2018 total (so far): $3184.98


Birthday Wishes

Dear Mr. Husband,

I may be getting older, but at least I know I'll always be younger than you. Happy birthday to the best father and husband I know!

Me, Alexis, Meg, and Jasmine


My Strange Child

A few days ago, Deb left a comment regarding her mysticism at my ability to get Alexis to eat healthy stuff like blueberries and raspberries. Oh! how I laughed and laughed and laughed at that comment. The truth of the matter is that I would have better luck telling Britney Spears to wear underwear than I do telling the Toddler what to eat. I long ago recognized that I wasn't going to win the war when it comes to food, so I don't even bother to fight the battles.

I used to fight the battles. In fact, I fought a battle at every single meal for a solid three weeks when Alexis started eating baby food. She was convinced that the only foods she should consume were sweet potatoes, bananas, and banana flavored rice cereal. I was convinced that no child of mine was going to be a picky eater, and for the love of gummy worms, she sure as heck wasn't going to live off three measly types of food. I tried everything: mixing the foods, making them thicker, making them runnier, making them myself, different brands, organic, not organic, you name it. Everywhere we went, it seemed there were little babies that opened their mouths for food like sweet little birds. I would just stare at them, bitter and angry.

Alexis almost never did the little birdy thing. She fought. She screamed. She clamped her mouth shut. On occassion, I would manage to shove a spoonful in when she wasn't paying attention, and she would reward me by spitting it back out, usually spraying the orange goo all over my face or the walls (I still find spots on the dining room walls, over a year later). I made myself absolutely crazy trying to get her to eat something, anything other than those three foods.

I finally saw the light by accident. After about twenty minutes of arguing, fighting, and cajoling, I finally gave up on trying to get her to eat dinner one night. Mr. Husband and I were having pizza for dinner, and frankly I was pissed that my slice of heaven was getting cold while she refused to eat. So, I started chomping on my pizza and left her to just sit in her high chair not eating. I decided I didn't want the crust, so I thrust it towards her and said, "Here, gnaw on this you little brat."

She did.

She ate the whole thing.

By herself.

Without complaining.

The light bulb went on over my head and I started experimenting with other table food. Before you knew it, the kid was eating things I never knew kids would eat. She LOVED (and still loves) Lima beans right out of the can. She will put a hurtin' on a box of faux chicken nuggets. Don't bother with the baby food sweet potoatoes. Just cut up a real one into sticks, throw them in the oven for a while, and then get out of the way as she inhales them. The girl will eat just about anything, if she's in the mood. She just wouldn't eat baby food. So we stopped with the baby food before she was eight months old.

I say she'll eat "just about anything," but really I should say just about anything healthy. I have ZERO concept of how it is that the kid prefers healthy foods, I just know she does. She frequently turns down ice cream, chocolate, and cake, but I have never known her to pass by a package of raspberries without tearing into it (Seriously, I have to let her eat unwashed raspberries in the grocery store if I don't want to listen to her scream and throw a fit the whole time. Normal kids have a heart attack trying to get candy, she saves her energy for the berry aisle.) I am constantly amazed at the number of things that she will eat that both Mr. Husband and I despise. We used to pick tomatoes off of our salads and throw them away. Now I buy her a few every grocery trip so she can have them as a snack. You will not catch Mr. Husband or me eating salad without dressing, but she sits and gnaws on lettuce like she's some kind of rabbit.

I guess we deserve a tiny bit of credit for making it a point to make sure we don't give away our opinions on food, but mostly she gets the credit for being willing to try things. And if she doesn't like something? She'll chew on it for a second, spit it out into her hand, and then use her super-sleuth skills to track me down and smash it into my disgusted hand. She'll throw trash away without being told, but she HAS to tell me "Yucky!" and hand me back her half-chewed food. Clearly, she loves me.

I don't care when she says something is less than spectacular since she gave it a try, but I will offer it again and let her give it another chance. Sometimes she changes her mind (like applesauce--she used to hate it, now she can't go a day without it), sometime she doesn't. Either way, I don't care. She's weird. I get it.

Knowing that she's weird certainly helps on days like today. All she has eaten is a bowl of cereal, half a package of saltine crackers, and some popcorn. I guess she's not hungry, and I'm not worried about it. Tomorrow she's probably go through $20 worth of fresh fruit and vegetables. It's just what she does.

She's very weird.


Watch Her Grow

Time flies when you're having fun (and are sleep-deprived), and I've got the photos to prove it. For a while now, I've been meaning to pull together my favorite photos of Alexis. I finally did it. In the interest of keeping things relatively short, I decided to force myself to pick my favorite one from every month of her life. I'll keep adding new ones each month, and you'll be able to find them through a button in the sidebar.

When you look at the photos, you'll be able to see the hemangioma (birthmark) on her forehead appear, get worse, then mostly disappear. Just a couple of notes on hemangiomas:
- They are more common in girls than boys.
- The cause is unknown.
- They are not genetic.
- They nearly always go away on their own.
- They can bleed profusely if bumped hard enough.
- You should never do a Google search for them unless you WANT to see the worst-case scenarios.
- They are far worse for the parents that have to hear the annoying comments from every human under the sun than they are for the kid who has it.