Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sort of figured it out.

Well, I figured out that if I just published pix to the blog without moving them or adding text, then you can actually click on them to enlarge them. So here are a few in the post below from the last week or so. Be sure to click on the one with the yellow t-shirt and read what it says. It's my favorite shirt.

Click to enlarge.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Slippery Slopes!

So how did my Friday go, you ask? DON'T! Although I think there are others in my family who had much worse days.

After fretting all day Thursday about what I was going to do if daycare was closed on icy Friday, I was relieved to find out that daycare very rarely closes so I was able to tell my potential babysitter to stay home (she lives way, way out in the middle of nowhere). So I got up at 4:30 to check the weather; it was icing but the roads were okay. So Mari and I set off for daycare at 6:00 and then I headed to work. Shortly after getting to work, I called my Mom to tell her that Mari was at daycare and where to find her diaper bag when she came to pick her up. Not more than 15 minutes later Mom called me to tell me that she fell on the icy steps getting ready to leave for work. Dad left work and went and picked her up. They ended up spending the morning in the ED with me (and everyone else in the county that fell down on the ice! among a gazillion other patients) and then Mom spent the afternoon in the OR getting pins in her shattered wrist. I left work early so I could pick up Miss Mari before daycare closed.

We headed to Mom and Dad's house to check on her. She wasn't feeling the greatest...duh! She had put supper in the crock pot so I ate a little bit with Dad and Mari even got some bit-sized pieces of carrots and potatoes to play with and eat. Then Mari and I headed to my brother Todd's house where his wife Diana cooked us dinner. Todd had some ankle reconstruction yesterday morning so he was also hurting pretty good. (I'm not sure who has the bigger cast, Mom or Todd). My other brother Chad was there with Lesa and Madi. I don't get to see Madi much at daycare because we get there so early and then Mom picks Mari up or I'm just later than Chad picks Madi up. So we played a little on the floor...I think she was more impressed with the cats though. It's interesting to watch Mari and Madi together because they sort of act like each other's not there. They steal each other's toys (Mari snatches Madi's pacifier), crawl over each other, roll into each other but don't really seem to interact that much. It will be neat to see them actually acknowledge each other when they get a little older. And then we'll throw a third one in the mix. Floor time in the Catlett households could get very interesting.

Well, I'll keep you updated on the invalids' recoveries. Hopefully, after a few days, they will both be up and around enough to function.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Still Here.

Yes, we are still alive. It has been a long week and not over yet. I started back to work on Sunday while Mari hung out with my parents. Work is super busy (flu season!) and I miss staying home. We spent Monday recovering and gearing up for our first day of daycare. Tuesday I dropped Mari off at daycare at 6:30 and then my Mom picked her up at 4:30. By the time I got off and got to my parent's house, it was close to 8:00 and Mari was sound asleep. She woke up a little before we headed home for a little rocker time, then bed. Wednesday was pediatrician day and more shots. She was cranky ALL day, some from the shots and I think just tired from all the changes; also, she usually sleeps about 3 hours (divided into 2 naps) during the day and she has only been getting about 1 hour total at daycare. She did well at daycare today and was SO happy to see me when I got there at 3:30. She grinned and laughed and gave me kisses (which are actually sucking on my cheek and slobbering all over me!). Tomorrow it is supposed to be really bad weather but daycare assures me that they very rarely close. So if I can get her there, Mom and Dad will pick her up after work (or earlier if needed). If daycare is closed....ugh! Praying for a wrong weather forecast.

No pix tonight, have to get to bed. But 2 links to check out....

First, check out this video of the Shubin's little boy Silas (we actually met him in Ethiopia). It is unbelieveably hilarious. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and turn off the background music and then make sure your volume is turned up for the video.

Then, check out CHI's e-newsletter for this month. This is the Ethiopian update page. Scroll down to the bottom for a picture of the world's cutest baby!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day...Bah HumBug!

Valentine's Day is not exactly my favorite day of the year. It is meant for significant others to share in the joys of their relationship...hmmmm. Just another day for me! I probably wouldn't have even realized it was V-day except Grandma gave Mari a ctue little bib to wear (and the fact that I made the mistake to go to Wal-Mart in the middle of the afternoon...AUGH!).

So, I dressed Miss Mari up in all her pink glory and we made some visits (wheezing all the way) to show off our outfit.

Someone at work asked what I got Mari for V-day. Umm, uhh, oops! Well, she did get new carpet in her room yesterday (you can see it in the clapping video) and I recently purchased the top hutch part of her changing table, so I picked that up and put in together (Mom came over and helped me get it into place). We have retired the changing table...I could not keep Mari on it, diaper changes were becoming a battle. Since I mostly just change her in her crib or on the floor wherever she happens to be, the changing table was not being used at all...time to graduate to big girl furniture with more storage!

The changing pad had turned into a cat bed.

So Mari has totally come alive this week (amazing considering the first couple days of the week, she was so sick)...wondering if maybe the ear infections hadn't been there for awhile (she doesn't complain about them) and she wasn't feeling tip-top. She is jabbering up a storm...she was already a chatterbox but now, WOW! Mama was not a passing notion, it is her new favorite word (mine too!).

I taught her to clap yesterday (see video below)...5 minutes practicing and then I look over and she is just grinning and clapping.

She is crawling on all fours and can get around so fast. No more letting her out of my sight for a minute. I'm afraid she has tasted every dog toy in the house...but that's okay because Ollie has tasted all her toys!

She seemed to be getting bored with her jumparoo so I moved it up a notch...she can barely touch her toes but it is like a whole new toy. She gets that thing going and I can already see an improvement in her leg strength.

Then last night, Mom and I were working in the nursery so we put Mari in the crib to play (she did NOT want to be alone in her jumparoo with G-ma in the house), we looked over and she was using the bumper pad to pull herself up! She never succeeded because the pad was too flexible and the mattress too squishy but this is the first she has shown any interest in pulling up. And now she is trying to pull up on every piece of furniture possible--not successful yet but soon! This is the sight that greeted me this morning...Mari is always on her back chattering when I go to get her out of bed. Today, she was sitting up playing with her aquarium crib toy. (Yes, Juli that is the Valentine's sleeper...a little long but her fat belly won't wait for her legs to grow into it!)

Oh, and she now understands "NO" and doesn't like it. Before she would laugh at me or maybe frown, but now if I say "NO" she screams bloody murder! I can see some temper tantrums coming soon...oh the joy!

Back to work in just 2 days...oh the agony!! More nursery pix when I'm done...totally rearranging and moving things around!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


6 weeks ago today, Little Miss Mari was handed to me. I was happy but pretty much emotionally shut-off. It was a defense mechanism, I'm sure. I was exhausted, overwhelmed, culture-shocked, homesick, scared but elated, estatic, overjoyed...just too many emotions to deal with so I shut them off. The weeks since then have flown doesn't seem like six weeks but yet it seems like I've known this little person forever. Tonight it seemed to all come together emotionally. I'm a "mamama."

Today was a great day. Mari is still very wheezy and coughing but now fever-free and no more fussing. She has played and just enjoyed the day (which BTW was very dreary and icy and rainy outside). She has made a friend out of the dog...two days ago, he would have nothing to do with her and now he is dropping his toys in front of her so she will "play" with him (this is something I have been trying for 4 YEARS to teach him to do). She is crawling on all fours (no more commando/infantry crawling) and can get around very quickly. She has discovered the joy of fleece on hardwood floors--you can't get far but the sliding is fun! She has figured out that, while it is fun to bang on things, it is even funner to bang two objects together!

But best of all, she called me mama! She has said mama before on very rare occasions but it was just part of her jibber-jabber. She calls the dog "da" and the cats "tit-tat" (short for kitty-cat) but I'm usually called dadadada! Tonight, as I was washing bottles in the sink (my sink is in the kitchen island that looks out over the living room), Mari looked up from her blanket full of toys and started whimpering. I said "oh, what's the matter Mari-Pari?" She immediately started crawling towards me, tears streaming down her cheeks, crying "mamama, mamama." Needless to say, this earned a hug and lots of mommy-tears. I'm not sure what she was fussing about but the hug cured it (which is another breakthrough--usually only bottles soothe the fuss). Then we sat in the rocking chair and read books...this has been a dream of mine, to pass my love of reading to my daughter. Unfortunately, Mari finds reading time to be a wonderful time to grab and rip and chew...not sit back and relax and listen. Tonight we enjoyed several books and finished with my new favorite, Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown. Love it! Two minutes of rocking and then "night, night."

Tonight, to me, was a much more emotional night than the first one. I think I like being called "mamama!" And even if it takes her another 6 weeks to say it, I'm set for awhile.

To celebrate 6 weeks, here are more pix!

I'm so tired...just get this neb done, get me out of the highchair and then I need a nap. Please!!

A well balanced meal...mixed grain cereal, peas, carrots, and mangos (Mommy did pretty good with the colors too!). Just need to work on the the protein catagory.

Me and my BFF Madi! A few more days and we will be together all day long!

Think I could be a Pamper's model? I certainly go through them fast enough!

Aren't I the sweetest sleeper? I wish Mommy would stop sneaking in and taking pix of me when I'm trying to sleep.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Return of the "Ethiopian Flu"

So the Ethiopian Flu has returned to the Catlett household. Don't panic...there isn't really such a thing, that is just my "pet" name for Mari's lovely respiratory symptoms. After coming home with pneumonia, it took over 2 weeks to get rid of the wheezing. We have been happy and healthy since (well except her left arm...but let's put that away!). You've probably guessed by now that that is no longer the case. With my return to work looming in a few days, Mari is sick as snot (trying to be nice since my cousin prints this off for the g-g-parents to read!).

She started about 10 days ago with a runny nose (no biggie!) and by Thursday, she was coughing. Progressively, she has gotten more congested and wheezy. I wasn't too worried but I went ahead and made a MD appt for yesterday simply because she was so tachypneic (that means breathing fast). I thought I was over-reacting (because she is NOwhere close to being as sick as she was the first 2 days in Ethiopia) and that they would tell me she was fine and just let the cold run its course. I was pretty surprised when one of the first things the pediatrician said was "I think we should admit her for a couple days." That would be a real fun task...even with breathing over 80 times a minutes, Mari can still crawl around the house chattering to her imaginary friends. I can't imagine trying to keep her quiet or occupied in a hospital room. So we decided to try things at home. We did some breathing treatments in the office, an RSV and Flu swab (which ended up both being negative), stopped at the pharmacy and dropped off scripts (both ears infected), went to the hospital for a chest xray, went back to the pharmacy to pick up the meds, went to the respiratory place to get a nebulizer. By the time we got home, Mari was wheezy, hungry, exhausted, and had spiked a fever. So we took some Motrin (yes we, cause I needed some too), the antibiotics, a breathing treatment, had a bottle and then played, played, played...forget the nap, the albuterol buzzed us up!

The pediatrician called around 8:30 last night to check on her and give me the xray results...she does not have pneumonia (the MD was concerned that it has returned on the left) but her xray show some inflammatory stuff consistent with reactive airway disease (in other words...we'll be on the breathing treatments for a while).

Mari slept good all night. She is still very wheezy and tachypneic but playful and eating, very active. We go back to the Peds at 2:15 for a recheck. Hopefully they will agree that she is just too playful and active to admit to the hospital (who knows what germs she would pick up there!). I'll try to post a picture later of her and her nebulizer...she has a cute little purple dinosaur mask that she licks during the treatment (no, that is not SOP, but she gets the med whether her mouth is open or closed!).

Well, best go and fold more laundry...naptime is almost over and then another breathing treatment before lunch.


Visit to the pediatrician's went well. Mari's doing okay, we will continue on the breathing treatments for awhile and finish out the antibiotics. Hopefully this will break in the next couple of days. Here are a couple pictures of Mari taking her albuterol treatment.

Friday, February 8, 2008

More Pix

I know everyone wants pix, so here are some more. If anyone can enlighten me as to why my pictures do not enlarge when clicked on, please do. I have checked every single option available on the settings, template, etc.; I am using the highest pixels...not sure why it doesn't work. Please comment if you know how to fix this. Thanks!

Finally, got Mari's handprints and footprints done. Everytime I remembered I wanted to do them, Mari was dressed for the day or playing, etc. I remembered the other night right before bath time. So I got the bath all ready, stripped her down to her diaper and set up shop; decided to do it in the nursery since it is getting new carpet next week anyway (but we didn't make a mess!).

OUT COLD--here is what an evening with the grandparents does to you!
Here is what happens when Mommy leaves Mari alone (to take a bathroom break).

$8 worth of clothes at Wal-Mart. That's a steal! All in 12 months...will be a while yet before she can wear them.

Birthday presents...shh! I know they say 2-5 years on them but that is just because she is not ready for the creative play (the brushing of the dog, etc.), there are no small pieces and she loves her Fisher Price Little People kitty cat (tit-tat). Again, Wal-Mart clearance!

She is also getting very special birthday gift (you will have to wait until the end of March to see it!) that matches one I had as a kid. I will post pix of me with mine and Mari with hers. Hee hee, sorry you have to wait!

We are still not really into eating meats yet but, if Mari is going to survive in the Catlett family, she has to learn to eat spaghetti. This is only our second Stage 3 food (green beans with rice was the first) and I'm not sure she really liked it--but she still ate it!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Week in Review with Pix!

So let's play catch-up from the last week.

Last Tuesday, we went and finally had all of our bloodwork drawn (which all looked great!). This was somewhat of an ordeal because Mari's veins aren't the greatest. They were able to get it all with 2 sticks but this was only because she needed so much drawn, one vein just wouldn't give enough. Mari did really well, fussed only a little. Then Tuesday night, we went and visited with some of my friends, Steve and Ali, that I had lost touch with for about 5 years! I sent them an announcement and Ali contacted me and invited me over. We had a great time catching up and letting the kids play. Ali has even been inspired to start a blog after reading through mine.

Wednesday, we ran errands for several hours and then both my brothers and their wives came over for dinner. Mari had missed both naps (except a little one in the shopping cart at Wal-Mart) and her feeding schedule was all messed up. So, after throwing up all over her crib (which she had peed on that morning and I had JUST changed the sheets), she went down for a nap at suppertime. She woke up after we finished eating and played for awhile. Madison also played hard after eating and it was her turn to throw up...all over Auntie Diana. Sorry, Diana but I must say...that was an impressive puke! There were bananas EVERYWHERE! Poor Madi!

You have already heard about Thursday and our trip to the ER...for those of you who commented that I sounded calm, HAHAHA! I wasn't, I had to call my mommy and she came to the ER with me. I was able to get myself together before heading to the ER and once I stopped shaking, I was able to think it through and decide that I probably hadn't broken her arm since most of the arm injuries we see in the ER (kids this age, anyway) are nursemaid's elbows. But it was very definitely a forced calmness. It took me at least 5 minutes to figure out the ibuprofen dosing for her weight and I can usually do this without even thinking about it (I LOVE drug dosage calculations--all the nurses out there just fainted after reading that but I really do).

So on to the KY trip...we had a great time. Mari is SO good. She travelled well and played with everyone. So I'll just let the pix tell the story. I'm not going to try to explain how everyone is related...if you are part of the family, you'll know. If not, just enjoy the pix!

My BFF, cousin Juli with Mari.

Mari playing with cousin Brendan (age almost 4).

Cousin Robert playing a lonely game of CandyLand Castle.

Cousins Kevin and Justin.

Cousins Callie and Mari (I'm holding Mari back as she crawls forwards and pushing Callie forwards as she scoots backwards).

Cousins Brendan and Logan fighting (I mean playing!)

My Grandma with Mari.

My Mom, Grandma, and me with Mari....4 generations!

My Grandma and Grandpa with Mari.

Mari and Callie sharing.

Crawling on Cousin Brendan.

Not sure why but it looks like Mari is mad in this picture. "I said back away from the toys!"

For someone who hates pacifiers, Mari sure was interested in Callie's.

Brendan's pet hamster Lucy. I never thought that a rodent could be so cute!

Mr. Brendan in his "old man" PJs. Isn't that the funniest thing? He loves them!
My Cousin Megan (age 13) playing the banjo (my Uncle Greg is on the guitar). There are some VERY talented musical people in my family...too bad I'm tone deaf. I think the genes shifted to others and I didn't get an equal share!

Last but not least, here is a great little onesie I found at Babies R Us. Someone's birthday is getting closer!

Monday, February 4, 2008

We're Home!


Well, we made it home from KY. The trip was great; the journey horrible. We battled freezing rain, ice, fog, snow, and dreariness on the way down (and thought it could never be worse). The way back was solid rain for all of KY and WV; 5 hours of solid, heavy downpours mixed with patchy fog and all around dreariness. Luckily, home was semi-sunny and almost dry!

We had a great time in KY and I promise I'll get pix up tomorrow. I'm in the middle of laundry and everything that coming home from a trip entails. Mari was amazing all weekend, she is an ace traveller and loved meeting all her family. The only fussing we had was going down for naptime--so exhausted but still wanting to play with cousin Brendan. She fell asleep in my arms last night just sitting on the living room floor (which is amazing because she doesn't like to just sit and be held).

Tonight, I rocked her for bedtime (yes, we are still using the mean old rocking chair, we just make sure that our grip is good even when it seems someone is almost asleep and relaxed). Since she rubs her face on her blankey to sleep, I always put her giraffey (her little fleece blankey with the giraffe head in the middle) between her face and me and then wrap her up in her pink blankey (of which we found more of at Babies R Us this weekend--thank goodness, Ethiopia was rough on this blanket and it is our bedtime must-have along with giraffey). Anyway, off track again. Just as I started rocking, she popped her eyes open wide and I thought that she was going to fight me to go to bed. Instead, she threw her giraffey on the floor and buried her head in my chest and went to sleep almost instantly. She is finally starting to realize how great snuggling with Mommy is!! I LOVE IT!!!!!

More tomorrow about our trip, pix, and anything else that I might have time for!