hours of jumping, running and shakin' her grove thang, she literally was just laying on the dance floor on her back. And even then, when I took her up to bed at almost 11pm, she cried saying, "No mommy. Dance! Dance!"

But let's rewind a little bit to Christmas. Marin got into Santa (or as she says, "Sahhnta") this year much more than last. She knew who he was and when asked, "What does Santa say?" replied, "Ho, Ho, Sahhnta!" But she didn't really get that he brought presents. So at the first big gift opening at Pappy and Nana's house on Christmas Eve, Marin sat bug eyed and a little shocked for a little bit. Then she'd open a present and want to play with only that one toy. When we encouraged her to open another present she got cranky, wondering why she had to abandon the first thing she opened and was playing with for the gamble of what would be in the next package. If we let her take things at her own pace, we'd still be opening presents. Her thinking is right though. Less is more. For Marin, the highlight of Christmas Eve at Pappy and Nana's was when Santa visited all the way from the North Pole! Marin didn't mind this Santa too badly, although Daddy thought for sure he sounded like a NASCAR announcer.

After a group cousins bath, we snuggled into our Christmas pj's and headed home at Marin's bedtime. There was a lot of snow on Christmas Eve night, so it took us 4 1/2 hours to get home- nearly 2 hours longer than it normally would have- but Marin didn't even wake up for a minute. We carried her right to her crib, where she woke up on Christmas morning excited about all the "nos" (snow) on the ground. Luckily Rudolph was able to help Santa brave the storm, and he came to our house while Marin was sleeping. He left her all kinds of goodies, but I don't know what she was more excited about- the presents by the fireplace, or the fact that Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Jake and Aunt Katy were all there when she woke up. "Namma! Nampa! Jake! Daty!" After we opened all of Santa's presents we headed to Grandma and Grandpa's house for even more presents! Marin was royally spoiled with a fancy new pram doll stroller, a dolly to go in the stroller, a new monogrammed chair, and too many other gifts to list. A brunch, a bath, and an outfit change later, we were all freshened up and ready for another party on Christmas day at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Marin was excited to get to wear her tights and fancy shoes again. Wonder how long that will last. :)

I know what you're thinking... that's a lot. But wait, wait. There's more. The next day we suited up in our tights and fancy shoes again, and hit the road for yet another Christmas celebration! This time we headed for my Aunt Jeanie and Uncle Reed's house. Including Marin, there are five kids total now, and they'll be two more next year. It really makes it fun. My cousins and I gave my Grandparents, who celebrated their 66th married Christmas together, a special tribute pointing out all of the non material gifts that they had given us over the years. Gifts like how they taught us the true meaning of kindness and friendship, and helping friends and neighbors and community members in need. Gifts like volunteerism, laughter, organization, care taking, card playing and discipline. We wrote them all down, and wrapped them all up in a treasure box for them to keep.

In the days that followed we had our 2nd annual Christmas lunch with Grandma (a fun afternoon at a fancy restaurant in Geneva), hosted a few overnight guests, celebrated Jason's best friend's birthday with his family, did a little more work on the bathroom remodel, cheered the Illini to a bowl game victory, enjoyed a visit from Jason's cousin in town from Florida, and attended a lot of tea parties hosted by Marin.

This week we've done lots of resting, putting life back to "normal" and mommy's trying desperately to regain the nap schedule. The Christmas lights are all down, the laundry is all clean and tucked away in our drawers (well, mostly) and the Christmas trees are bare and out at the curb waiting for pick up early next week. 2011 is here! And what a year it will be! As I wrapped up a Santa decoration and Marin sadly said, "Bye bye Sahhnta", I realized that the next time I brought that Santa out, there would be another little baby in our house. And that Marin would probably be calling Santa by name sans the random English accent. (Panic! Did I get it on video?!) Our family is growing, and Marin is growing up. As much as I wish I could slow down time sometimes, I can't. Ready or not, 2011 is here. And this is the year we become four!