Zach's grandma said it best when she told us, "You have a beautiful family. Kinda loud, but a beautiful family." How right she was! And we sure love our loud, crazy, fun, active, silly, loving, chaotic, beautiful family.
Today as Staley was watching her after-nap television show, she crawled onto my lap. She sat on my lap while holding her blanket and her Yellow Bear for only a minute or two before climbing off. She then proceeded to put her blanket on my lap. Touched by her sweetness, I said, "Thank you for sharing your blanket with me." She responded, "I'm putting my blanket on your scratchy legs so they don't hurt me." Then she crawled back onto my lap, protected from my scratchy legs by her blanket, and watched the rest of her show.
There's nothing like the honesty of a two year old to keep you humble...and remind you that you need to shave a little more often.
Kids change things. It's a fact. When kids enter the equation of life, priorities shift. Our time, our efforts, our focus centers around them, not us. And when this happens, we have to decide what from our pre-kid lives is important to hang onto and what can be let go. Weekly movie night, happy hour, motorcycle trips, marathon training, concerts, poker nights, exotic vacations. Some things just have be pushed aside to allow the time and energy required to create a healthy family.
Unfortunately, time with friends is one of those things that becomes harder and harder to maintain. As life changes, our friendships often shift. We hang out more with the friends who have kids the same age as our kids, whose paths in life mirror our own. Friendships of convenience (neighborhood friends, local friends, playgroup friends) emerge, and friendships become more about play dates and less about chick flicks and margaritas. And while there is nothing wrong with enjoying the company of someone who is walking in your shoes, there is a sadness when we drift away from friends that were once a big part of our lives.
There is something comforting in our old friends. Friends who knew who we were before we became who we are. Friends who walked beside us through major milestones in our lives. Friends who have seen us through bad boyfriends, bad haircuts, and bad choices...and who can laugh with us about those now. Friends who love us for who we were and who we are. And that is why I cherish my annual Girl's Week-end.
Girl's Week-end is when my college friends and I make time in our busy schedules to spend a week-end together. And whether we are on a cruise ship or at the Eureka Sesquicentennial, in Vegas or St. Louis, dancing at a club or sipping wine, wearing pajamas or 80's prom dresses...no matter where we are or what we are doing, we are together. We are catching up. We are reminiscing. We are laughing. We are sharing our lives. And we are having a great time doing it.
I so look forward to Girl's Week-end every year. My friends and I met at college when we all ran cross country and track together. We trained together. We traveled together. We lived together. And now we have husbands and kids and careers and homes. Our week-ends together have evolved over time. We travel less, dance less, and go to bed earlier. But we still have a great time together. And this past week-end was no exception. Most of the group (we missed you Tara and Christie!!) came to Eureka (since I'm nursing and couldn't really leave for the week-end.) We had a low-key week-end of eating out, shopping, catching up, and enjoying some live music and wine at a local winery.
I am so blessed by my friends. We may not talk as much as we should. We may not get together with each other often enough, even when we live close. We may have busy lives. But one week-end each year, it's all about us. And even though we are older and our week-ends together are tamer, being together is still fun...and it still involves dancing.
Staley has not been napping very consistently over the past two weeks. (Not due to pooping. Thankfully that's been going well. Just another no-napping phase, I guess.) On Friday, I was trying to convince my wide awake, talking, singing girl to quiet down and sleep. I told her that if she didn't nap, she might be too tired to go to the Eureka Festival that evening. After an hour of talking and singing, I got her up and later that evening, we did attend the festival. So yesterday, Zach put Staley down for her nap and again, she wasn't sleeping. Zach went into Staley's room to remind her that she needed to sleep.
Zach: "Staley, I really want you to take a good nap today so that you won't be too tired to go to the Family Fun Day [which is what Staley was calling the Community Bash at Aunt Jill's church]."
Staley: "Well, we went to the festival last night and I didn't nap yesterday, sooo....."
Staley definitely built a compelling case. She knew her facts. She linked her current situation to a past situation. And, as she assumed, she DID get to go to both the festival and the community bash without napping.
Then today, Staley wanted to play zoo. This is a game she created where she empties all her card games into her backpack as 'tickets' to the zoo. I don't like this game as the sorting and returning cards to their appropriate packages is a time-consuming effort. So I told Staley that we could play zoo, but she was going to have to help put away her 'tickets' when she was done playing. Staley was agreeable to this contingency...until it came time to put away the tickets. Then my overly tired girl (that I am definitely NOT blaming on my husband not getting her to bed until 9:00 last night) had a melt-down about putting away the cards. During her melt-down, I told her that we would not be playing zoo anymore today because of the tears. After her nap today, we had this conversation:
Staley: "Let's go in the playroom and play zoo." (Looking at me expectantly to see if I was going to remember my earlier punishment.)
Me: "You are not allowed to play zoo anymore today because you cried about putting your tickets away."
Staley: "I have a great idea. Let's play festival."
Me: "Okay. We can play festival."
Staley: "I will need to go in the playroom and get my festival tickets."
For the record, she did not get to play any games with 'tickets' today. But that doesn't change the fact that she is quick on her feet. I love that my daughter is smart...but sometimes she's too smart for our own good.
Five months ago today, our little Adelie was born. Oh, how time flies. Adelie is now weighing over 14 lbs. She is still in size 2 diapers, her 3-6 month clothes, and her 6-9 month pajamas. She eats 5-6 times/day, takes 2-3 naps, and sleeps 5-8 hours at night, although lately has been throwing some 4 hour stints in there, just for fun.
Likes: Adelie is still the happiest baby ever. She loves people, attention, music, being outside, her feet, bath time, having things to grab, and her big sister. Books are still fun, and her current favorites are books with flaps, books with textures, and books with sounds. Her treasure chest toy and her sea creature toy are top of the toy list, and she loves her apple rattle. She still enjoys watching her mobile and her ceiling fan, and works very hard to look at the television or the computer screen anytime they are on. If we are out and about, Adelie isn't afraid to skip a nap so she can soak in the excitement. Her thumb is pretty okay too.
Adelie and her thumb enjoying some quality time
Dislikes: Adelie's dislike list remains short...and relatively the same. She doesn't like being hungry, tired, or cold. Being strapped in her carseat when it's not moving (especially when she is hungry or tired) is not fun. And when she is feeling bored or lonely, she will let us know.
Skills: Adelie is my little mover. She is a proficient roller (primarily to the left) and will roll across the room quickly. She can also scoot a little on her belly using her legs. She can sit for a minute or two at a time, but still falls over when she reaches too far or gets too excited. She loves to stand up when held.
Pretty pleased to have rolled under Grammie and Grandpa's bed
Playing with her feet is one of Adelie's favorite past-times. Adelie will grab anything she can get her hands on (including hair, jewelry, noses, glasses, and napkins) and, if possible, will then try to put it in her mouth. She can activate her cause and effect toys, and has even turned on her own mobile once. She is starting to try to turn pages of books. She is a super-star when it comes to splashing water all over the bathroom floor during bath time. Adelie can 'talk', laugh, and squeal...and her smile can't be beat.
Feet are awesome!!
There is nothing I love more than seeing my baby smile. I can't imagine my life without this little ball of joy. My heart is full!
As I was getting ready to put Staley down for her nap the other day, she walked across the room and shut her door. We had this conversation:
Staley: "I need to shut my door so nothing comes into my room and scares me."
Me: "What do you think is going to scare you?"
Me: "Monsters are just pretend. Sometimes they talk about monsters in movies and books, but they aren't real. You don't need to be scared of monsters."
Staley: "Then tigers. I shut my door so tigers don't come into my room."
Over the week-end Zach, Staley, Adelie, and I were all playing together in the playroom. Zach was holding Adelie on his lap when she had a major diaper blow-out.
Zach: "I think Adelie and I are both going to need new outfits."
Zach: "Because we both got poo poo on our clothes."
Staley: "Can I see Adelie's poo poo on her clothes?"
Zach: "Sure." (He then turned Adelie around so Staley could see the poo poo all up Adelie's back.)
Staley: "Can I see your poo poo?" (She asked as she walked around behind Zach, apparently looking for the poo poo up his back.)
In Staley's mind, I guess she thought that Adelie and Zach had simultaneous accidents that required clothing changes. For all our sakes, I'm glad that wasn't the case. (And if it was, I surely wouldn't be blogging about it.)
Since Adelie was born, she has slept each night in her co-sleeper right next to our bed. I have gotten used to her constant presence--her coos and grunts as she is waking up to eat, the sound of her legs kicking against her bed, the big smiles she gives me when I peer over the edge of her co-sleeper in the morning. But lately, the co-sleeper hasn't been ideal for my little mover.
Initially I would swaddle Adelie and place her cozily on her back in her co-sleeper each night. She would inevitably kick her way out of her swaddle blanket at some point in the night, losing it earlier and earlier the older she got until lately, the blanket has been off before I even come to bed. So I gave up on the swaddling. Then over the past few weeks, Adelie has been trying to roll over in her co-sleeper to sleep on her stomach. This has posed a few problems. First, if Adelie is going to sleep on her stomach, I prefer her to be in her crib with the movement monitor (because yes, even the second time around, I am a little paranoid). And second, there just isn't room to be rolling in the co-sleeper. I would put Adelie down on her back. A few hours later, I'd hear a 'thump', 'thump', 'thump' as she would keep rolling into the side of the co-sleeper as she tried to roll over. And, depending on her depth of sleep, Zach's alarm or Staley's voice in the monitor or my recent coughing fits have sometimes been enough to nudge her into wakefulness maybe before she would have come to that conclusion on her own. I felt like all this might be interfering with the quality sleep that I wish for my daughter...and for myself.
And so...Adelie moved out. Last night was Adelie's first official night in her crib. And although she is just across the hall with a monitor next to my head that exaggerates her every move, I still missed her. I think she missed me too since she requested a visit at 1:00 a.m. and at 5:30 a.m...and then decided to be up for the day by 6:30. (Definitely not her best sleep performance.) Obviously the co-sleeper was not the sole interferent in Adelie's sleep quality. Hopefully tonight is a more convincing display that the crib was the right move. Otherwise, she may be moving back in.
Adelie had her 4 month check-up yesterday. Our over-achieving grower has slacked a bit over the past 2 months. She is no longer in the 100th percentile for her length. Her 26.5" puts her in the 95th percentile while her 14 lbs, 5 oz lands her in the 38th percentile. The rest of her check-up went well. Adelie is right on track. She handled her immunizations like a champ with 15-20 seconds of crying followed by smiles for the nurse before she left the room. And Staley was a little jealous that Adelie got 2 princess band-aids AND an Abby Cadabby Band-Aid.
All things considered, it was a successful check-up. Adelie continues to grow and develop like she should. The immunizations were not too traumatic. And the 95th percentile is still admirable. Not quite a perfect score, but still in the solid 'A' range.
I have not been feeling great over the past week or so. It may be a summer cold. It may be allergies. It may be a respiratory infection. All I know is that coughing and sneezing, watery eyes and runny nose is less than ideal for enjoying beautiful summer days with my two little gals.
Last night I was feeling particularly rough. When we were saying bedtime prayers with Staley, we asked who she wanted to pray for. She immediately replied, "Mommy." Then she asked, "What hurts, Mommy?" I told her, "Nothing hurts. I'm just a little sick." Not convinced, Staley gave me some options. "Does your belly hurt? Does your head hurt?" I reiterated, "I just don't feel very well." Determined that something must hurt, she told me, "Maybe your belly hurts a little." So Staley's bedtime prayer last night was "Dear Jesus. Thank you for today. Thank you for the blessings. And please help Mommy's belly feel better." This morning, I called the doctor's office to see what medications I could take that would be compatible with nursing. Staley was 'reading' on the couch and I was talking with the nurse, going over my symptoms with her. The nurse asked if anything hurt, and I responded that nothing really hurt. From the couch Staley piped up, "Your belly hurts a little."
Last night as I was kissing Staley goodnight, I gave her a kiss on the forehead. She immediately asked, "Did you just give me your germs?"
In sickness and in health, Staley always seems to make me laugh.
Staley is bright and inquisitive. She understands concepts that I think should be confusing for a child her age. She asks lots of questions and makes amazing connections. However, there are some things that are just hard to understand.
Since Adelie has been born, we have been telling Staley lots of stories about when she was a baby. We talk about things that she did or ways that she acted. Staley is very interested in this and likes to hear about this time in her life. Lately she has been telling us about when she was a baby...with a few twists.
Staley: "When I was a baby and Adelie was a big girl, I would smile at Adelie. She weared my clothes and I weared her clothes."
Staley likes to talk about 'when I am a grown-up and you are a kid' or 'when I was a baby and Adelie was my mommy' or 'when I was a baby and Adelie was a baby.' The concept of age moving up chronologically and the fact that she'll always be younger than us and older than Adelie seems to be tricky for her right now. Tonight she was talking about when Zach was a little boy and she was his Mommy. Zach corrected her, telling her that when he was a little boy, Uma was his Mommy. Perplexed Staley asked, "So when you were a little boy, who was I?"
In the ego-centric toddler world, I guess it's hard to grasp the concept of not being in the world when it clearly revolves around you.
I enjoy up-dating our blog. I like looking back and remembering the little moments, comments, phases, personality traits that signify a specific period of time. It helps me remember when skills emerged, teeth came through, foods were started, trips were taken. I want to blog the moments so that I don't forget them.
However, sometimes there are things I want to document but I hesitate. Why? I'm not superstitious, but isn't it always the case. The minute you take your child to the doctor is when all their symptoms mysteriously disappear. Or the moment you are telling another parent how great your child is at sharing is the same moment that they are snatching a toy away from that parent's child. I worry that actually typing something on the blog will be just the reminder my child needs that they are making things too easy on me.
So I wanted to blog about how great Staley has been doing with her poo poo on the potty. About how it's been over a month since we've had a messy naptime pull-up and several weeks since we've had a poo poo accident. I wanted to blog about how Staley has been napping every day over the past few months. I was feeling pretty confident in this, so my plan was to blog about this during Staley's nap today. Until she didn't nap today...because she pooped in her pull-up.
So now I'm not even going to think about blogging about Adelie's consistent 8-9 hours of night-time sleep this past week with her world-record 11 hours of continuous sleep on Friday night. Because if I do, I know she'll be getting me up at 2:00.
Over the week-end, I was talking to Staley before she went to bed one night. I told her that the whole family would be home together the next day and we would have a family day. Staley said, "We could go on a family walk." I replied, "That's a great idea. Or maybe we could go on a family run." Staley responded with, "Or maybe a family skip."
Staley was looking at Adelie's newborn pictures that we had taken a week after she was born. Staley asked, "Why is Adelie naked?" I explained that babies look cute with no clothes on, so we took off her clothes for her pictures. Staley didn't seem convinced. She said, "Or maybe she was just getting ready for her bath."
Staley loves princesses. She is very well-versed in all the Disney princesses, what songs they sing, and who their princes are. She knows that Prince Eric goes with Ariel, Prince Philip goes with Aurora, and Prince Charming goes with Cinderella. One day she asked what Snow White's prince's name was. After a quick google search, we discovered that Snow White's prince doesn't have a name, so we asked her what she thought Snow White's prince should be named. Her suggestion? "Prince Jack."
This morning, Zach was explaining to Staley what a bank is and what a bank does. Staley said, "When I went to the bank, I saw a show." Confused, Zach asked, "You saw a show at the bank?" Staley, "Yes. The girls were dancing on the stage." Laughing, I responded, "That was at the Mother-Daughter banquet. Not the bank."
The other day, Staley lost her after-nap television privilege for not being a good listener. When she woke up after nap, I reminded her that we were not going to watch a movie. Her response? "I think Adelie wants to go to the library and get a new Dora movie. Adelie will want to watch her new Dora movie."
On Thursday, Zach stayed home with the girls while I went to work. They went out to lunch with Zach's mom. Zach and Staley had this conversation:
Staley: "I want to go to the restaurant with the bear."
Zach: "Well, we invited Uma to lunch so maybe we should wait and see where Uma wants to go."
Staley: "I talked to Uma yesterday and she said she wanted to go to the one with the bear."
Adelie continues to grow and change on an almost daily basis. She is more on the move than ever. With a combination of rolling and scooting (bringing her knees under her and pushing herself forward with her face on the surface--doesn't look comfortable), Adelie does not stay put. I'll leave her on her blanket or the floor for a few minutes while I take Staley potty or check on dinner, and will come back to find her turned 180 degrees or off her blanket or partially under Staley's bed or...
...checking out her pack and play.
And now that she has mastered rolling, Adelie is on the search for a new challenge. And that challenge...sitting. In the past few days, she has really taken off with her sitting skills. She will prop sit for up to a minute at a time, and can sit without using her hands to support her for several seconds at a time before toppling over.
Working on sitting skills
Motor skills aren't the only area where Adelie is changing. She is also 'talking' more and more. The newest sound that she has discovered she can make is a high pitched squealing sound. She sounds like a pterodactyl (or what I'd imagine a pterodactyl sounds like). I guess when you can't really form words yet, repeatedly squealing like a pterodactyl must seem like a good alternative.
Although all these new skills are exciting to behold, Adelie has also started to do something else exciting. Grow hair!! She has a nice, thin peach fuzz layer of hair covering her head now...along with her dark male-pattern-baldness ring around the bottom of her head and about a dozen longer hairs on top of her head that she never lost. Still not the best look for a gal, but she's moving in the right direction.