And Now She is Three

My poor little corner of the internet is looking dusty and neglected these days. Things have gotten in the way. I don’t know if I will ever write regularly again, I know enough to not commit to it. However, a little girl I know turned three earlier this month and we can’t just let that momentous occasion pass us by.

This past weekend we rented out the apartment complex’s clubhouse and threw her a Tangled themed birthday bash.

We repurposed a cardboard box and Brian painted this ridiculous duck sign. For those not acquainted with the movie, this is the pub, hang out of ruffians and thugs.

Since it wasn’t at our house or a location with built in activities, I came up with a few crafts to keep a dozen 2-3 year olds entertained. There was coloring:

Also good for keeping the adults entertained. And there was crown decorating:

And if you were Lorelei, there was face and arm decorating as well:

Maximus guarded the snacks:

Even Amelie had a good time:

Best party ever!

 

 

 

 

 

Guacamole

It’s not really guacamole.

Amélie had her first bite of solid food last weekend – really, my kids need to stop growing up already – and we went the slightly less-traditional route. Skipping over rice cereal, we went straight for the green goodness that is avocado. I’m not sure how much she actually got and I think we’re going to wait a little longer before we give her another try. Not that she didn’t like it, but I don’t think she got the whole keeping the food in the mouth and not thrusting it out with her tongue thing.

 

Of Penguin Backpacks and Swimsuits and the Smell of Summer

Lorelei started camp last week. Nothing real fancy, just four hours of playing in the sun and getting wet and making crafts and singing songs, etc, etc.

I bought her a penguin backpack for the occasion and from it’s arrival there were daily demands of “Wear pack bag! Wear pack bag!” (If you correct her and tell her it’s a backpack, I will cut you.) Every morning it’s packed full of diapers (don’t get me started), a change of clothes, another swimsuit, a polka dot beach towel and a lunch. It comes home full of wet swimsuits and dirty clothes. Empty lunchboxes. Tucked in among the wreckage is a new craft, a necklace or a painting. I don’t know what to do with all of these things, but I do know I’m not throwing them out.

She comes home tired and smelling of sweat and sunscreen. She tells me she missed mommy. But she asks to go back.

Stop growing up, kid.

Four Months: On My Back

Dear Amélie,

Sometimes I wonder if you’ll look back at pictures of your infancy and think your mother is weird. Are you going to look at them and say, “Wow. My mom was a dirty hippie.”

Or…are the things I’m doing now going to be the norm when you are a mom yourself? I hope that’s true. I hope it’s not going to be weird to cloth diaper your kids and breastfeed them until they are ready to wean themselves and wear them as much as they want to be worn – even on your back!

You should know, that I didn’t expect to be this mom. When I was pregnant with your sister, I only had a vague idea of what I wanted to be like and, for the most part, I failed. With you. Well, with you, I knew what I was getting myself into. So, I toss you over my shoulder and walk around the zoo in 100 degree heat, you sleeping happily against my neck.

I hope you don’t think I’m weird.

Love you always,

Your (dirty hippie) mother

Vital Stats:

  • Likes: Chewing on Sophie (and your dinosaur and your hands and whatever else you can get a hold of), snuggling before bedtime
  • Dislikes: Bedtime
  • New Skills: Rolling over (back to belly), scooting yourself around in a circle
  • Weight: 14 pounds, 1 ounce
  • Height/Length: 25 inches

3 Months (and 4 Days)

Dear Amélie,

My favorite time of day is the early morning (usually around 5 am). Not because I want to be awake – because I don’t – but because that is when you are often waking up for the first time. The sun is thinking about coming up and the light in our bedroom is a bluish gray. Everything is washed in that color. I wish I could take a picture of that light in such a way that it would do it justice. I love that light. I love it because you want to snuggle with me. After your early morning nursing session, still drowsy from milk and a trickle of it running across your cheek, I let you lay in the crook of my arm, your head resting on my bicep. You smile in your sleep and your hands flutter and grab at my skin.

I want to freeze time. I want to live in those moments before you are fully awake and revel in your babyhood. My second little girl. The days are flying by. Since I last wrote, you’ve attended a wedding:

Started to smile:

Played with your sister:

Slept through trips to the zoo (yes, that’s you snuggled in there)

And the Magic House.

While your first two months were easy – really, I lucked out and got the easiest newborn ever with you – the last month has been a struggle. But we’ve survived. We survived your first nursing strike. (You are making it known that you are not your sister, throwing me for a loop with something she never did.) Your awake more now which is good and bad. Good because I get to see your smiles and hear your giggles. Bad because that means I need to adjust again and learn how to split my time between you and your sister. I still haven’t gotten it right.

I promise it will get better. I thought a family of three was perfect but now I’m really digging being four.

Love you forever and ever,

Your Mother

A Few Vital Stats:

  • Likes: When Lorelei and I sing “Mahna Mahna,” people blowing gently on your face, watching baseball on the television, chewing on your dinosaur rattle (when Lorelei lets you have it)
  • Dislikes: Napping, being held in the cradle position (especially when you are most definitely NOT hungry), carseats
  • New Skills: So, so, so very close to rolling over, sitting in the Bumbo for 5 minutes before you start to tip over)
  • Weight: 12 pounds, 14 ounces (as of 5/30/12)

Smiles

This has been going on for weeks but since I’m lazy really busy trying to wrangle two children, I haven’t had a chance to share.

Eyes Open

Hey pretty lady.

The Trials of Two

Don’t let that innocent little face fool you, this child is out to destroy my sanity.

I admit that we have been really lucky the last almost six weeks – despite the stomach virus and the never-ending cold – Lorelei has adjusted to life with a newborn fairly well. And we have, too. That doesn’t mean, however, that we haven’t hit a few bumps along the way and trust me, they were some pretty big bumps.

Lorelei has become really attached to her baby toys – all the various rattles that she hasn’t even looked at in a year – and has even tried to claim any new toys we have received for Amélie as her own. There is one toy in particular, a stuffed pterodactyl rattle, that has been the source of a lot of stress for me. I try to clip it to Amélie’s swing when she is in it and it’s as if Lorelei has super-hearing because she will sense the tiniest rattling sound from it and yell, “Dinosaur!” and then promptly try to pull it off the swing. She is less attached to the other toys – a squeaky zebra and a zoo-themed playmat – but if Amélie is “playing” with them she will try to take them away. It is starting to drive me insane and she was being so bad the other week that I had to take the dinosaur away from her and say it was being put up for a week. It kind of sucks for poor Amélie since it is in fact her toy but I didn’t know what else to do.

She’s also started to throw tantrums again. Nothing nearing the Great Tantrum of Thanksgiving 2011, but some pretty bad ones. She will scream for what she wants, despite being reminded numerous times that she needs to ask nicely. When we tell her “No” – usually to the second piece of candy or the television before breakfast time – she screams and cries and throws herself on the floor. We’ve started giving her mini time-outs where she has to sit in her bed for a few minutes until she calms down. She almost never calms down but when she starts pathetically calling for me (or Brian) it’s hard to resist. It’s only made worse by the fact that she apologizes almost without prompting whenever we go through this process. Why can’t just learn not to do it in the first place?

Yesterday, however. Oh, yesterday was really great. And by great, I mean completely awful.

On Wednesdays for the past month, Brian had been teaching an ACT prep class which left me alone with the children for dinnertime and bedtime. I was lucky to have my friends come over and help me out, but it was still very stressful. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and was rejoicing in this being the last evening he would be gone for awhile. Lorelei was doing her best to be up in my goodies and testing my patience by doing things that she has repeatedly been told not to do and, up until last night, she never did. For example, try to climb the microwave cart.

I knew it was just her way of trying to get my attention, especially since it had been mostly focused on her sister – newborns are high demands, yo – but it was working my last nerve. I should have tried harder to get her out of the kitchen and distracted by something else while I finished dinner, but I didn’t have the energy for a fight and so I didn’t. Big mistake. I was taking the meatloaf out of the oven and Lorelei decided that was the perfect time to test to see how hot the oven racks really were.

Ugh.

She has never ever shown any interest in the oven and has, in fact, run out of the kitchen the second I go to open it. This is usually without my prompting her and she will say, “Oven hot!” Last night, however, must have been a special occasion. She went to grab it and almost instantly fell on the floor and started crying in pain. Poor little girl. I felt so bad for her because it obviously hurt her a lot and the only thing that calmed her down and got us through the night was watching half of her new movie while Nick fed her dinner to her.

And right at this moment, we are having a nap strike which makes me want to put my head through a wall. At least the littlest one is asleep, right?

Five Weeks

Dear Amélie,

More than a month has already flown by. I remember when your sister was born, time seemed to drag. Days were endless and difficult. Not with you. You are easy. A happy little nugget, content most of the time no matter where you are – unless you are hungry and then all bets are off.

Your favorite thing to do right now (other than eat and sleep) is to lie on your playmat on the porch. A combination of sunlight and a gentle breeze can calm you. For some reason, it must be outside on the porch. You could be doing the same thing inside and start to get fussy, but the slight change of scenery seems to perk your right back up.

It’s still strange to find us as a family of four but there are definitely days when it seems that you’ve always been here. Your sister loves you but she is reluctant to share her toys – even her old baby toys which she has barely touched in a year. But when you cry she says, “It’s alright, Amélie.” She will even pat you gently on the arm. You are lucky to have such a great big sister and she is very luck to have you as a little sister.

We are all very lucky and we love you lots and lots.

Your Mother

Dandelion

She’s an addict now.