Wednesday, July 30, 2014

23 Months: Pure Delight

These are your last few weeks as a one year old. 

On a normal occasion, I’d be looking back at old pictures, reading the past year’s blog posts, and sitting in a puddle of sentiment and happy tears. I’m a sap. And I love memories. And although I’ve done some looking back, I’ve been so over-scheduled and pregnant that I barely remember things like switching over the laundry after it’s been sitting for 3 days. Plus, we’ve been doing plenty of living-in-the-moment, saying yes to every summer-fun proposition that’s come our way, and making plenty of new memories. Just the three of us. Which leaves zero time to get misty-eyed over my growing toddler, let alone work on a big girl room, a birthday party or a nursery. 

Yes. I am aware we have got to get our acts together and start saying NO. To pretty much everything from here on out. But fun is so hard to say no to!!!

However, this past month is absolutely worth gushing over. It was probably the best month we’ve had to date with you. Ever. And I really mean that. 

You have been an absolute joy. Just consistently delightful all the time. We first noticed it on vacation, when admittedly, I was prepared for daily fussiness and tantrums. But you were an angel, with not even one meltdown all week long. And if I’m honest, you’ve always been a bit of a fusser - anytime you feel discomfort of any kind. We’ve dealt with our fair share of intolerance and cry fits. But for the past month, we’ve experienced nothing but giggles, lots of love-giving, and lots of happy. No fussing. No meltdowns. You've become such a little buddy. 

I’m not exactly sure what changed. It could be the fact that *fingers crossed* you’re past your every-three-weeks of sickness since January. Or that you finally cut 6 of your hardest teeth at once. Or simply that you’re almost two, you’re more confident in your abilities, and your tolerance level is improving. 

Regardless of the reason, we have had lots of sweet and memorable moments.

- We've concluded long ago that you're not a morning person. So it always takes awhile for us to wake you. But every morning, before your eyes are open or before you are even fully awake, you start naming every one of your stuffed animals, "Ellie, Zebra, Britt, Giraffe, Val, Elliot, Baby Emma..." Either that, or you start naming every object you can think of. You and I recently went to the lake and slept in a room with others. I warned everyone to be prepared for an early wake up call to you naming things in the room. Sure enough, at 6 am, "blue light, fan, baby's bed, Lyla's bed, blanket, Mama's hair, Lyla's knees...

- You have really turned into such a little mama. You are loving baby dolls and stuffed animals more than ever, and I'm really hoping this nurturing instinct sticks around when your little bro/sis arrives. You were head over heels in love with Baby Emma on our trip to Rhode Island, and you've started calling your baby at home Baby Emma. And you love to set up all your babies, make sure each of them are fed, and then you kiss them and rock them at random. Talk about heart bursts. 

-  No has been the most popular word in our household as of late. "Lyla, can Mama have a kiss?" No. "Lyla, eat your green beans." No. "Lyla, it's time for a bath?" No. But then, you'll shock our socks off and surprise us with an unsolicited hug and kiss...or better yet, a "Yuuuv YOU!"

 I'll take 200 no's for 1 love you any day, my dear. 

- If "no" is the most popular word lately, "boobies" is a close second. You are absolutely obsessed. It all started when you saw me get out of the shower a few months ago and asked what "those" were. So, I told you "Mama's boobies". You decided to repeat it out of nowhere on the plane a few weeks ago. And by repeat, I mean you pointed and shouted as loudly as you could MAMA'S BOOBIES. And Gabe and I made the mistake of laughing. Now, you are completely intrigued and point out that everyone has them: "Dad's boobies. GiGi's boobies. Pops' boobies." But you find it most important to matter-of-factly tell everyone about it in public places, especially Target. I simply nod my head and say, "that's right" and duck into a corner. 

- You will not go to bed without saying your ABC's. In fact, one night, Dad and I read you story after story and finally told you it was time for bed. Tears began to well up in your eyes, and then you began to cry pretty hard. We asked what was wrong and you couldn't get out an answer. Finally, I realized you were looking up at a favorite book of yours, and I asked, "Oh, did you want to say your ABC's?" You immediately stopped crying and in the sweetest, softest little voice said, "Yeah. AB's." Dad and I obviously caved. 

- Speaking of ABC's, I'm not sure how or when you learned actually them, but you know every single letter of the alphabet. For the longest time you would say "M" for  "N" and "W" and would have a hard time with "Q, X, and Y". But out of nowhere, you suddenly knew them all. And most of the time, instead of saying "L", you yell "LYLA", or after seeing an "S" you yell "NAKE" {for snake. because you can't pronounce "s" when it's at the beginning of a word}. So cute. You also know your colors, shapes, and a few numbers. You're at such a fun, spongey age. I love it!

- You have started to notice boys. I kid you not. Anytime you see boys, no matter the age, you say "Hiiii boys" in a thick southern accent. We were at the grocery store the other day when a few teenage boys were walking down the aisle. You looked at them, smiled, and said "Hiiiya boys". They laughed, and so when we kept going you said, "Byyye boys." Lord help us now. 

"Cheers" is also one of your favorite things. One guess as to who taught you that. 

- You did something recently that made me tear up instantly. You had been pointing to my belly and saying "baby belly" off and on all day, then you'd lift up your shirt, poke out your stomach and say "baby belly". But out of nowhere, you walked over to my belly, patted it, and made your zebra lovie kiss the "baby belly". 

I can't. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New England Vacay

No matter how wonderful the vacation, it is always such a relief to come home. To get back to your own bed and to step back into a routine. 

Especially when you've been gone all but two weekends all summer.

But regardless of the gradual intensity of my need and appreciation for home while I'm away, I still crave the exploration and adventure of a getaway. Even if it's just a quick jaunt to a neighboring town or a day trip to see friends.

A couple weeks ago, we finally ended our summer travel ventures with a bang, {with the exception of recently committing to going on two more quick weekend trips} as we took Lyla on her second visit to our home away from home - Rhode Island.

Oh my, how traveling with a toddler looks so different from traveling with an infant. Both stages bring their own set of challenges, but traveling with a toddler is like anticipating the potential for the catastrophe that may or may not occur after a bomb threat. There's lots of breath holding and ridiculous entertainment antics.

But quite honestly, we were pleasantly surprised. Especially under the circumstances: 8 hours of travel; including two flights, a two hour layover and a one hour drive; all in the middle of the night; with a child who doesn't sleep while traveling. We only had one meltdown. Though completely warranted, the melt-down had me sweating bullets and on my knees praying that the plane would just open up and spit me out into the dark, night sky. Where it was safe. Without a screaming toddler and death glares from those who were trying to sleep as it was 1:30 in the morning.

But you know something? My poor *almost* two year old wanted to sleep too. She just couldn't. And after 20 minutes of body contortions, kicking, screaming, and crying, she finally looked at Gabe and I with tears in her eyes and begged "HELP PLEASE". And then she passed out. Right on my pregnant belly. For the last 15 minutes of the flight.

And then we did not have one more outburst or toddler tantrum the rest of the entire trip or flight home. She was a perfect angel. I guess she got it completely out of her system.

Which made this just the kind of trip we needed. We got to see old friends, meet new babies, spend time at the beach and the lake, ate a sinful amount of New England fare, and visited every one of our favorite local places (including the best coffee shops in the country).

It was the perfect "last getaway" for our family of three.

We got to soak up lots of quality family time. The kind of time that you just don't get at home during the hubbub of everyday.

 Our most favorite coffee shop of all time. 

And a whole lot of friend time...{This is what we would call a baby boom}.

 So weird she's the awkward big kid photo bomb. :(

I've never seen Ly so obsessed with a little. She still wakes up asking for "Baaaby Emma"

Jamestown, Rhode Island

Despite a day where the wind resembled that of Kansas and the ocean water dropped to subarctic temperatures, we still managed to have a delightful day at the beach. I was also reminded how I much prefer Pacific beaches...however a beach is still a beach. And no beach day would be complete without lobster rolls and clam cakes.

We hit up some of our favorite local spots and restaurants. And can I just say? I'm not sure I've ever, ever been to a place with cuisine as fabulous as that in RI. Who knew, right? 

I'd say it was love at first sip for Lyla and Del's Lemonade.

And just so Ly could have more water time, we got to spend the day at our friends' who live right on a private lake.

Hard to believe we will add family member #4 to the annual New England vacay next year.

And we can only hope the next one is a fantastic car/plane sleeper. {Please babe #2, I beg of you.}

Friday, June 27, 2014

Bumpdate on Babe #2

Oh, I think it's about that time for another bump date. 

And on that note, I'm hoping to do much better in other areas with Baby #2 in terms of keeping up with storing memories like I did with big sis, Lyla. Because so far, I have a horrible track record already with blogging and tracking the happenings during my pregnancy in general. 

Too tired. Too "busy". Working, chasing around a toddler when I'm not working, and traveling on the weekends for the past 2 months {boo-hoo, I know}. 

One thing I'm not doing? Working on a nursery that is currently serving as a storage room or transitioning Lyla to her big girl bed. Oh, and not working on the whole potty training thing, which would be the goal before baby #2 arrives. We obviously have lofty aspirations around here. But at the rate we're going, we'll be lucky if the crib gets moved to the nursery. 

But let's get on with some pregnancy #2 tidbits, shall we? 

- I still can't get over the fact that I no longer have morning sickness. I was robbed of any joys of my first pregnancy due to being sick for 7 solid months. The funny part about it was that I felt amazing in my last trimester, in the thick of sweaty, swollen, August. With this pregnancy, however, my morning sickness went away at the 14 week mark. It's so strange to be pregnant not hurled over praying for some relief. Thank you, Lord!

- On that note, the nausea may be long-gone, but respiratory issues have decided to take over that particular vacancy. I have had more than one breakdown {that I am not proud of} over the sickness in our house this season. Lyla has been sick in two week increments since JANUARY, with the evil culprits being colds, stomach bug, sinus infection, and ear infections. And an allergic reaction to antibiotics for good measure. Her pediatrician {and Google} assure me that it's common for toddlers to catch 8-10 viruses in their first year of daycare. Well, we're somewhere around 10. And unfortunately, with me being pregnant and all of my immunity going to babe #2, I'm catching everything Lyla gets. With the inability to get proper rest to recover. So, I haven't been able to enjoy pregnancy like I'd hoped...yet again. Boo. *Except of course in the healthy moments. I feel on top of the world!*

- This baby may only be 23 weeks old, but I have felt it more in the past few weeks than I ever did with Lyla the entire time I was pregnant with her. Doctors would usually look at me with concerned eyes when I told them I would go weeks without feeling her. My mom says I was the same way in utero - she rarely felt me kick. Oh, but this babe is a little mover and groover. Just all over the place. And I'm so in love. 

- I've noticed two things have happened significantly sooner than last time I was preg: I've gained weight quicker and my belly popped much sooner with this one, and I'm experiencing symptoms that never reared their ugly heads until third trimester. I've already got heartburn, I'm sleeping with a body pillow, I've got some joint and muscle aches, and I've felt a few Braxton Hicks already. It's too soon for these things! 

- I'm actually starting to *gasp* be ok with my body. I don't know, it's something about my belly getting rounder, that really makes me feel pregnant. And I kind it. Not all the time, but some of the time. I get so mad at myself that I'm not a chick who loves pregnancy - it definitely does not make me feel beautiful. How can it when I'm either fatigued, dry heaving, gaining weight in places {other than my belly} at a rapid pace, or experiencing just about every pregnancy symptom written about in Jenny Mcarthy's Belly Laughs? But because this will be my last pregnancy, I am really trying to take it all in and savor the sweet moments. Ones that I'll never experience again. Because as much as I really did not like being pregnant with Lyla, I missed it the moment she was born. I'm sure I'll doubly feel that pain when this babe makes its debut. Ironic, huh?

- I had a little pregnancy "incident" last week. I've felt dizzy on and off throughout both of my pregnancies. Very normal, especially for second trimester when all your blood heads straight toward the placenta. And on a normal, non-pregnant day, I can often get dizzy or feel light-headed thanks to low blood pressure. Well. I was at work last week, feeling a bit queasy in the morning. My co-workers started talking about blood, stitches, and trauma when I couldn't take it anymore. I felt really hot and went to sit next to the air conditioning. A co-worker asked if I was alright {knowing that I am never, ever, ever hot}, and I said I was fine. We got into a conversation to keep my mind off the queasy, when I cut her off and told her I needed to go to the back of the office because I didn't want to cause a scene if I passed out. Luckily she followed me, because the last thing I remember is asking her to grab me a bag of pretzels...when suddenly I went down and she caught me and laid me on the floor. There I was, pregnant and passed out cold. Apparently I was out for over 2 minutes. I awoke to a co-worker shaking me and yelling my name and paramedics with all their equipment, stretcher included. Oy. After I fully came-to, I refused to go to the hospital and Gabe took me to my regular OBGYN instead. I simply had low blood pressure (lower than my normal low), low blood sugar, and a heart rate that apparently marathon runners would kill for. Doc told me to eat more protein throughout the day and to immediately lie down on my left side if I feel dizzy...rather than standing up to walk away because I feel embarrassed. 

Well. Embarrassed I was. 

- This pregnancy is absolutely flying by at a hare pace. It could be the fact that we've been gone every single weekend, or it could be that we have a toddler and everyday life to keep up with. All I know is that October will be here before we know it, and I have never felt so unprepared for anything. Ever. {And by golly, it feels kind of good}. 

- Speaking of being unprepared, I'm not quite sure what to do if Babe #2 is a boy. Which I'm fairly confident it is. Not because of any particular feeling, simply because I picture Lyla with a baby brother. I picture little boy Chucks and a mini Gabe rough and tumbling around the house. Oh, but a baby sister would be quite the sweet surprise as well! But this whole not-finding-out thing is just so fun. It doesn't seem to be too fun for anyone else in our lives, but we sure are enjoying the guessing game! However, if it is a boy, we have absolutely nothing. Not one boy thing. Yikes. 

Well, here's to hoping for a bout of health and feeling good over the next few months. 

Sigh. The things our body endures when we're carrying our wee ones. Totally and completely worth every bit of it, of course. 

You hear that, babe #2? You're worth it!

Friday, June 20, 2014

21 & 22 Months

I truly can’t believe I have an almost two year old. 

Time seems to have a bone to pick with me, with no signs of ever slowing down. I haven’t even begun to plan your second birthday party, let alone gotten my act together to work on your big girl room. And let’s not even talk about the fact that “the nursery” is really just a half-painted free-for-all-room where clutter goes to die. 

Your little brother or sister isn’t even here yet, and I feel stretched so thin. {As evidenced by my lack of blogging and inability to keep up with your monthly posts.} 

But here is my best attempt to document the past two months, both equally awesome and awful. 

We dealt with quite a bout of illness in our house, not once but twice. Actually caused me to throw an all-out tantrum comparable to yours when I tell you “all done” with your plate of cheese. It all started with a double ear infection, which resulted in quite the allergic reaction to your antibiotic. Then a couple weeks later, you came down with an evil sinus infection that lasted nearly three weeks. One that kept you from sleeping for those three weeks. And because we’ve been working on sharing, you decided to give your yucky infection to mom and dad. So the whole house was in poor shape for a week or two. And the funny thing about sickness and not sleeping is the brutal reality that life and work and “maintaining” a house doesn’t let you stop, take a break, and get the rest you need. The show must go on!

Luckily, we’re all finally healthy, happy, and enjoying our summer evenings and weekends together! 

Little Sponge
Every single day seems to bring new adventure and learning.  As you’ve done since you were a baby, you are careful and deliberate with your actions. You impressively think before you act, and love to solve a good problem. You step over cracks, find the most efficient and safest route up and down stairs, bring us your plate and scoot in your chair when you are finished eating, and you endlessly open and close or find objects that fit together. We’ve started playing with big legos, and you’re obsessed. Anything you can put together and take apart and build keeps you occupied for days. But your all-time favorite thing? Transferring toys/cars/seashells/tiny objects from one container to the next or scooting those objects around in your stroller or shopping cart. You also take your coloring and reading quite seriously, and your favorite word at the moment is story. You would read 3 dozen books before bedtime if we let you. 

Although we’re still working on phrases and sentence-forming, you know a countless number of words, can name most objects, and repeat everything we say. Your current favorite, said with the biggest grin I’ve ever seen, is Big Sister! You always know exactly what we’re saying and asking you to do, and you can point to just about anything we name in a room or a book. You consistently know a few letters, shapes, and colors, and can count to three. We can hear you counting in your room at night, uhn, who, tree - FIVE TOES. And you’ve grown leaps and bounds in patiently making requests, help please GiGicheese pleaseall done pleasenight-night mama, and with intense enthusiasm, BREAKFAST! Overall, I'd say you're a fairly quiet child - not the chatter box like your mama was *and still is*. But hearing you talk in your sweet, quiet, little voice is just about the sweetest sound I've ever heard in my life. 

Cute Factor
You’ve done some pretty cute, notable things lately. You started showing that you are “surprised” by dramatically opening your mouth and eyes really wide and gasping. Where, oh where did you learn to be a little drama queen? ;) And we bust into stitches every time your run - you wiggle your hips back and forth and look just like Cam from Modern Family. Although you haven’t quite mastered on “solid ground”, you have developed a love for jumping. You “jum-jum-jum” in your bed every night after we tuck you in. And although you don’t really understand, you love to pull up your shirt, stick out your belly as far as it will go, and point to it and say “baaaby” because your belly looks exactly like mine these days. Maybe you are starting to understand that your world is about to be rocked? 

Running like Cam with "The Hip Wiggle"


Wild and crazy hair after nap time 

We have good days and bad days. Good weeks and bad weeks. You tend to act out when you’re tired or not feeling well {rightfully so}, but it can be beyond perplexing and downright maddening. We’ve done everything from ignoring to timeouts. *Funny story* You absolutely know you’re not supposed to throw your milk, and you did it anyway one morning. Dad sternly told you, “we do not throw our milk, Lyla”. And put it back on the table. You did it again. So, he put you in the corner, had you put your hands on the wall, and counted to 10.  After timeout, you went back to your little table, chucked your milk across the room, and immediately put yourself in timeout and put your hands on the wall. Giggling the whole time. 

A work in progress, I guess. 

Foodie Regression
I have no idea what happened to my diverse-palletted baby who was desperate to try any and all cuisines. I felt so proud having such a good little eater. You used to eat everything we gave you, no matter the texture, color, or flavor. Now? It's a crap shoot. Some days you like green beans. Most days you spit them out. You used to eat peanut butter sandwiches on the daily. Now, you will only eat them when I pull off the crust...and even then you may turn your nose up. You despise vegetables and meat all of a sudden, and you pick and choose when you want to use a fork and spoon. The only food items I can always count on are fruit and cheese. Some days, that's all that goes in your belly. *Sigh*

You aren't a huge fan of the car. Sometimes you fuss, sometimes you scream. You always beg for the little strap that has silk on it so you can soothe yourself and suck your thumb. Again, this is something new. All I know is that no matter what, you absolutely, positively will not sleep in the car. And if you do, it's for approximately 6 minutes, and then you won't nap the rest of the day. 

Although you do love babies, you absolutely dislike when I'm holding them. This may present a problem in a few months. 

You are most definitely not a morning person. Just like your dad, auntie, and GiGi, it takes you quite a bit to warm up in the mornings. You're usually quite needy and cuddly, and do not tolerate much of anything in the mornings besides our laps and breakfast. 

You aren't a huge fan of anything that is sudden, loud, or unpredictable. Like bubbles and sprinklers. You've started to warm up to bubbles, but you just don't like them to come near you. And the hose or sprinkler? Goodness. Way too unpredictable {and cold} for you! And it took you awhile to get used to your little kiddie pool. But once you did, we waited until you had pruney fingers and toes, and you still threw a tantrum when we had you get out. 

Dad can always help you get over your fears 

Hating the sprinkler ...

...even while running through with Dad :( 

Hating the kiddie pool {Gabe is going to kill me for this picture} 

See. Now that's not so bad


I love everything about you, Little Lady Ly. Every moment spent with you is so sweet. Excited to see what these next couple of months bring until you are "tee-eww"!