Archives for September 2016

Alice: Seven Months

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Within days after her six month birthday, Alice figured out how to crawl, sit up on her own and pull up to stand. And, now that she’s figured all this stuff out, she’s really only happy when she’s on the floor, free to move about as she pleases. The crib is already lowered as far as it can go, and when I put her in there, I can practically see the wheels turning in her head as she sizes up the situation and tries to work out an escape plan. It’s only a matter of time.

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It’s already next to impossible to take these pictures each month

All that to say, we are just barely keeping up with our Allie Girl these days.

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Alice is proving to be an inquisitive gal, seeming to want to understand everything about everything. Nothing holds her attention for very long, so it’s hard to keep her interest with toys or stories. But, of course, she wants all the things that she can’t have—no dog toy or stray floor Cheerio escapes her eagle eye. If she hears a loud noise, she snaps to attention and immediately scurries off to investigate. I predict that when she can speak, “Why?” will be her favorite word.

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The Thinker

Speaking of vocalizing, she is usually the most outspoken one in the room, and seems to only have one tone of voice: loud and whiny. I’ll be honest—it’s kind of annoying. I’m hoping this isn’t already a fixed personality trait or some sort of survival mechanism that second children demonstrate so that people don’t forget about them.

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She continues to be a voracious eater, and we’ve moved on to finger foods, like puffs, Cheerios, bits of veggies and pasta. My mom sent me a video of A shoveling angel hair into her mouth and I don’t think I have ever seen someone look so gleeful over plain macaroni.

Allie’s favorite things this month included Tracy, things that aren’t really toys (as noted above), Baby Lit books, bobbing up and down to music, spending quality time on the swings at the park, practicing her wave and and playing with the Ballapalooza and B’s Little People toys.

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Playing with her sister’s toys, as always

Happy seven months to our noisy, squirmy, curious girl. We love you even when you are yelling at us (which is, well, always).

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Pouting away, at B’s birthday party

 

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School Days

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Today marks the beginning of a new phase of our lives—The School Days!

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Tracy is totally smiling here. She’s proud of B, too!

Ever since I registered B for Pre-K in the spring, I have been both looking forward to and dreading this day. Out of all of the milestones we have celebrated so far, this one is most firmly in the most “growing up” category.  This is the start of a part of B’s life that will be separate from the one she shares with us. It’s the first time that someone other than immediate family will watch over her; and, she’ll be making new friends and doing new things that we won’t get to witness firsthand. And, while I was excited for her to indulge her love of learning and build her social skills, I was anxious about her reaction to the new people, new situations and changes in routine that this day would bring (i.e. B’s least favorite things). When we talked about school in the abstract, B seemed excited, but I don’t think she fully grasped the notion that she would be facing this situation without us standing right next to her.

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So, it was with all of these mixed emotions that we picked out a first day of school outfit, packed up her backpack and headed out the door on our first ever, first day of school.

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Last night, she said that Arthur was coming to with her, but he was cast aside for Mickey this morning.

And, it all went much better than I anticipated.

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B was excited to see that her school was adjacent to one of her favorite playgrounds. She went into the building, pretty much willingly, and stood in the back of the room for awhile, surveying the scene. She made the teachers laugh when she said “No!” in answer to every single question that she was asked. Finally, she made her way over to the classroom’s play kitchen and happily played for awhile on her own.

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We watched the other kids settle in, and I was relieved when I saw how expertly the teacher was able to calm down the criers. Eventually, Chester and I were the last two parents in the room, and predictably, B broke down when we headed for the door. Tears welled in my eyes as I heard the door click shut behind us, while B yelled “No! No! No!” just beyond it. Thank God for the privacy of our car and waterproof mascara.

I kept myself distracted with work for the next couple of hours, mentally preparing to return to find B still in meltdown mode, or perhaps asleep in the corner, after crying herself into exhaustion.

But, when we returned a couple of hours later, B was smiling. Her teacher said she calmed down pretty soon after we left. She enjoyed the playground, shared her Goldfish with the teacher, made her first school art project and played with another little girl. When I picked her up, she got a little teary and said “Mommy, you came back!” But overall, she seemed happy.

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We are just at the beginning, and I know there is still an adjustment period ahead. But, for now, I am relieved, and just so darn. proud.

Little B: 3 Years Old

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June 2016, Longwood Gardens

I have a three year old.

What. the. heck?

It seemed to happen overnight, but also take 30 years, at the same time. Time starts to work in this weird way when you are the parent of a three-nager, I assume. Yes, B can be as sweet as pie in one moment, telling me “Mommy, I missed you while you was gone” and making me wish I could stop time from speeding by. And, in the next instant, she’ll be mad at me for something and I’m getting a glimpse of what it will be like when she is a teenager; she heads for the front door and proclaims “I’m leaving, Mama!” while I warn her not to let the door hit her in the backside on the way out.

It’s so interesting to see the aspects of her personality that have remained consistent since she was an infant. Although she is getting better with adjusting to new people and situations, I think she’ll always be a cautious, somewhat introverted gal (just like her mama). I’m sure that once she starts school, part-time in just a couple of weeks, she’ll make even more progress. Of course, she says she is excited to play with the other little kids, but I am prepared for major meltdowns for at least the first few weeks. I hope it won’t be too traumatic for her (or me!).

B has entered an inquisitive phase, but instead of the classic “Why?” her favorite question to ask at the moment, is “Where we got this?” She wants to know where every toy, article of clothing, piece of food and furniture in our house came from. If I say a store other than Target, Toys R’ Us or Shop Rite, she tells me it came from there anyway, since those are her among her favorite places to go. The first time she asked me where Alice came from, I stalled for time (so not ready to have that conversation), and said to her “I don’t know, where do you think she came from?” B replied, “We got her from the hospital” and went on her way. Saved, for now.

Related to her love of shopping, she also enjoys most of the commercials she sees on television and can tell you all about the products that are advertised. When she sees a Lysol commercial, for example, she’ll say “Nee-Nee has that. She sprays it when I pee on the potty!” When she sees a Walmart truck, she’ll immediately break into a rendition of their current jingle. The other day she asked me, very seriously, “Mommy, do you have an Amopei (that pedicure file)?” and seemed genuinely disappointed when I said no. And, of course, every toy she sees, she wants. The list for Santa is miles long already. Our girl is a marketer’s dream.

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Easter 2016

I have been so proud of the way that B has adjusted to life as a big sister. She and Alice love each other so much and B encourages Alice as she learns new things and explores the world around her. Sure, there are times when jealousy flares. But, for the most part, B is a patient and understanding sibling and does a pretty good job of sharing the grown-ups (and toys) with Alice, when needed. I try to carve out time for things that just B and I can do together, whether it’s a baking project in the kitchen or a quick trip to Starbucks for a cake pop. I’m looking forward to doing more of that as she gets older.

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From Alice’s three month photo shoot. B always has to show her how it’s done.

B’s love for building with blocks has become even more intense–we might be raising an architect! She has become more imaginative with them in the past few months, and manages to incorporate all of her current favorite things into her creations. She can spend hours choosing just the right combination of pieces to build a zoo for her stuffed animals, a playground for her Paw Patrol pups or a Clubhouse for her Mickey Mouse characters. She also loves painting/coloring, decorating with stickers and magnets and playing games on her Leap Frog tablet or my mom’s Nook. Recently, she fell in love with bath tub squirting toys and mini character figurines and has amassed quite the collection of the Bubble Guppy and Paw Patrol variety, which all must sleep in bed with her. Between those and the stuffed animals, it’s hard to find B herself in there!

B’s dislikes at the moment include bugs of any kind, sitting at the dinner table in the evenings (between that and her general picky eating habits, it’s often a battle at our house) and even the mere mention of going to the doctor. No kid likes the latter, of course, but I think her fear was probably heightened when we all got the flu in April. It was the first time that she was legitimately sick and had to take medicine, which was a traumatic experience for all involved. On the plus side, if I need to leave the house or take a work conference call in the evening, we’ll just tell B that I have to go to or talk to the doctor and she lets me go with minimal fuss. When I come back, she’ll ask me “Mommy, do you feel better? Did you get a bandage?” So, for now, our white lie is working.

B is pretty much potty trained at this point, and is even doing pretty well with keeping her pants dry at night. Earlier this year, the transition from her little training potty to the real thing seemed like it would be a battle. But, one day, I just made up a story about the potty fairy, who takes the potties that big kids don’t need anymore and gives them to babies. B easily agreed to give hers up, so we put the potties into hiding and she never looked for them again. If I knew it would have been so easy, I would have made up the potty fairy months earlier! The only thing that is still a bit challenging is getting B to use a public restroom with minimal fuss (again, she’s a pretty cautious kid), but she is slowly getting much better in that regard, which makes our outings much easier.

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At Smith Playground, June 2016

B’s favorite place to go, aside from the retail establishments mentioned earlier, is the park. She still loves her swings, but also has become a pro at navigating the slides and other equipment. So, it was only fitting that we had her birthday party at Starr Garden, one of her favorite local playgrounds. She hid behind a tree when everyone was singing Happy Birthday to her, but otherwise had a grand time blowing bubbles, dancing and swinging away for most of the afternoon.

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Chicken Dancing

Chicken dancing like a pro

My little B: You drive me crazy and make me laugh everyday–sometimes at the same time. I wouldn’t trade you for the world. I’m so glad you chose me to be your Mama and can’t wait to see what you do next!

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