She says…

“I can’t like it, mama,” instead of “I don’t like it.”

When she wakes up in the morning and I walk into her room she shows me her biceps: “I strong!!”

When daddy tries to take a photo: “No cheezing!!”

She says.

She climbed on a chair and jumped off shouting, “Superhero!!”

She put on granddaddy s boating hat and proclaimed, “I granddaddy, let’s go on a boat ride!”

She hugged me hard last night and said I love you mommy.

She brought me a toy and sobbed that Leppie touched it!….her cousin wasn’t even here.

She wanted me to watch Peter Pan and she told me to Sit your booty RIGHT DOWN.

him.

he is four months old.

his eyes make crescent moons when he is sleepy and blinking up at me.

the boy has discovered his toes!!!  he is very interested in getting ahold of these things.  he leans over to look at them when he’s sitting up and he grabs them with his fingers when he’s lying on his back.

he is trying so hard to roll over.  he can flip over halfway on to his side but hasn’t gone the distance yet.

he got sick for the first time last thursday.  he woke up from a nap with a 102 fever.  it was gone in a day but he was so unhappy.  ever since he’s been hard to lay down at night.  I end up having to hold him for hours in the crook of my arm and try to set him down two or three times before he’ll go down for the night.

he adores his sister and it is the highlight of his day when she deigns to notice him.  he tries to grab her arm or her shirt if she’s in reach.

he sat in his bouncy exersaucer for the first time and loved it.

he can hold his weight on his legs now! he wants to practice this skill all the time now.

he can wiggle out of my lap by arching his back and scooting with his legs.

he is full-on teething.  he was miserable about it today and kept gnawing on my fingers, hard.  he makes so much drool.

the other day he puked on me and thought my yelp of dismay was so funny.  he laughed and laughed.

when he is fussy and crying he makes a sound that sounds like MMMMMMMMMAMA.

his favorite word is ABOO and I keep calling him ABOO the boy.

he loves his toys.  he loves to wrestle with his tamed lion and he loves to shake around a ball and he loves the crinklely fabric on his sister’s baby doll.

he must sleep on me for all his naps.

what a boy!!!

 

1.  her favorite lunch – Vienna sausages.

2.  her latest favorite fruit – blueberries.

3.  her first baby doll – she doesn’t usually play with dolls but today she woke up asking for her babies. she fed them and undressed them and took them for a stroller ride on the back porch.

4.  she found her basket of Easter eggs in the garage waiting to be put up in the attic and for the past few days we’ve been having egg hunts every morning.

things to do when she’s driving me crazy.

my sweet sunshiney two-year-old can drive me crazy sometimes.  she is so full of energy.  she is into everything.  vaulting on the couch, painting with her own poop.  putting anything she sees into her mouth: rocks and earplugs and crayons and small plastic things.

I get so tired.  and sometimes I forget to be patient.  and I react in the moment, without stopping to think.  so here I am, thinking ahead.  this is what I can do when I feel like the bastion of my patience is about to be breached:

  • dress her in the clothes that make her look like herself.  you know the ones I mean.  the black shirt with daisies and the white pants that make her look like a 90s girl or the blue flower dress with crochet lace.  she just looks so much like herself in those clothes and she doesn’t, sometimes, when my mom tries to dress her up.  it’s important to see her for who she is.
  • go to the park.  go to the place she loves best and let her do what she does best: explore.  let her pick up sticks and pine cones and splash in mud puddles.  let her climb the rock wall and run down the nature trail towards the bridge.  she’ll feel better out in the sun under the pine trees.  you’ll feel better too.  going to the park will remind you that this is the dream you carried around for so long: taking your kids to the park.
  • put on music.  she loves to sing, she loves to pull out the maracas and hand me one whenever we put on our neil diamond record.  she loves to sing along to “walking on sunshine.”  put on music and pull out the ribbon wands and sing and dance and you’ll both feel better, I promise.
  • do something together on your phone.  she loves to take selfies.  she loves to watch music videos and youtube videos of babies and animals.  she loves to look at her own baby pictures and pictures of her family.  you used to do so much more of this before little brother came along and she misses it, you know.
  • read a book, if you can.  I know he doesn’t let you put him down much.  but if he does: read books.  she loves it so much, and we haven’t done much of it lately.
  • play with her toys. blocks or dinosaurs or barbies or horses, it doesn’t matter. just sit down and play with her.
  • get on the floor with her and get physical.  let her ride you like a pony.  chase her around the house like a dinosaur.  throw a ball or tickle her or let her climb you like a jungle gym.
  • sit down and face her and sing nursery rhymes.  play “under the bamboo” and pattycakes and itsy-bitsy-spider.  ask her to count.  ask her what colors things are.  ask her who’s in her family.  ask her to sing a song.  ask her what sounds animals make.  she loves to talk to you and share things with you.  ask her what she does at nana’s or at her cousin’s house.  talk to her.
  • take her to the garden and let her pick vegetables.  let her pick all the baby peppers and the green tomatoes because she loves to feel like she’s helping.
  • to to the kitchen and let her cook with you.  let her stir the eggs and pour the milk and stand on her stool and watch you cook.
  • paint her nails.  clip her toenails.  brush her hair while she sits in your lap.  put a little lipstick and perfume on and let her play with makeup brushes.   she loves the attention.
  • sit down at the kitchen table and make something with her.  play with playdoh together.  let her play with markers even though they make you nervous.  let her paint because she loves it.
  • remember that even though she talks so much and has hair that touches the middle of her back, that’s she’s still just a baby.  just a baby.  with fat baby cheeks and a needy baby heart.  who is desperately hungry to hold my hands and get pony rides and sit in my lap and read books the way she used to before her little brother came along.

 

naptime, yesterday: I put her in her crib and close the door to her room.  I sit down in the rocking chair and nurse him to sleep while she rubs her face with her blanket.  he falls asleep and I lean over her crib and whisper to her that I am going to lay him down.  she puts her hand through the bars of the crib and gently pats his head and says Kiss him, kiss him.  so I hold him up and she kisses him on the cheek.

surviving.

last night, my daughter woke up sobbing.  not just her usual cries at the end of her sleep cycle, but terrified, hysterical crying.  I went into her room and picked her up and she grabbed me and held on tight.  “Do you feel scared?” I asked, and she sobbed, “Yass!”  so I held her.  I rocked her back to sleep while she buried her head on my chest.

last night, my son wouldn’t let me put him down.  he wanted me to hold him and hold him, even when he was done feeding for the night.  I tried to lay him down in his crib three times and every time, he cried until I picked him back up.  he wanted me to hold him.  so I held him.  I propped up pillows behind my back and my neck and I dozed off sitting up with him in my arms until 1 a.m.

now it’s almost five a.m., and I’ve been up for an hour feeding him and getting ready to teach my morning classes.  and today is going to be a day where I just survive.  there have been a lot of days like that lately.  where survival is the goal.  not thriving.  days where neither of them nap.  there are lots of days where the only thing I get to do for myself is take a shower.  days when I don’t get to take a shower and she gets into the fireplace and comes out covered in ashes.  there are days when keeping them fed and clean and entertained takes precedence over cleaning the house.

there are a lot of days when I don’t feel like I’m getting ahead.  there are lots of days when I feel like I’m barely squeaking by.  and it’s just that I want to do more than survive.  I’m ready to grow.  I’m ready to make things happen.  I want to thrive.