Thursday, April 27, 2006

Holy Crap, She's 10 Months Old! (A Photo Essay)

My crawling





is 10 months old today

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Random quote and unrelated photo of the week

And now, because of the bad karma this had no doubt engendered from the Universe, I was going to be blinded in one eye. No more playing catch. Only one option for winking. For my birthday, people would give me parrots.

- Leo Allen, Blind Rage

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Most Depressing Kid's Song In The World

A couple of nights ago Ada protested bedtime, so Chris went up to soothe her. He came down after 10 or 15 minutes.

Me: Is she out?

C: Yeah. I rocked her and sang Puff the Magic Dragon

Me: Oh great, the most depressing song ever. I mean, the kid abandons the dragon, who gets depressed and won't leave his cave.

C: My mom sang it to me as a kid and I never thought about it that way. Maybe kids see themselves as Jackie Paper, growing up and moving on.

Me: But as a kid, when I thought about getting older it didn't preclude continuing to play with dragons, had any been available.

C: Yeah. I guess I just thought Jackie Paper was an idiot.

As a side note, when I googled for images using "Puff magic dragon" I got a link to this. And I won't link to it, but if you do a google image search with those words, there is another site with an interesting dragon. I just don't want to think about what making it felt like.

Update: on further reflection, I should have said that people not ok with internet nudity should probably not run that search.

Monday, April 24, 2006

The people that you meet, when you're walking down the street

Scene: a street in SE Portland
Time: Sunday afternoon

Ada and I were on our way to our local overpriced but super conviently located grocery store, when someone called out to me. It was the ever charming and self-depricatingly sarcastic Bridgermama, along with her adorable child and lovely husband (the latter won't be mad that I called him lovely, will he?) They were out for a stroll in Ada's local park, with a side trip to a cute kid's clothing shop in the neighborhood. Well, that's what they said, anyway. Bridgermama has already copped to stalking my house. Not because she likes ME so much, but apparently she's planning where she'll put her sofa once she convinces my family to move out. (I planted some dahlia bulbs this weekend, I hope that works with your overall plans.)

While we were all stopped for a little chat and baby-ogling, a woman walked by and admired the kids.

Woman: Oh, what cute babies! How old are they?

Bridgermama and me, stumbling over one another to say: Nine months and ten.

Woman: Are you, like, best friends?

(awkward pause in which we try to understand why a stranger would ask us that, and consider how to say no without insulting the other person)

Bridgermama: No, we are just friends.

The woman walked on, and so did we, laughing. After I said goodby to Bridger, et al, I went into the grocery store feeling very glad I am friends with this family. Bridger is adorable, but I know lots of cute kids who have parents that are not intreesting to me at all. Both of Bridger's parents are funny and sarcastic. They are so entertaining that I am not sure how they can be from the northern plains. Call me a coastal snob, but aren't those people supposed to be earnest and unironic? Maybe they are just putting on a good act for me, and at home it is all hotdish, lutefisk and hard backed chairs. Whether their sense of humor is an act or not, I am enjoying getting to know this sweet family.

Plus, our kids have similar taste in toys.

Friday, April 21, 2006

We both shop at Fred Meyer

A number of wonderful women have blogged about the guff given to a breastfeeding mom at a Portland Fred Meyer. (For non-Oregonians, FM is like Target with a grocery.) I do not want to repeat what these other women have said so well. But I do have something on my mind.

It seemed obvious to write a letter to Fred Meyer's headquarters. I shop there regularly. I can walk to one and the trip is an almost weekly routine for Ada and me. I'd hate to stop going; the store carries organic bananas, contact lens solution, drill bits and Levis. I do want see the company policy changed, for my own good and for nursing mothers in general. So I wrote Fred Meyer a letter - from the outraged parents of a nine-month old. I showed it to Chris and he agreed, and it went in the mail.

It is great that so many women are standing with this nursing mom. I love that we are saying that it is unacceptable to treat nursing as something dirty. If a nurse-in is called, I'll be there. But it is not enough for us to stand together as women. We need our male friends and partners to stand with us. They may not ever breastfeed, but this is about their children too. We need to remind men to speak up for the values they hold. They need to help us present a united front in support of families and children. These are things most of the men in our lives do value, but about which they may not think to shout.

When men stand with us it lets companies know what they stand to lose if they do not support our issues and respond to our concerns. Fred Meyer (and its owner, Kroger) care about keeping customers coming in the door. And men may not be the majority of grocery shoppers, but they buy electronics, they buy magazines, they buy flat head nails and athletic socks (all things women buy too, just hang in with me, ok?). It is great that Fred Meyer knows we are pissed. Let's let them know that the men in our lives are too.

Caps, Caps for Sale! 50 Cents a Cap!

Did anyone else have the book "Caps For Sale" when they were kids? I loved this book. It's got monkeys, repeating words, a guy napping in a tree... I will have to find a copy for Ada.

In the mean time, a couple people have mentioned that they might like one of the hats made by my pal Stephanie. Anyone interested in buying one of these knit and felted wonders can contact Stephanie. She designed the hats, so if you are a knitter you might ask her about the pattern. The gal does have a day job, but she said she'd be happy to talk to you if your head (or that of someone you love) is cold. (Despite the title of this post, I can't guarantee that Stephanie will let her creation go for that low a price.)

Mmmm, Delicious Schmutz

Our friend Hill collects sentences and phrases he has never heard before. One favorite in heavy rotation around here for a while: "every time I barf at night". It cracked us up. I mean, what is funnier than daily vomit?

Today I have a new one for Hill's collection. As she made a crawling tour of the house, Ada stopped periodically to show us where we need to baby-proof and to pick up microscopic bits of lint. I know this latter skill is normal; Mama Without Instructions has mentioned that Henry is a master of the lint-pick. Nevertheless, I'm not crazy about Ada being our vacuum, and I told Ada as much. Hence, today's new phrase:

"In this family, we are not lint eaters."

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Poorer but wiser

Apparently when your care provider calls 911 because your child gets sick and her mom is 50 miles away at work, if the EMT decides that she does not need a ride to the hospital, your insurer will not pay for the EMTs time. (Ada is fine now and I'm glad she didn't need the trip.)

Oh, and when your husband rushes home to be with his child, he won't be able to talk his way out of a speeding ticket, though he may be able to get the amount of the ticket reduced. Cough ($100) Cough.

Update: Turns out that despite being a health policy wonk, I didn't know that if you call 911 and they send an ambulance to your house (versus you just calling an ambulance company to take you to the hospital), the county pays for the EMTs time. Well, you pay indirectly, through property taxes that fund 911, but still - no bill for the nonlinear family. Um, except for the ticket and resulting increase in car insurance rates. So never mind what I said about my insurance. And for my Canadian friends, stop feeling so smug about your health care system. We, your neighbors to the south, are jealous enough as it is.

Random quote and unrelated photo of the week

If everyone contributes information to the map, pretty soon there will be no more rest-room problem.

-Wansoo Im
Adjunct professor of urban planning, Rutgers University

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Can't Be Pacified, Won't Be Pacified

Ada is sick again. I blame Monkey-boy, who was here last Friday and had a snot-festival at the time. Whatever the cause, Ada's got it now, on top of teething. She really has been a trooper. Despite only sleeping 30 minutes today, she's been perky and happy. She can breathe alright when sitting up, but lying down brings on full nose-plugged horror. This is where the problem lies; she is used to going to sleep with a pacifier. Currently she needs her mouth for breathing and has decided that breathing is better than sucking. (Somehow she manages to do both when nursing. Can someone explain why my breast works with a cold, but the pacifier does not?)

I got her to sleep ok, but within a half hour she'd woken up and I could not get her pacified, either literally or figuratively. When I went into her room, I found that she'd somehow gotten her pacifier into the bottom of her baby sleeping bag Letting that remain a mystery, I plungered her nose, gave her tylenol for the teeth, nursed her and when she got droopy I tried to lay her in bed. She spat out the pacifier and proceeded to scream as if I was jabbing her with sharp sticks. (I wasn't.) This is when I decided that Ada learning to sleep without a pacifier might be a good idea. Having run out of other ways to help my daughter, I went downstairs hoping she'd exhaust herself quickly and fall asleep. Ha! After listening to her cry for 20 minutes, Chris and I gave up on the tough love. Chris is up there with her now.

I feel so guilty that I am sitting next to the monitor, through which I can hear her wailing. It isn't enough to be sitting in the room under her bed, which lets me hear her cry without the monitor. No, I have to punish myself by broadcasting the noise direct to my ears and heart.

It is going to be a long, long night.

Stephanie's Super Chapeau

The excellent and talented Stephanie (thank you Chris, for luring this woman up to Portland to work with you) recently designed some very cool hats. She made one for Ada and asked if I would be ok with Ada appearing in a photo or two wearing the hat. Of course! I happily agreed to Ada's likeness appearing on a knitting site. Stephanie recruited a couple of other kids and (after a trip to the taqueria to fortify ourselves with meat) we all converged on the lawn near Stephanie's office for a little sunny-day photo shoot. While Stephanie took pictures that actually did a good job of showing the HATS, I took a couple that highlighted the kids. Here are a few that may give you a sense of Stephanie's cool design as well as allow you to see that, yes, it is sunny in Portland once in a while.

Yeah, I know that a skirt with no tights, was maybe not the SMARTEST fashion choice I've ever made, given the sitting and photo-taking. What can you do?

I included that last photo because it is just such a darn cute picture of the three year old. Plus, even though you can't see Ada's face, it gives a nice view of the hat.

The reason the six year old (yes, she's six, can you believe it? She looks so much older to me) is holding Ada's hands, is that on the day the pictures were taken, Ada did not want to wear the hat. (A bit embarrassing, when someone has just given her a beautiful hat, but oh well.) In Ada's defense, it was pretty warm out, and I don't think I would have wanted to wear a hat either.

(Stephanie, you'll be glad to know that we went out for a walk this weekend and Ada wore the hat happily for a nice long stretch. She only yanked it off after her father decided it was crooked and tugged on it, thereby bringing it to her attention. )

Monday, April 17, 2006

Kicking the New Knowledge

Chris and I have been on the run trying to keep up with Ada's new skills. She had a big weekend. To wit:

(1) As of Friday, Ada's heil-wave (she's been throwing her arm in the air but not waving anything) has morphed into a more socially acceptable out-thrust arm that includes opening and shutting her hand in a good facsimile of a wave.

(2) Ada started clapping on Friday. This may not seem like a big accomplishment, but until now she's preferred to hold my fingers while I clapped. Now everything is clap-worthy to Ada, including her ability to clap.

(3) All last week Ada was crawling a little, but only the 2 steps needed to then reach out and snag a toy before sitting back down to chew on the object of interest. Thursday she did a little more, but stopped abruptly when I tried to video tape the event. On Saturday, my mom and I left the house for a while, during which time Ada had an extended crawl that spanned three rooms. She followed her ball from the side room into the dining room and the kitchen. I was sad that I'd missed it, but happy that Chris and my dad were around to see it. Later in the day we laid out a path of cheerios, which she dutifully followed, crawling and eating her way across the room. Chris was on first shift Sunday morning while I slept in a bit. When I got up, Chris told me how exhausted he was. "This is a lot harder now," was how he characterized it. I can already see that just keeping her away from the diaper pail will be a full time job.

We are all fairly amazed that so much stuff is coming together at once. On Sunday morning, my father walked into the room and asked my mom: What else has she learned to do?

My Mom: Well... she stood up and recited the Declaration of Independence.

My Dad: Did you piss yourself?

Such is life at Casa Nonlinear. We are so proud we are soiling ourselves. Thank god for the diaper service.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Lessons Learned Last Week

Lesson One: No more naps before bed.

After a lovely visit with Bridger and his mama on Thursday, Ada was fine for a while at home, but then got all cranky and late day crabby. Chris and I played with her, distracted her and tried to bribe her to crawl*, but eventually Chris resorted to holding Ada and dancing. I'm not sure if it was the Beastie Boys that did it, but within a few minutes Ada was out. She napped on Chris's chest for a while, waking up about 6:15. We fed her dinner, learned not to leave her in her high chair within reach of the dining room table**, got her bathed, booked and boobed. As I was nursing her I knew something was not right. She normally gets all snuggly and sleepy during her pre-bed nursing. Thursday she was fidgety, playing with my shirt, my nose, my mouth. When I put her in her bed her eyes popped open and she mooched all around. She was quiet for a few minutes, but then started to cry and complain. Chris took his turn soothing her, and finally managed to convince her to go to sleep after an extended calming session, including bottle-feeding.

*Lessons Two and Three: While the television remote placed several feet from Ada can act as a sufficient crawl-motivator, once you pull out the video camera to document this amazing new skill, Ada will suddenly forget how to perform said skill and will instead sit on her butt performing her incredibly endearing but somewhat less earth-shattering half-wave.

** Lesson Four: After feeding Ada noodles at dinner, Chris got up to get a washcloth. Ada took the opportunity to reach over to the table and grab the newspaper. Yanking the paper off the table sent the container of noodles and soup plummeting to the floor. I fervently hope that lesson five is not: chicken stock makes your cheap Ikea rug smell terrible.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Me Me Me Me Meme

I was tagged and I feel torn. It is nice to be noticed, but I dread the part where I have to tag other people. What if they get mad? What if they laugh and say "ha! You little worm, I will ignore your puny tagging efforts"? What if they think I mean grafitti and I come home to "nonlinear girl is a big nerd" spray-painted across my front walk? I guess I can worry about that later. For now, six things about me:

1. I was Warren G. Harding's campaign manager.
2. I was once chased across the room by a mechanical scorpion.
3. I scaled K2 carrying a giant teak cross.
4. I'm intercontinental when I eat french toast.
5. I dated Rudyard Kipling in high school.
6. I used to play professional basketball.

Ok, only 2 is true. And 4, I guess.

Let's try again:

1. I hate that I have to wear glasses, but I am perversely proud of how bad my vision is. Whenever I talk about vision with people, I hear "oh, my eyes are so bad." They are never as bad as mine.

2. I have only been to a casino once, and that was for work. At the time I worked for a federal agency, evaluating States, Tribes and other organizations receiving federal funds. Along with two colleagues, I travelled to Wisconsin to talk with representatives of a Native American tribe. (I've forgotten which one, but they have a casino, and not much else.) The only place to stay in the town was at the Tribe run casino-"resort". Really it was a motel with a casino attached. It was February, and the land next to the motel was filled with ice sculptures from the previous weekend's winter festival. When we checked in, the clerk gave us each ten dollars worth of chips. I am sure that accepting the $10 broke some kind of rule, though we were allowed to accept gifts under, I think, $20 in value. The nice folks at a Tribe in New Mexico gave me a coffee mug, at another I got a calendar from the Tribe's child care program.

After putting our bags away, my coworkers and I headed to the casino to lose our free money. We chose slots. I played until I'd won and then lost an additional $20. I walked out with the free $10. My female coworker played until she lost the $10. My male coworker put in $20 or $30 bucks of his own, but he was the big winner of the night. I'll admit that when his machine started dinging and the coins started rolling out, it was kind of exciting. He ended up winning a couple hundred dollars. But did he buy dinner for my other coworker and me? Noooo. Bastard.

The thing I remember most about the trip was that my female coworker's mother had recently been hospitalized for depression and we had a long conversation about a New Yorker article on the renewed popularity of shock treatment as therapy for major depression.

3. I asked my now-husband to marry me. By postcard. Lucky for me he said yes.

4. I find it hard to pass up a chance to have chocolate ice cream with peanut butter in it. Even if I am full, if it is offered I can not refuse. If it is available in an ice cream shop, I can't get something else.

5. I have watched every Firefly episode at least three times.

6. I have tried and failed to learn to knit and play bridge.

6.5 Really that first paragaph should have been thing 1 about me: I am lousy about chain-letters.

With that in mind, I tag
Life Without Instructions
The Small 'Stute Voice

They are people I know in real life and if they decide they don't want to participate I won't be upset. I hope they can forgive me. I also tag Bridgermama because I know she's already been tagged and I told her she could list me in her tag list. But that's it. I am usually very good about following instructions, but I just can't.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Random quote and unrelated photo of the week

I arrived back here in July of 1999, ostensibly to visit my beloved papa for the summer, completely unaware that he was about to murder an Oklahoma businessman over a ten-per-cent stake in a nutria farm. But from the moment I bought my ticket I had a premonition that I wouldn't be returning to New York anytime soon.

Gary Shteyngart
A Love Letter

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

To celebrate your birthday, let me embarrass myself

My friend kvr celebrated her birthday in a fabulous way: by asking friends to embarrass themselves in public. The invitation read:

"Celebrate the anniversary of my birth with dinner, drinks, and a little public humiliation! Bring an old angsty diary, old poetry, funny old letters, etc. to share with the crowd. It's like karaoke but with more embarrassment and less singing."

What an excellent idea! Unfortunately, I spaced that the event was coming up and by the time I realized it was happening it was too late to get someone to watch Ada while I went. (Too bad Chris was at a work event that night. He doesn't keep a journal and would never want to get up in front of people to read out of it if he did.)

Re-reading old journals in an attempt to find something to read for kvr, I realized something. My teen writings are pathetic. Not a shock, but I had hoped they'd be funny pathetic, not just dumb. Unfortunately they are either self-flagellating, mopey or oddly random. I like self-revelation, but am not sure I'm ready to share the worst of my youthful journals. Knowing that I wrote much worse than this, I hope you'll be kind as you read a couple of my mopey entries (the first from the end of middle school, the other from my last year of high school).

June 18, 1986
Graduation was today. I'm happy and sad. Katie came, and she gave me this really nice silver bracelet. I don't even know why I ever liked Kenny. Yesterday I was walking and I came toward Lanie and Kenny at two different angles. Kenny told Lanie that he'd miss her. I said that she wasn't the only person he'd miss (implying that he'd miss Rachel). He said "Oh, Rachel. Well, I won't miss you."

Today he acted like I wasn't alive when he saw me at graduation. He hugged some other girls goodbye but acted as if I didn't exist.

NB: in middle school (7th-9th grades in LA) I set my love-interest sights low. I didn't pick the cutest or most popular boy to crush on. No, I picked a tall, red haired, gangly geek. At 13 I knew that I'd be rejected if I tried for a popular kid. Apparently I was also too weird for the nerds, too.

After spending my awkward middle school years telling my journal that I wanted a boyfriend, I got one. Well, first I traded in my glasses for contact lenses, then I started high school and had a string of boyfriends who liked me more than I liked them. I spent high school getting together with boys who expressed interest in me, because they'd expressed interest. My appearance had changed since middle school, but my sense of self as the ugly girl was still with me. I didn't understand what was motivating my behavior at the time, and I repeatedly wrote in my high school journal about resenting my boyfriends for one thing or another. My senior year, I started dating a guy I'd been friends with for several years. At first I'd resisted, but eventually got together with him in part because it was the path of least resistance.
May 1989
I'm sick of having to report to someone every time I want to do something. I am sick of planning my time according to how much time I need to spend with my boyfriend - and THEN how much I can do other things with. I am tired of feeling responsible to another person, and for another person. I hate feeling tied down, and caught. I hate not being able to say anything, something as simple as "Hey, I'm excited because I got my housing forms" or "Guess what? I got a job as a life guard!" because it will depress him. I hate smelling something undescribeable, and both missing him and hating him at the same time.

If you have gotten this far, either you are a glutton for punishment, enjoy reading about other people's embarrassing teen years, or are secretly gloating that your teen writings were at least better than these. Whichever is the case, I would love to see some of your old journal entries. You don't have to share anything too horrible. (Believe me, I held back on some of the worst stuff.) If you are too shy to disclose your writings, share an old letter. I'm still looking for the note I saved from my first boyfriend. He wrote it when I was breaking up with him, and it soulfully declared "I don't want to loose you!" (italics added to emphasize the annoying spelling error, which added fuel to the fire of my desire to dump him).

Please won't you share? You know you've got something good hidden away. I promise not to laugh.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Open Letter

To the selfish jerk who stole tulips from my flower bed:

Yesterday there were tulips in my parking strip. They were just ready to open, their orange-red noses poking out of the green. Today there are a bunch of severed stems. You came along and cut my flowers.

What made you think that the flowers were a gift made only for you? There was no sign, "free, please take." If I want to give something away, I put up that sign. But I did NOT put up a sign, because I didn't want you to take my flowers. I wanted them to bloom in my garden, to enjoy them and to let others enjoy them. Now only you get to enjoy them.

Why would you steal my tulips? Did you need a gift for your lover, but you were too poor to buy flowers? Did you feel a spontaneous urge to fill your home with beautiful spring blooms, but were too cheap to shell out for them? Were you feeling blue, and needing something bright?

And why MY flowers? Several of the houses on this block have lovely tulips growing in their yards. Last year my neighbor generously told me to come cut tulips from her yard. They were in bloom and she told me she wanted to share the bounty while it lasted. I am sure if you had knocked on her door she'd have graciously offer you some as well. But instead you stole my flowers. The ones I picked out at a visit to the tulip farm in Wilsonville, after wandering the entire place looking at all the colors, sizes and shapes. The ones I planted when I was pregnant and thinking about how they'd bloom in the spring, just before my daughter was to arrive. The ones I looked forward to during the long, dark days of winter.

Thanks for robbing me of one of the pleasures of the garden - of working hard to make things grow, not just for myself, but for my neighbors and people walking by.

But I am confident you'll be tracked down. I put my 5 year old neighbor Ben on the case. He had a lot of good suggestions for catching you, which I won't detail here so that you aren't tipped off. I will say that the banana on the sidewalk, that was Ben's doing.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Love your spam!

I got a weird email today. Addressed to me by name (well, by moniker), it opens "Love your blog! Hope you will check mine out as well." It is basically spam for this woman's business (booking entertainers for and planning children's parties). Which forces me to ask: party planners for kids' birthdays? Ada is a bit young for the big kid birthday extravaganza, but really? Who does that? (Outside of the Hollywood/Hamptons rich and famous, that is.) Aren't little kid birthdays cake and ice cream, balloons and maybe games or a run through the sprinklers? Maybe a pinata? And older kids, that means bowling, skating, high tea, right? I remember one year my mom organized for a group of us to go a children's theater production. We all dressed up.

I also wonder who else out there got this spam. I can't be the only one. Somehow I doubt that this woman really loves my blog and that's why she wants me to participate on her on-line market research.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

(Maybe not so) Random quote and (definitely) unrelated photo of the week

I have no regrets today and no doubts. I am proud of the past, I am at peace with the present and I'm excited about the future, which holds as always America's brightest days and mine, too.

- Representative Tom Delay

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Creeped by the Crawlie

Ada and I were sitting in the side room where most of her toys live, when I looked over at the low shelf. We've shoved all her books into a cubby-like shelf, figuring it is easy for her to get at but we can control the scourge of toy-spread throughout the room. Right, so I look over and see a multi-legged insect scurry along the base of the shelf, and up under a book. I only saw it for a second, but I think it was one of these. Blech.

I hate silverfish. They creep me out in a way other bugs do not. Spiders I am fine with. They do good things, like eat other bugs. Flies are annoying, but not upsetting. Ok, so I don't like cockroaches, but I don't get all squirrelly and jump on chairs when I see them. (Though now that I think of it, I am happy to be living in a part of the country in which cockroaches are much less likely to be my neighbors. And whatever they tell you in Florida, Palmetto bugs ARE cockroaches.)

Back to our guest: I jump up and grab a cloth diaper, and carefully but quickly pick up all the books on the shelf. I don't want to teach Ada that bugs are scary and icky (seems like so much more work for me if she gets that kind of phobia). I'm not screaming EWW! but I'm intent on finding the bug. No no avail, apparently. I picked up and inspected all the books, but somehow the silverfish made its escape. There is a back to the shelf, so I don't know how the bug escaped, unless the darn thing darted back off the shelf while I was getting the cloth. This bothers me, because now I know it is there, waiting for me. I am sure that very little twitch is the wiggle of a feeler, every tickle comes from its many toes.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Ada by the numbers

Times today that Ada showed all the signs of wanting a nap, but changed her mind once she was in bed and I'd walked out of her room: 1

Small pieces of egg yolk that Ada picked off the tray, put in her mouth and then spat out: 12

Times that I looked up from the newspaper to find Ada staring at me (and no doubt thinking what neglectful a mom she has): 2

Minutes that Ada's 9 am nap lasted: 67

Seconds after I buttered some toast that Ada announced that she was awake: 19

Objects Ada stuck in her mouth, pulled out to examine and returned to her mouth: 33

Number of those objects that were paper: 0 (She does not willingly remove paper from her mouth)

Number of times Ada lunged for paper and got some in her mouth before I could stop her: 2

Number of children in the doctor's waiting room that Ada charmed into making fools of themselves for her: 3

Number of those children that I didn't want to touch Ada because they'd just picked their noses: 1

Number of times Ada non-verbally requested to be moved from mom's to dad's to mom's arms while at the doctor's office: 6

Percentile length for age that Ada is curently: 90

Times Ada peed while undressed at the doctor's office: 2

Times she managed to spray mom with her urine: 1

Times since getting home that I've thought "why does it smell like pee in here?" before remembering I am wearing peed-on pants: 3

Times per hour that Ada grabbed my shirt in order to stand up, only to decide within 10 seconds that something on the floor required attention: 7

Times Ada broke out in full-fledged crying out of annoyance that she could not move a toy bucket twice her size: 1

Times Ada then managed to flip toy bucket over and dump its contents all over herself: 1

Times Ada scrunched up her nose in her new half smile, half grimace: 541

Times Ada made the scrunch face after I told Ellen she's doing it all the time: 0

Percent of the day that I felt intense love for my daughter and joy that she's in my life: 100