March 12, 2009

Abbul and eckum!

Posted in Baby Talk tagged , , , , at 9:33 pm by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

Rachael said her very first word at eight months old – “duck”, plain as day, and she’s barely paused to draw a breath between chattering since. She was speaking in full sentences by eighteen months, which (combined with being a tall girl and having long hair) always made people think she was much older than she truly was.

Her sister isn’t going to have that problem. At fifteen months, she’s still practically bald on top. She’s normal-ish in size, and doesn’t say much. Until the past week, she’s been pretty limited to hi, bye bye, up, eat, no, uh-oh, bebe (baby), mama, dada and giggy (which is Mill-ese for “sissy”.) Suddenly, she seems to have decided that she’d rather talk, though, and now she’s attempting to repeat words left and right. She’s finally mastered duck, and is working on cup – her favorite thing in this world, although it still comes out “hup”. She can say abbul (apple), deuce (juice), kiki (cookie), ‘mon (come on) and pants whenever she sees a dog. My favorite, though, is “eckum”, said very quickly. This is “welcome”, and she says it every time she’s told “thank you”, which is constantly since she’s forever handing us something.

“Thank you, Milly!”
“Eckum.”

I love eckum.

Okay, wanna see a couple of new scrap pages? The big one in the center of this page is my all-time favorite of Rachael. She was six days old in these. 🙂

And this is Milly, snapped just a couple of weeks ago.

Both of these were made using the Sweet Dreams by Aisne’s Creations…whose creative team I’m thrilled to have recently joined. 🙂  Here’s the kit preview – just click on it to visit her store!

I’m behind on my scrapping (not to mention writing out updates on my children – oops), so I’ll be back soon with more…

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February 18, 2009

Be still my heart.

Posted in Baby Talk tagged , , at 9:57 pm by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

In addition to being a princess and a boogie, respectively, my children seem to be polar opposites. Rachael is always smiling; Amelia is always crying. Rachael has never met a stranger; Amelia doesn’t like people. Rachael is my little ray of sunshine; Amelia is my little black raincloud.

Grocery trips are always especially fun since Amelia arrived. They weren’t always so bad. From the time she could sit in the cart, Rachael would smile and wave and talk to everyone who passed by, and tons of people would stop to talk to her in return. Little Miss Sociable, that was her, and still is. She’ll talk to anyone, and she’ll talk until your ear falls off if you let her. Then Milly came along…first there was the learning curve of shopping with a preschooler and an infant, and that was no easy feat. I toughed it out until Milly was of cart-sitting age and breathed a (premature) sigh of relief – I had made it, shopping was going to be smooth sailing from now on! But it was not to be so.

Now let me preface this by saying that I believe that my children are gorgeous, as does every mother. But shopping around here seriously gives me a swelled head as every other person or so that we walk by stops to smile at my children and tell me what beautiful girls I have – this is very, very sweet of them and I appreciate it immensely, although Rachael is going to have a head the size of a beach ball before long if they keep it up. She *thoroughly* enjoys the attention. Milly, however…hooboy. I’ve been tempted on numerous occasions to make the child a shirt that says “please do not make direct eye contact” because she does not appreciate being spoken to by…much of anyone. She’s usually okay in the cart until someone stops to speak to her – and when they do, the lip pokes out, the face turns red, and the screaming commences – until that person apologizes and runs away. Guess who this embarrasses most? (Hint: it’s not my child.)

Soooo, we went to the grocery store this afternoon. It started off rotten, when I had to wake Milly up to haul her into the store, in the cold and the rain. She started screaming the second we walked through the doors, and I was just sure this was going to be a looooong visit. Thankfully, she calmed down in short order and we started shopping. Today was apparently Snooty Old Lady Day at Kroger, but even snooty old ladies pause to smile at cute little girls. After a while, I noticed that something wasn’t quite right…Milly wasn’t screaming. Not only was she not screaming, but she was making motorboat sounds with her lips as we scooted around the aisles and giggling at herself in between. I had to stop and collect my wits…what was wrong with my child?!

We were nearly finished shopping when one of the SOLs paused to speak to Rachael and was immediately dragged into an in-depth conversation about Rachael’s missing tooth. The longer they talked, the more sure I was that meltdown was imminent…but it didn’t come.

On to the checkout – another Milly bone of contention. One of her greatest joys in life is snatching things off of the conveyor (if she can smush it, so much the better) and of course, she is always most displeased at being stopped from this particular pursuit. She didn’t try it today. She sat patiently until the cashier handed over two stickers, and then happily played with hers for several minutes while everything was bagged and paid for. She offered the sticker to Rachael, then to the lady bagging our groceries. She smiled at her, and babbled at her. And when we were ready to leave and the cashier told her goodbye, my child smiled, waved and said “bye-bye!”

Be still my beating heart. I don’t know who this smiley little person is, but  I sure hope she hangs around for a while. Fourteen months of miserable baby is enough for anyone.

December 5, 2008

A post inspired by song lyrics.

Posted in Things I Think About tagged , , , , , , at 5:51 am by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

I just walked down the street to the coffee shop –
Had to take a break, I’d been by her side for eighteen hours straight.
I saw a flower growing in the middle of the sidewalk,
Pushing up through the concrete like it was planted right there for me to see.
The flashin’ lights, the honkin’ horns all seemed to fade away;
In the shadow of that hospital at 5:08, I saw God today.

Atheism is a difficult concept for me to wrap my mind around. I understand why some people turn their backs on God – this isn’t an easy world to live in. There’s so much evil, so much loss, so much sadness, so much hurt. Even if you’re reasonably privileged, even if you’re a really good person – no one is exempt from the hard knocks that this life has to offer. There have certainly been instances in my own life when I’ve questioned God, when I’ve been angry with Him, when I’ve told him that something was horribly unfair. I’ve had to remind myself that He is in control, that He won’t give me anything that I can’t handle. That despite the hurts, I have been incredibly blessed.

But for someone to believe – really, truly believe, that there is no God, that just boggles my mind. To believe that this entire planet is the result of a freak explosion, a random occurrence, a mishap – entirely unintentional, just happenstance. To view a breathtaking landscape and think that no one had a hand in it. To gaze into the heavens and not know that you are just a tiny piece of something greater.

I saw a couple walking by, they were holding hands –
Man, she had that glow –
Yeah, I couldn’t help but notice she was starting to show.
I stood there for a minute takin’ in the sky, lost in that sunset
A splash of amber melted into shades of red…

It especially baffles me when it’s a mother who doesn’t believe in God. The very physics of pregnancy is amazing…one day, you’re just you – the next, you’re you plus a living, growing human hidden deep inside. You watch your body grow and change, you see this child on the ultrasound screen, eventually you even watch him or her moving around beneath your skin. And then one day, given the chance, your body does exactly what it’s supposed to do, and you’re holding a brand new person that wasn’t there before…

I got my face pressed up against the nursery glass –
She’s sleeping like a rock,
My name on her wrist, wearing tiny pink socks.
She’s got my nose, she’s got her mama’s eyes,
My brand new baby girl –
She’s a miracle…
I saw God today.

This part of the song chokes me up every time. Twice in my lifetime, I have been fortunate enough to carry a pregnancy to term, to dream and hope and wonder about the little person growing inside me. Twice I’ve held tiny, pink newborn baby girls, damp and sticky and perfect, and marveled at their little faces, fists, feet. Twice I’ve looked at brand new people, full of all of the possibility this life has to offer, and known a love that I have never, ever known before. And twice I’ve known that I was allowed to take part in a miracle. A cell from my body and a cell from his may have been used in the mechanics of it all, but I could no more create a beautiful new life of my own doing than I could jump up and grab a piece of moon.

How could any mother – especially a new mother, holding her brand new baby – not look into that child’s eyes and not know that she was looking at the face of God?

I’ve been to church, I’ve read the book,
I know He’s here but I don’t look
Near as often as I should –
Yeah, I know I should.
His fingerprints are everywhere,
I’d just slowed down to stop and stare –
Opened my eyes and man, I swear,
I saw God today.

November 27, 2008

I guess she was looking ahead.

Posted in Baby Talk, Happy (Insert Holiday Here) tagged , , , , at 6:35 am by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

I suppose now that maybe, just maybe (although it certainly didn’t seem that way at the time), it’s a good thing that Boogie decided not to grace us with her presence on her due date. On November 27, 2007 – exactly one year ago today – I was pleading with my giant baby belly to please, please contract already. I didn’t really expect it to listen – after all, Princess was five days late, and she was (unfortunately) evicted. But I was in a great deal more pain the second time around, and was very anxious to have it over with.

Of course, I didn’t look ahead on the calendar to this year, to note that Boogie’s first birthday would have been on Thanksgiving Day, had she not been so stubborn comfy. And while it wouldn’t be a bad thing, per se, to have a birthday on Thanksgiving, I would much rather her have her very own special day.

I never expected her to hang in there for eleven days past her due date, and suspect that I’ll always hold a bit of a grudge over that one. In fact, I’ll probably remind her of it at least once a week for the duration of her first pregnancy someday.

Anyway.

Another Thanksgiving, and I have so much to be thankful for. A husband who is quite often maddening, but is truly a good man, a wonderful husband and father. Two beautiful, sweet, perfect little girls. A comfortable home, heat, plenty of food to eat, clothes, vehicles, creature comforts. An amazing family and terrific friends. A God who loves us and provides for us. Well, those are obviously a little out of order – but the point is, I could go on all day counting my blessings, and still never cover them all.

November 24, 2008

“Go ahead and do it wrong, it’s okay.”

Posted in Baby Talk, Things That Tick Me Off tagged , , , , , , , at 4:41 pm by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

GOOD NEWS: Boogie has officially unwrapped her first birthday and Christmas gifts, which was actually one really huge gift from her Gramma (love my mom, she’s just the awesomest.) She knew that we had saved to buy Princess a great carseat when she was close to outgrowing the seat with the 40 pound weight limit. There was no way in the world I was moving my then-not-quite-four-year-old into a booster, so we splurged on the Britax Marathon, which harnesses your kiddo in until they reach 65 pounds. (At nearly five, Princess is about 42 pounds. I’m guessing this thing will last a while.) Britax has a wonderful reputation for being one of the safest seats on the market, and beyond that, they have some cute covers – hers is pink and yellow and flowery. And according to her, it’s way more comfy than the Evenflo Triumph seat that became her sister’s.

Well, having Boogie in the Triumph was fine for a while. There was, of course, the nagging mommy guilt about having her in a seemingly inferior seat to her sister’s because, after all, I do love her just as much and absolutely want them to be as safe as possible. I’ve considered bubble-wrapping them, except that so much packing surely wouldn’t fit in the carseat, and there’s the chance of asphyxiation and whatnot. So naturally, my thought processes turned to obtaining a Britax seat for Boogie as well – and I fell in love with the brown and pink flowered seat that is exclusive to Target. Only problem? The price tag – $279. Ouch. You obviously can’t put a price on your child’s safety, but it wasn’t so easy to convince my husband, Mr. I Never Rode In A Carseat and Look At Me, I’m Perfectly Fine. (I know, it’s a long name, but it seems to be a family tradition – his father is Mr. Hey Did You Know That Your Baby’s Carseat Is Turned Backward?)

I thought…Christmas. Maybe I can justify it for Christmas. Of course, it would be the only thing that Santa brought her, and her sister would surely wonder why a) she only got one thing and b) it was something as terribly no-fun as a carseat. But then – dum-da-da- DUM! – Gramma to the rescue! Mom offered to buy it for her, so long as it could be a combination birthday (which is in early December) and Christmas gift. Would I mind? Heck NO, I wouldn’t mind! So she bought it, and last weekend she let her unwrap it early. Mr. INRIACALAMIPF was immediately sent outside to install it in my van, and Boogie rode home in more comfort than she’s ever known from a carseat. And it’s darned cute too.

BAD NEWS: Holy wowza, that seat is HUGE! The Evenflo Triumph is notoriously short, and so I wasn’t totally prepared for how much more room the Marathon would take up in the back seat of my van – now, the front passenger seat is sitting completely upright and the back of the carseat still mashes into it. (Which begs the question, HOW do people fit these things rear-facing in the back of a normal car, if it’s this tight in my van?!) I tend to sit pretty straight anyway, but this is still rather uncomfortable. And the seat looks as if it’s tilted just ever so slightly to the right, which doesn’t really fly with me. There’s no question that it’s tight – I make him (you know the one) get into the seat while tightening it. But still, I would feel better having it looked at by a professional – someone who can tell me if it’s inclined correctly, if I need to reconfigure the middle row to make it fit better, what have you.

The problem is – there ARE no professionals around here. Which I suppose is a hazard of living in a middle-of-nowhere tiny little podunk town. But you would think that someone would be trained in evaluating a carseat. The state police department – who used to have someone on staff (I know this because I had them check Princess’s seat a couple of years ago) – no longer has anyone. The lady who I talked to his morning told me that they “just tell parents to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.” Gee, really? I had never thought of that. I resisted the urge to inform her (although I probably should have, perhaps for the greater good) that studies have shown that four out of five carseats are installed incorrectly. Four out of five. Think of your own children, and add in a few friends’ kids to make five, if you don’t currently have five in carseats (and God bless you if you do.) Now think – only one of those children is as safe in their carseat as they should be. Is it yours? What if you have more than one child? What if you have two? Are your children the only two out of ten riding in a properly secured seat? Anal as I am about proper installation, I’m not willing to bet my girls’ lives that they’re two out of ten.

I’ve tried to call the local fire department to see if perhaps they had someone – no answer. Same with the local rescue squad. Searched online for a carseat inspection station – the nearest one is an hour’s drive away.  *sigh*

If I can’t find anyone today, I’ll try the city police, fire and rescue tomorrow. Surely to goodness someone will know something about proper carseat installation. Even if it’s just to look at mine and say “wow, you guys did a really great job installing this one, it’s as secure as Fort Knox”, I want to hear it from a pro. And by gosh, I’m going to find that pro if it’s the last thing I do.

November 2, 2008

Where ladybugs go to die.

Posted in What's Going On tagged , , , , , , at 2:26 am by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

That would be my house. My living room floor, my kitchen windowsill, in front of the glass door. Piles of them, if we’ve been gone for a while. Otherwise, I’m on an at-least-thrice-daily vacuuming regimen to keep all the little buggers sucked up before Boogie does the job for me. I suppose they could be considered protein, but the idea still grosses me out more than a little. Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is: I hate ladybugs.

Princess has been sick all day today – some sort of mystery fever, she hasn’t been in any real pain. She hasn’t wanted to play, or eat, or drink – so she laid on the couch all day long and, between naps, watched more TV in a day than she usually watches in a week. But the fever felt like it might be down a bit before she headed off to bed tonight. I’m just glad that, if it had to happen, it was today and not yesterday. She had a wonderful Halloween – we went to Trunk-or-Treat at my mom’s church, and then trick-or-treating around her neighborhood. She lives in a nice neighborhood full of cookie-cutter houses and very little traffic – unlike our rural home, where the houses are spaced waaaaay apart, and people fly like maniacs around the twisty streets. No one recognized her costume – she was EVE from the movie WALL-E, and YOU just try recreating a robot who has no feet and whose head hovers above her neck! Boogie got a ton of compliments on her white tiger costume, which was of course chosen for it’s adorableness in the first place. I just hate to have one child fawned over and the other practically ignored – Princess’s costume was, at least, more original.

In the midst of fetching food and drink for a child who wouldn’t touch it, I did at least get some wonderful news today – a new baby on the way, for a very sweet friend and wonderful mother. It’s early still, but I’m thinking identical octuplet septuplets, plus one that looks like her, for a grand total of eight. I hope for her sake that I’m wrong. 🙂

September 25, 2008

Procrastinate, and do it NOW.

Posted in Baby Talk, Crazy Homeschoolers tagged , , , , , , , , , at 2:06 pm by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

I have the worst problem with updating my blog. Ideas come to me constantly – I’ll be in the car, or the shower, or folding laundry, or nursing the baby, and think “oh, I need to blog about (insert topic here) before I forget all about it!” And then I forget all about it. I sit down in front of the computer and get engrossed in something else (usually either JustMommies, or some massive time-waster on Facebook) and don’t even think about blogging. And then, when I actually DO think of blogging while in close proximity to a computer…well, I’m just so stinking far behind that I don’t even know where to begin. As is the case today.

Since my last post, my baby girl turned nine months old. That was two weeks ago, so I guess she’s actually nine and a half months old. Three quarters of a year. Where the heck has the last nine months gone? I want them back. Whoever stole them from me – bring. them. back. I know that’s not likely to happen, so I’m doing my best to move ahead, and am actually planning for her first birthday already. I have a box of cupcake-themed decorations in the closet already, and the ridiculously expensive cake pan from Williams-Sonoma that will make a big 3D cupcake-shaped cake. I HAD to have it, and I’m justifying it by pledging to make this cake for her every year, until she’s old enough to be utterly mortified by it – and then probably for a few more years after that.

She started properly crawling this past Sunday. She’s been mobile for a while now, but she finally got the hang of the whole hands-and-knees thing that is what most people consider crawling. And of course, she figures this out while in the church nursery – with someone else. The ONE Sunday morning that my dear sweet darling husband volunteers to sit with her in the nursery so I can stay in our Sunday School class – well, of course that would be when she decides to show off, wouldn’t it? Thank goodness for nifty phones with video capability – I did at least get to see it later. And now I’m seeing it non-stop, from the time she rolls out of bed in the morning until the time she passes out at night. It didn’t take her long to put two and two together – crawling equals freedom, to get into anything, anywhere.

Well, you have an older daughter – weren’t you prepared for this?, you ask (or I assume you do, at least.) No, no I was not prepared for this. You see, the Princess had a full-blown case of Jabba the Hut Syndrome when she was this age. She was just such a massive chunk that she was quite content to mostly stay in one place and play with what she could reach. She would scoot around a little (it was easier for her; we had hardwood floors then) and was probably capable of more than she bothered with. But she never did really crawl, she didn’t cruise until just before her first birthday, and didn’t bother with those first steps until fifteen months. I had just resigned myself to hauling her piggyback-style off to college when she let go of the couch and took off one morning, and hasn’t slowed down since. So no, I really wasn’t expecting Boogie to be so fast at nine months, although I should have figured that a) a second baby would be faster because she wants to keep up with her sister, and b) I’m older and more tired now, so Murphy’s freaking Law says that she would be a fast learner as well.

And the Princess? Well, DH was concerned that she’d be smarter than him before long, and I think that day is nearly here. Heck, she’s going to pass me soon, and I don’t know what I’m going to do then. Maybe I’ll just turn lesson planning over to her and let her teach me what she wants to learn. Yes, she is truly a tiny smartypants – and thank goodness for it, as I likely wouldn’t have the patience to homeschool her if she weren’t. Not that anyone else would necessarily be interested, but I don’t want to forget – so here’s a quick rundown of our typical school day…

– We start with our Bible lesson over breakfast. This includes a devotion, saying the Lord’s Prayer (which she does nearly flawlessly now), and our memory verses. She knows four verses now – we do one each week. We use the A Beka Bible curriculum, which I both love and hate. I like having everything spelled out for me – teach this, then this, then this – to be sure that I don’t leave anything out. But at the same time, this kid has known the stories of Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, et al since she was a tiny, tiny girl and they’re a little boring for her now. I’m having to pull out more details to keep her interested.

– After the Bible lesson, we read an entry from the book 365 Manners Kids Should Know. Not neccessarily that day’s entry – I do skip around a bit to cover the ones that are applicable now. After all, the chances of her needing to know proper ettiquette at a bar mitzvah are currently pretty slim.

– Next up is geography. I printed out a map of the U.S. and she colors in one state each day, reviewing the ones she’s done before. As of this morning, she can identify New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama (she’s finally stopped calling it “Obama”), Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii.

– After breakfast comes math. She can add by ones now, and is learning basic addiction facts (2+2, 3+3, 4+4, etc.) Today we’ll start skip counting by twos, which should be interesting.

– After lunch, we do our daily phonics/reading lesson. Not sure what I’m going to do after next week, as she only has three lessons left in her phonics curriculum! I checked out several level and one and two readers from the library yesterday to serve as her reading practice until I figure out which curriculum to go with next. If I can keep the books hidden, I can make her read them to me…if not, she tends to remember the story and tries to cheat. I hope the books I picked aren’t too easy – last week she sat down with a Mercer Mayer book and read it cover to cover with no help. I’m so proud of her (she got my bookworm gene!) but I little flabbergasted too. Am I supposed to buy first grade readers for my four-year-old?!

– The rest of the day varies. We do Social Studies on Tuesdays since that’s gymnastics day and we don’t have much time. The A Beka K5 Social Studies book is basically a giant coloring book, so we’re rolling through that. Some days we do science – using the God’s World reader combined with experiments from The Backyard Scientist or things I find online (or just feeding and watching the sea monkeys). Other days we do history, using Story of the World. Just got the activity book that goes along with it yesterday, and boy are there plenty of things to tie in there. The next chapter – ancient Egypt – ought to be interesting.

I know, that sounds like an awful lot for such a little one, but it really doesn’t take all that long. We might spend two hours on an average day “doing school” – whereas if I sent her to preschool, she’d be gone for at least three.

*****

On to other, more random things now…such as HOW in the world I’ve found time to write an entry this long on a Thursday morning? Well, that’s one upside to Boogie’s crawling – she’s much happier playing in the floor for longer periods now. I can get online for a little bit while she explores. I just have to keep prying her little fingers off of the laptop’s AC cord.

I just took her out on the front porch for a few minutes – it’s so windy this morning, and she seemed to enjoy that. I love watching her when she’s watching something interesting – her blue eyes get so big, and her little lips part while she’s staring. It’s an awesome opportunity to nuzzle into those chubby cheeks and smell her sweet baby smell. I hope that doesn’t go away anytime soon.

And, as if on cue, she crawls over to me, climbs my leg and screams. Of course.

Sleep is still an issue here – or rather, the lack of it, during the day. She just doesn’t nap. It’s not that she doesn’t need them – she’s falling down tired by 5:00, but I can’t let her nap that late. We would all be happier people if she’d nap during the day…but I’ve kind of gotten used to being grouchy, and at the very least know that I’ll survive this. Surely to goodness this will get easier before long.

Our annual visit to the pumpkin patch is just a few weeks away now – hard to believe! I’m so, so thankful that fall is here and it’s getting cooler. I hate summer – hate it, with a pink and purple polka dotted passion. I just want to refrigerate the whole house in the summertime and never, ever leave it. Fall, now – I love being outside during the fall. Boogie, unfortunately, does not. Well, she does like the outdoors – as long as she’s being held. She doesn’t care for the swing and screams if grass touches her, so there’s not a lot to do for her just yet. Anyway. Hopefully she’ll tolerate the grass for 15 seconds at the pumpkin patch, long enough for me to get the picture that I absolutely must have. She’s going to be a white tiger for Halloween, and has the most adorable costume ever – the one that I loved but talked myself out of when Princess was a baby. Princess, on the other hand, refuses to be a princess this year, because those costumes are easy to find. No, she insists on being EVE, from the movie Wall-E. EVE, who Disney/Pixar neglected to make a costume of this year. EVE, who is a shiny white robot with no legs – she hovers. EVE of the impossibly shaped body. Thank goodness I never learned to sew, so the task of negotiating this particular costume falls into my mom’s capable hands… We’ll see what happens with that.

There’s more – there’s always more – but I think that’s plenty for now. I’m caught up enough, I think, that maybe I won’t dread writing more tomorrow…

August 5, 2008

Since I’m a slacker…

Posted in Baby Talk tagged , , , , , , , at 5:55 am by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

I started this blog because I had become so horrible at updating my old one. Apparently, old habits are hard to break. So before I forget entirely what’s happening right now, a quick rundown of what Boogie is up to at not-quite-eight-months-old.

  • Considering crawling. Thinking very hard about it, but not quite decided yet. She’s very good at getting onto her hands and knee, while sticking her other knee out to one side like a chubby little kickstand and getting utterly stuck for several seconds, before finally plopping down onto her belly and assuming the scooting position. She’s very good at scooting backward, and around in circles, and sometimes sideways. She’s definitely mobile, just not in any traditional or easily describable way.
  • Clapping is fun. Even more fun is clapping your hands, for you. And then gnawing on them.
  • She gnaws on them because she has two pearly whites now, on the bottom. They’re the cutest teeth in the world, incidentally.
  • She subscribes to the “eat to live, don’t live to eat” theory. Real food comes along but once a day, at dinnertime, and usually consists of either peas, sweet potatoes, green beans, apples, pears or oatmeal. Sweet potatoes and apples are by far the favorites. She is still breastfed on demand, and demands loudly and often. Broken up Cheerios are a recent discovery, although the verdict is still out.
  • The three things that relieve teething pain every time: her sippy cup, full of ice water (apparently makes the spout cold, as she chews on it); “icy cold teethers” that her sister loves to fetch for her from the fridge; and an ice cube in that funky mesh feeder thing that her sister would never touch as an infant.
  • She knows the sign for “milk” and ain’t afraid to use it.
  • Loves to talk. Started out with “dadadada” non-stop, but has since ditched him in favor of “mamamama”. However, the vast majority of her babbling sounds exactly like “BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH”, and I have no clue how she makes the “l” sound.
  • She instigates games of peek-a-boo by hiding her face in your arm/leg/shoulder/whatever is available, and leaving it there until you say “wheeeeere’s Boogie?” Then she pops her head up and grins. It’s only the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen, and she’s an absolute genius for figuring it out all by herself.
  • We are still happy co-sleepers. It’s been nearly a month now since she stopped nursing to sleep, and I am still amazed every. single. time. she goes to bed without a boob in her mouth. I nursed her sister to sleep every night, every naptime, until she was eighteen months old. For Boogie to be able to go to sleep without my assistance feels like a little miracle. She goes to bed around 8 now, sleeps until I come to bed (usually at a ridiculous time), nurses and goes back to sleep until 8-ish, or whenever her sister sees fit to wake us up.
  • My only complaint is that separation anxiety hit hard and early. Woe be unto me if I attempt to sit the child down and move more then three inches away. On rare occasions, she’ll play happily in the floor while I wash a dish or check my email, but usually my moving away from her is rewarded by banshee-like screams of displeasure, which are quieted only by picking her up again. Needless to say, it is difficult to accomplish much of anything while lugging around a twenty pound cling-on.

Having two children is much more difficult than I imagined that it would be – and that’s a complete understatement. There are days when none of us get dressed, simply because she won’t allow me to put her down for long enough without her screaming – and while sometimes it’s just necessary, I don’t like to let her cry unless there’s just no way around it. There are days when I don’t get to do anything one-on-one with Princess, and I feel horrible about that. There are days when I don’t do anything to the house, and I feel horrible about that. In fact, it seems as though I always feel horrible about something. Mommy guilt is an unforgiving master.

However, there is one thing that helps alleviate some of that guilt. I was utterly convinced, before Boogie was born, that I could never, never love another child the way I loved my first. And as much as I wanted another girl, I almost thought that a boy would be easier to love, since that love would be, somehow, different. But, I’m happy to report that I was wrong, wrong, wrong. I love her more than I thought possible, and without sacrificing one iota of my love and devotion to my first daughter. Weird how that works for us mommies. And very, very cool.

July 24, 2008

Rock-a-bye, Baby

Posted in Baby Talk tagged , , , , , at 3:57 am by junecleaverwouldbeshocked

There are so few perfect moments in this life – and rarely do we have the time to stop and fully appreciate one when we’re in the middle of it.

There’s the marriage proposal – it’s magical, except for your heart pounding in your ears and the screaming refrain in your head of “ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod!!”

There’s your wedding day, which (as any married woman knows) is planned to death but ends up being a complete blur in the end.

There’s the birth of your child, during which hormones do funny things to your mind even if drugs do not.

But there’s one completely perfect moment that happens to me every single day, and I am eternally grateful that I have realized it now, before it’s too late. It’s that few minutes every night when I rock my baby to sleep.

After she’s in her pajamas, I turn out the bedroom lights (leaving on the bathroom light, so I can see) and sit down in the rocking chair to nurse her…during which we talk about her day (nothing too in-depth, just a recap) and I sing her bedtime songs – Rock-A-Bye and Baby Mine. Thankfully, she hasn’t yet learned that her mommy couldn’t carry a tune if it had handles. Then, once she’s had her fill, she sits up and I scoot her up onto my shoulder.

We rock, I pat, she snuggles in. She rubs her smooth, soft cheek against mine, and I rest my chin on her little shoulder. I revel in the sweet baby smell of her skin, her hair, her clothes. I remember when it was her sister that I rocked in that same chair – four and a half years ago, that feels like just yesterday. And I know that soon – too soon – my baby will be just as big, just as smart and just as independent. And that I’ll have no one left to rock to sleep.

So I enjoy it immensely, while I can. Whatever else needs to be done before bed can wait – the dishes aren’t going anywhere, the Tivo is recording any “can’t miss” TV, and truth be told, there’s nothing that I’d rather see than cuddle my baby anyway. Nothing that I want to do that I won’t have plenty of time for later, when she doesn’t need me as much. Nothing that could possibly rival this precious, fleeting moment with my sweet baby girl.

I have been blessed with the privilege of cuddling this child every night, and I intend to take full advantage of it – for as long as she’ll allow it.