Plomin Family Bragablog

November 25, 2008

Photos from this morning

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 6:13 pm

Karol the camera ham posed for one shot this morning, bet you can guess which one!  The rest are the TRUE morning-time Karol.  Pay no attention to the mess in the background; I’m in the middle of sorting through all of Karol’s old clothes!


Eskimo Kisses Wake-up Call

Filed under: Uncategorized — mplomin @ 4:56 pm

I was up pretty late last night, watching Drew Brees lead the Saints to victory over the evil Packers.  I was up against Abby, who had Marques Colston and Packers-D going.  When Colston caught 1 pass for a 70-yard touchdown, I started to get worried.  Luckily, the Saints scored so many points, the Packers-D scored -7, offsetting just enough of Colston’s 13 points that I got the win.  So, I watched it till the end. 

As a result, when Karol woke up at 5:30, I didn’t want to cooperate.  Usually, we can get her to go back to sleep by bringing her into the bed with us, and we did that this morning.  Karol mostly cuddled with Jillian and I got about 2 more hours of sleep out of the deal.

Then, Jillian’s alarm clock birds started chirping.  The light started getting brighter.  And the buzzer went off at 7:30.  Ugh – real wake up time.  I didn’t want to cooperate. 

Jillian and Karol got up, and started their morning routine – milk in bed, “where’s mommy’s nose?” “where’s daddy’s nose?” and the like.  I was listening, but not ready to open my eyes.  Then Jillian said, “Give daddy Eskimo kisses.” And, a small nose rubed against mine.  I thought I’d see Jillian moving Karol across my nose. But when I opened my eyes, she was doing it all on her own!

I don’t know where she learned how to do Eskimo kisses, but it was a really nice wake-up call.  Much better than a screaming alarm clock.

November 24, 2008

Cheez-Its for Breakfast

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 7:49 pm

Karol is not much of a breakfast eater.  It generally takes at least an hour of being up and about before she’s really ready to put anything away.  Unfortunately, it means she usually doesn’t eat much of anything until she gets to Lori’s.  This morning was no different.  I made some oatmeal-banana-yogurt for Karol, like we do most mornings, but she was much more interested in cuddling her dog (Halloween-costume-turned-stuffed animal).  So we decided to pack up the oatmeal concoction for later along with a baggie of Cheerios and get dressed and ready instead.  On the way out the door, however, Karol spotted Matt’s baggie of Cheez-Its (I pack his lunch most days, too) and started squealing and signing “more,” which I guess can also mean “gimme some of that!”  So, Matt packed a second bag of Cheez-Its for Karol and a calm and pleasant car ride followed.

This weekend was an exciting one, because it was mainly a Mommy-Daughter weekend (usually weekends are Daddy-Daughter time, since I’ve been drilling every other weekend).  Matt had a very insightful Wall Street Prep Course from 9-5 Saturday and Sunday, and so Karol and I got to spend the days together.  On Saturday there was a lot of driving around running errands.  I think the highlight of this part of the day was our first stop: Ikea.  I needed some storage containers for Karol’s old clothes, and so we got there right as the store was opening at nine and had most of it to ourselves for a while.  We brought Monkey (Karol’s backpack/leash) so Karol could run around.  And boy did she!  The long aisles with bins of stuffed animals sprinkled throughout the store, made perfect little runways for her.  I soon realized that Monkey is not a Karol leash, it is a Mommy leash.  After a while, Karol wanted to expand this new found freedom by wriggling her hand out of mine to walk/run along ‘by herself.’  This was accompanied by squeals of excitement, too.

After about an hour and twenty minutes of Ikea fun, we decided to buckle down and get the rest of our errands run or else we’d be out all day.  So it was off to Home Depot for Matt’s window sealing kits, Costco (which turned out to be a nightmare, so we abandoned the cart and turned right around), and Target.  Karol and I discovered a new Target (Greatland-Silver Spring) that is twice as awesome as the Wheaton Target we normally go to.  If I had it to do over again, I’d have skipped Ikea and Costco and just gotten everything there.  They may have even had the window sealing kits, had I looked, and Target can be just as much fun to run around as Ikea.

We finally made it home a little before noon, I think, and Karol and I both were ready for naptime.  Luckily I woke up about an hour before she did, which gave me time to do some much needed cleaning (well more like picking up/organizing) around the house.  That brought the Hurricane Karol effect down to a light drizzle…for now.  

Sunday was laundry day.  And, oh, our plumbing decided to back up all over our kitchen, too.  Matt and I woke up around 5 to a huge mess of raw sewage on the countertops, floor, stove and in the sink.  Matt got it all cleaned up before he left (no, I wasn’t much help, except for moral support) AND managed to carry all the laundry down to the laundry room before he left for his prep course.  

Karol and I spent the morning in the laundry room washing and drying all the laundry (Matt brought it back that afternoon).  I CAN’T WAIT TO HAVE A WASHER AND DRYER!  The issues we have with doing laundry at our apartment are too numerous to list here, so I’ll spare you.  Needless to say, it’s a real pain.  BUT, we managed to get everything washed and most of it folded and put away. 

For the rest of Sunday, Karol and I worked on Christmas Cards!!!  NOT an easy task with a toddler vying for your undivided attention.  I think from now on I will seriously limit my weekend goals when Matt’s not around to help wrangle the tot.

Well as I type this, Patrick is making himself quite cozy in the ribcage-cubby-hole Karol carved out for herself while she was there.  Karol would simply stretch her legs into my ribs, where as Patrick likes to use them as a unique percussion instrument, thumping away with his little feet.  

The past few days have really been challenging ones with contractions and aches and pains galore.  I didn’t really have any of this with Karol, so I guess Patrick is making up the difference.  Matt has definitely been doing his share of back and feet rubbing.  What a trooper.  And I’ve gotten REALLY slow at picking Karol up nowadays, so I try to leave that to Matt as well.  It’s not holding her that’s the problem, it’s the bending and lifting that challenges me.  Oh well, just 8 short weeks to go, right?  I can’t wait to have my body back!  And of course I can’t wait to have little Patrick out here where I can squeeze him 🙂  I’m really hoping he’ll decide to make an early (but not too early) debut, but we’ll see.


Here are some pics Lori sent to me just today of Karol and Sarah squirrel-watching!  I guess Karol spotted him first, that little nature girl.

November 21, 2008

First Post Ever

Filed under: Uncategorized — dcmom @ 7:40 pm

Hello all.  I’m starting this blog for the handful of people (mostly Karol and Patrick’s grandparents, I’d assume) that we don’t get to see or talk to very often.  

Well first things first.  Patrick is 7.5 weeks from his expected arrival.  Due to the Thanksgiving holiday our 2 week check up appointment had to be pushed back to 3 weeks, which no one is terribly sad about.  It’s quite a hassle to go to the doctor that often, especially when all they do is ask ‘how are you feeling?’ and then send you away to make another appointment.  Even Patrick protests.  I don’t think we’ve ever had a check up that he didn’t kick the heart monitor away.  

Our next check up, however, we will also be having an ultrasound.  I know I’m a terrible daughter/in-law/granddaughter/niece for not sharing any of the ultrasound pics we’ve gotten so far, but I can’t get them to scan at home or at work!  They need to make ultrasound machines equipped with digital email sending.  Anyway, our next appointment is Friday, Dec. 4th, and the following day I can try to scan the new Patrick pics from Fort Meade since I’ll be at drill.

Today is Friday, and the week has really gone by fast for me.  For about 2 weeks now, we have been driving rather than metro-ing in from Silver Spring (home) to Arlington (work/school).  The GWU business school is literally right on our way, so we typically drop Matt off in the mornings which gives him an extra 45 minutes our so before class starts.  Then it’s just about another 5 minutes and we’re at Lori’s, which is where Karol ‘works.’  Her work looks a lot more fun than mine.  Karol has started taking the morning car ride as a nap opportunity, which makes for a peaceful trip most days, plus she is that much more refreshed for all the play, play, play of the day.

Matt’s schedule has been hectic, and I’m glad we invested in some good suits for him because he’s certainly put them to use!  He’s all fancied up at least a couple of times a week, it seems.  He is of course quite handsome in them and makes me feel like a bum because not only do I get to wear jeans & t-shirts to work, but I’m in maternity clothes, too.  

And boy, talk about maternity.  I feel HUGE with this baby!  Patrick has been a VERY mobile baby throughout this whole pregnancy, but yesterday was crazy!  He was visibly all over the place, punching and kicking all around.  I’m sure he’s trying to get situated for an early delivery (let’s hope).  The doc thinks he is going to be big compared to Karol, and I tend to agree.  I feel like Patrick is growing faster than his support system can keep up!  The next ultrasound will be checking for size and positioning, specifically, so that will be interesting to find out.

Next on the list, I have to talk about what a brilliant genius my little Karol is.  Was there ever really a question?  This morning, she and her Daddy were saying the word ‘fish’ together, because she hasn’t mastered the ’sh’ sound yet.  Of course she thought this was hilarious.  

For those that don’t know already, we have been teaching Karol ‘Baby Signs,’ which is really just American Sign Language repackaged and sold for ridiculous amounts of money to sappy parents like us.  But Karol loves it.  She’s got 3 DVDs: Park Signs, Pet Signs, and Bedtime Signs, and she is able to do most of the signs in them.  We also have one called My Favorite Signs that came from the starter kit.  At first we were unsure about letting her watch TV, but within a couple of days of watching My Favorite Signs she not only started learning the signs but some of the words as well.  So I got the above mentioned 3-pack.  There are 3 more, but we’ll wait on those until they are a little cheaper since they only come individually.  We’ve taught Karol a few extra signs as well that have made life SO much easier.  We attribute her lack of frequent tantrums to this handy method of communication.

All that being said, the other day I got one of my weekly emails discussing language skills at this point in Karol’s development.  Here’s what it says:

“Ball,” “dog,” and “bye” may be your child’s favorite — and only — words at this point, though some early talkers may have as many as 20 words in their vocabulary. Maybe she uses the words at the right time for the right things, or maybe she says “dog” when she sees other furry animals with tails. Don’t be discouraged — that’s an indication that she’s learning to group things together. Just say the correct word in a matter-of-fact tone (”That’s a horse, honey; horses are bigger than dogs”), and she’ll soon pick it up.

So I thought it would be interesting to count how many words Karol knows, and since this blog is all about bragging, you get to hear all about it!  So here goes.

1.  Mama – That’s me!  She knows the sign for this as well, but doesn’t use it unless you ask her.

2.  Dada/Papa – These are both Matt.  She uses Dada more.  Also knows this sign, but it’s hard for her to distinguish between the ‘mama’ and ‘dada’ signs since they are very similar.

3.  Dog – Or “Doh!”  This is by far Karol’s favorite word ever.  Probably because it’s her favorite thing ever.  She loves, loves, LOVES dogs.  She’s extremely fluent in the sign for dog, and if you don’t know it, she will teach you, whether you want to do it or not.

4.  Duck – “Duh.”  Easily confused with ‘dog’ except that she knows the sign, too, and usually does them in conjunction.

5.  Again – This one started as ‘gaa’ and has evolved to ‘agaa.’  She learned the English and the sign for this simultaneously and always uses them together.

6.  Cat – “Caa!” She learned the English and the sign from the Baby Signs DVD.  She usually does them together, unless she’s pointing to a cat in a book.

7.  Nose – “No” or “Nah.”  This is usually a super-fun game, answering the questions, “Where’s Mommy’s nose?  Where’s Daddy’s nose?  Where’s Karol’s nose?”  We point to our noses a lot more now that we have a toddler.  She can also locate eyes and mouths, but doesn’t really say the words yet.

8.  Cocoa – “Coco.”  Karol learned this one because the name of the bunny at her child care is Cocoa.  This can get confusing, as ‘cocoa’ ‘bunny’ and ‘rabbit’ all mean the same thing, but are different words.  I think she’s just now starting to understand, however.  There is also a sign for this, but it’s very difficult as it requires some pretty advance fine motor skills.  Imagine putting up two fingers the way you normally would if you were making a ‘bunny’ with your hands; the sign is the same.  She can recognize it and do the hopping motion with her hand, but getting that 3rd and 4th finger to stay down is pretty hard!

9.  Ball – “Bah.”  She likes to play with Matt’s basketball and football, which I swear she has been saying ‘fuh-bah’ when referring to it.  So that counts as 2, I think.

10.  Bird – Easily confused with ball, this one is ”buh,” but she also knows the sign, so we know what she means.

11.  Bath – “Baa.”  She recognizes and repeats the sign for this as well, but I’ve never seen her bring up the topic of baths herself.  She loves taking them though.  

12.  Squirrel – So far this is pretty much just the middle of the word, “Irr.”  However, with the extensive animal watching that occurs at Lori’s, we know what she means.  They get to watch birds and squirrels partake from feeders on the balcony whenever they want!  Mommy and Karol spot them all the time when we’re walking, too.

13.  Turtle – “Tartuh”  This recently acquired word is still in formation, as it’s one of the first 2-syllable words we’ve attempted.  The sign for this is extremely complicated for a toddler if you ask me, but she picked up the English from her Baby Signs DVD.

14.  Fish – As stated earlier, this is just “fuh” for right now.  She is pretty savvy with the sign for this as well.

15.  Niña/Niño – She learned these from one of the first books she ever got and still reads often.  This is of course the Spanish for girl/boy and she says “nina” and “nino,” respectively.

16.  Bye-bye – “bah-bah.”  Sometimes she’ll say this and wave but it’s primary use is in responding to Paul and Judy in her Pat the Bunny book.

There are some words that she knows only the signs for.  Here they are:

1.  More – She has said this in the past in English but is usually eating when she uses it so typically only does the sign.

2.  Out – She’s great at doing this when she wants out of the high chair, the tub, the crib and sometimes uses it when she wants off Mommy and Daddy’s bed, which is too high to crawl down from.

3.  Touchdown – Okay, I don’t know if this is a true ASL sign, but naturally we had to teach it to her.  Mysteriously, she has spontaneously done the ‘touchdown’ sign the past 2 fridays, almost as if she’s anxiously anticipating the weekend of College and Pro football ahead (and Matt always makes sure this is fulfilled).

4.  Flower – She uses the ‘flower’ sign for ‘flour’ as well, which is funny.  

5.  Eat – It’s not often that she’s hungry enough to stop playing before we feed her anyway, but occasionally she’ll use this as a request for something to hold her over ’til dinner.

6.  Milk – We think she uses this when she really means ‘drink,’ but I just learned the sign for ‘juice’ yesterday so we can start differentiating between juice, milk, and water.  

7.  Pacifier – We don’t know the real sign for this, but I used to make a pinching gesture with my hands when I referred to it, and Karol perceptively caught on.  I regret doing it now, because I’d rather teach/know the real sign, but it’s effective for now, and Karol only ever asks for it when she’s ready for cuddly time and bed.  

8.  All Gone/All Done – She uses this when she’s done eating.  Takes the guess work out of feeding her.

These are all from watching the Baby Signs DVD, and we use them when we’re reading and playing to reinforce the concepts.
9.  Light

10.  Sleep

11.  Stars

12.  Moon

13.  Hat

14.  Book

15.  Tree

16.  Swing

So all in all, Karol knows quite a few words one way or another at 14 months old.  She is of course a genius.  

Just yesterday a co-worker was telling me war-stories of dealing with her toddler daughter, just a few months older than Karol.  We’re talking kicking and screaming, rolling around on the floor tantrums.  Luckily we’ve never seen anything like that from Karol, and I hope that stage can just be avoided all together.

Well I hope this has been a sufficiently long and fulfilling post.  Until next time, be well!

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