Archives for February 2017

Alice: 12 Months

I used to think that the first year of B’s life was the fastest one of mine…until these last 365 days.

Over the last few days, I’ve been trying to remember the details around Alice’s birth and it’s all a bit fuzzy. I was pretty mad that I had to be induced, feeling like I had somehow failed in some way because my blood pressure was out of control and my body couldn’t just do what it was supposed to on its own. I have a vague memory of watching reruns of Downton Abbey and repeatedly pushing the call button to summon the night time nurse every time it felt like my epidural was wearing off.

But, I clearly remember the moment that they laid her on my chest. Alice’s eyes locked on mine instantly, and it felt like we had known each other forever.

I loved her immediately.

But, bringing her home threw me for a loop. Those first few months were hard. While I was pregnant, other mothers told me how much easier it was for them to go from one to two kids. Not so, for me.

Knowing that Alice was going to be my last baby, I tried to soak in every bit of her newborn-ness, like I did with her sister. But, it turns out that’s a lot harder to do when said newborn cries almost continuously for the first five weeks of life and you are running up and down the steps with a potty train a 2.5 year old.

I remember my exact worst moment: standing in the kitchen, holding a wailing three-week old Alice, willing a bottle to just warm up faster god damn it, while an over tired B tugged on my pant leg while yelling “Mama, mama, mama” over and over again at top volume. All I could do was stare straight ahead and cry myself.

It took months for me to begin to feel like myself again and months after that to even begin to figure how to balance the demands of two tiny humans, along with all of the other things that life dishes out.

But, suddenly, one day, our new normal actually felt…well, normal. It was like she had always been in our lives.

And, before I knew it, it was February 18 again, and the littlest love of my life woke up as a one-year old. She is taking tentative baby steps, learning new words every day (her latest phrase is “good girl”) and getting bigger–in terms of size (21 pounds, 9.5 ounces and 2 and a half feet tall!) and personality–every day.

It’s hard to put into words all of the reasons that Alice is so special…but I’ll try:

Most days, it seems that no one loves life more than our Allie Girl. She smiles with her entire body, and when she laughs, her eyes crinkle so much that they are reduced to tiny little slits. When I’m having a down moment, all I have to do is think of her little face and I can’t help but laugh, too.

In spite of this extreme goofiness, she has a serious side. I frequently catch her in a daydream or intently studying her toys to figure out their inner workings. So, it seems that she’ll either be a stand-up comedian or an engineer.

A always seems to know when someone needs a hug, kiss, a laugh or a pat on the head (for her friends of the four-legged variety). I love how much she loves B. Just this morning, the two of them walked across the living room floor holding hands, and I was so happy because I know that no matter what happens in their lives they will always be each other’s “person.”

She has strong feelings, and she isn’t afraid to let you know about them. When she’s happy, she practically vibrates. When she’s pissed, it’s hard to tell the difference between her and the Hulk. She’s completely and totally herself.

I didn’t think it was possible to feel more love, joy and sense of purpose than I did when B came into our lives. And, then, along came Allie. She was the missing piece in the puzzle of our little family.

Happy Birthday, my Allie.

I’ll love you forever.

I’ll like you for always.

As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.

Alice: 11 Months

I tried to fix her hair for this shoot, but those wisps could not be tamed

By the time B was 11 months old, I was ready to give up on this monthly photo project, because she started to become pretty uncooperative around that time. Alice, on the other hand, LOVES having her picture taken. As soon as we set out this chair, she climbs right in and starts striking poses. It’s making me feel like it won’t be so bad to continue it past her first birthday…which is just a few days away!

Alice can stand up on her own, balance really well, and climb steps but as of this moment, I’ve only witnessed Alice take two baby steps on her own. When she figured out what was happening, she promptly plopped down on her butt. Since then, she’s taken to knee walking, which is hilarious, mostly because she resembles John Leguizamo playing Toulouse-Lautrec in Moulin Rouge! This unique style of movement gets her where she needs to go quickly, and now that she has figured out a way to stay in near constant motion, she is slowly losing her baby fat, which makes me a little bit sad!

One of Alice’s favorite things to do lately is our front window. The sill is just the right height for her to lean on and sometimes I catch her standing there, resting her head on her arms, and daydreaming. Other times, she scoots back and forth from one end to the other, taking in all the sights and generally being nosy.

Town Watch

She’s learned how to say and shake her head “No” (And, as with her sister, “yes” is taking longer to work on) and I think that I’ve started to hear some new words, too. For example, when I walk into her room in the morning, I usually say “How are you?” and she replies, “Goo!” (which I take to mean “good!”).

Alice generally doesn’t take crap from anyone. If B steals a toy from her, Alice tells her off and then attempts to steal it back. If someone gets to close to her and she’s not in the mood to share her personal space, she will try to claw their eyes out. She doesn’t seem to hold grudges though, because in the next instant she’ll give a “hug” which equate to her wrapping her tiny hands around our necks and pulling our faces towards hers for a slobbery kiss.

During the past month, she’s tried some new, non-pureed foods, including chicken, blueberries and peas. The latter was the only thing she threw on the floor. She is also getting to be a pro at using a sippy cup, which is good, because this house is becoming a bottle free zone right after she turns one…whether she likes it or not. She still has only four teeth to chew with, but we started brushing them anyway. It turns out that it’s one of the highlights of her day, probably because she thinks that the brush and paste are food.

Alice’s favorite things include putting things on her head, showing us her feet (and, when we ask her to show us her belly, hand, ears, etc., she still points to her toes) princess castle and her doll stroller. I’m trying to get her to sit still so I can read to her, but that’s a challenge! There are a few books that hold her attention, mostly of the board, textured and mirror variety, but it’s hard to get her really interested in stories. Most of the time, story time involves me sitting in the chair, reading while she scoots around on the floor. Way different from my experience reading with B, but at least it’s something!

One of this month’s highlights: First carousel ride at the Please Touch Museum

It’s hard to believe that in just a couple of weeks, we’ll be celebrating Allie’s first birthday. I’m looking forward to her party and her first birthday photo shoot and cake smash. Something tells me that she won’t be as sad about having a whole cake to herself as her sister was!

Happy 11 months, Ally O’Malley! I’ll eat you up I love you so!

My wild thing