Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Actually, Yes.

I typed this beautiful post and then lost it. So here is a short and not so great recap because I am tired and pissed:

The baby will be here in less than a week. You seem excited. We put together the swing we bought for a really good deal months ago. We had to rationalize with you why 1. you can't swing in it and 2. why the swing can't reside in your room. You are now clear that the swing is only for babies and it will reside in the living room.

We talk alot about the doctor taking the baby out of my stomach and then I will have to be in the hospital for a few days. You always respond with "Me too hospital." If everything goes status quo next Tuesday morning, you will be visiting and meeting your sister by the late afternoon. You talk constantly about "take my baby on walks, change her, feed her, hold her, rock her." You have quite a list of what you want to do with her. Hopefully, not all at once.

You have become obsessed with swinging: at the park, the neighbor's yard, Ms. Patti's. I have to limit your time because you will literally swing for hours. I have become obsessed with teaching you to pump. The sooner you learn "in and out feet" the happier I will be.

You started to use the word actually and in the correct context too. The first time you did it last week I was dumbfounded. I asked you a question and you squinted looking up in the air and then said "Ummmm actually, yes!" Your father did not believe me but now you use the word 'actually' all the time. We have no clue where you picked up the word or why you started using it. It's so funny to hear you say it and people in public look at you like you have three heads. The other day you corrected a lady at the pool who asked you "what shapes are on my bathing suit?" You didn't answer so she said, "are these circles on my suit?" You then decided to speak up, "Actually, ovals." Her eyes grew wide and she looked up at me and I shrugged. "How old is she?"

I always hate this question. I struggle with it myself" "She's two." Most of the time people respond with: "But almost three, right?"
"No, she just turned two in March. She won't even be two and half until the end of September."
Most of the time after that people just stare and you smile back.

I have to remember you are only 2 and some of things you do make you seem more mature. Last night you made the salad for dinner. We make our salads in individual bowls. I took out three bowls and all the ingredients to make the salad: lettuce, tomato, cucumber, cheese, croutons, bacon bits. You systematically put the lettuce in each bowl then the cut up tomato, then the cucumbers and so on. Somehow your salad ended up with the most toppings. After you made all the salads you went and grabbed three forks and delivered the salads to the table one at a time. I couldn't believe you did this. You just love to help. The more independence and responsibility I give you to help and create, the more you do.

This doesn't mean that you aren't still a toddler. We still have our heaping fits and breakdowns. It's just hard to remember that the typical toddler behavior is ok. You spoil us with these moments profound wisdom. We easily forget you are only 2 and I think the rest of the people in your life do too. We have such high expectations because you amaze us but as your mom, I need to be patient and remind others that you develop on your own schedule. Yes you can identify octagons and count all eight sides, count backwards from 10, identify letters and the sounds they can make, pick out colors and shapes but you also have a right to be overwhelmed and irrational too.

During nap time you love to get out of bed and play in your room, the bathroom and in the baby's room. The other night after bedtime, we found you asleep in the guest bed in the baby's room. It warmed my heart to think about the two of you sneaking into each other's rooms to be able to sleep together.

Daddy has been taking you splashing after work since mommy's maternity bathing suit isn't fitting real well this last week.

We bought you an easel so you can play school, draw, color, paint, create! You love to play teacher, instruct us and ask us questions. I intentionally give you the wrong answers so will correct me. I am surprised to find out you know your colors much better than you have let on. Each time you ask me a color and I give the wrong one, you immediately correct me. The entire time you have this smirk on your face knowing that I am wrong and you are right. I think this is important because at Ms. Patti's you are on the lowest level and all the other kids know more than you and can answer Ms. Patti's questions much faster and correctly. You are the youngest in her preschool program, the next girl is an entire year older than you. I think it's good for you to feel smart and that you know something that you can share. We have spent many evenings with you as our teacher. But neither your father nor I can compete with your favorite pupil: Stan.

Strawberries from our barrels are still trickling in. You picked this gem the other night and then proceeded to eat it all juicy and ripe.

We planning on spending our final weekend as a family of three resting and generally laying low. I am both sad and excited to see our family changing. We have been our quirky threesome for awhile now and I am not sure how your sister will fit in. But deep down in my heart, I know it will all work out and the two of you will create a bond that only sisters can have. Besides, we already love her like crazy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fast / Slow Ballet

After going to see Becca's ballet, you became inspired to do your own after dinner dance. How we treasure your energy and find it exhausting all at the same time. Maybe that's the definition of parenting...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Summer's Here!

Today is the first official day of summer. We have exactly two weeks until your sister is born. We have scheduled a c-section for Tuesday, July 5th, of course, she could make her entrance before. I'm looking forward to the two weeks newborn free but at this point it's all up to her.

You started swim lessons with Grandma today, giving Mommy some much needed rest on Tuesday mornings. You seem to have had a splendid time learning some new swimming skills, like blowing bubbles and kicking. We will practice these this week at our pool.

Father's Day weekend was filled with family and friends. Although it should be noted all weekend from Friday through Sunday you would not nap nor use the potty for me. Monday at Ms. Patti's house you had a completely dry day and napped for two hours! To say that I am frustrated is an understatement. I asked you if you just loved Ms. Patti more and you said, "Yes!" I swear I always get the irrational toddler while everyone else gets the sociable, cute one. Why, Nora? WHY?!?!

Anyway, Friday night was spent with Grandma and Grandpa and the neighbors for the traditional Jothen family meal of mustard steak with spinach salad and tomato noodles. You will know this meal well. A festive evening with good conversation and a delicious blueberry pie from last summer. I hope we have more summer evenings like this!

We went to a graduation party with Ashley's family on Saturday which featured a moon bounce, a trampoline, a playground, a huge sandbox and bubbles. Plus an entire basement of toys! You were in heaven. You played with Ashley, Skylar and Layla and you enjoyed every minute of it.

Then on Sunday we made our way down to Nonni and Nonna's house for a father's day celebration with Aunt Katie, Uncle Kevin and cousin Teddy! We ate crabs outback, you tasted a few pieces but you left the crabs for the traditional toddler snack of crackers and cheese.

After we ate we spent some time getting to know your new cousin who we had previously only met on Skype. He is a handsome fella who likes to watch you play. Daddy was holding Teddy when you decided that wasn't kosher and you needed to supervise the situation up close.

However, when mommy had her turn rocking Teddy to sleep, you didn't seem bothered at all. In fact, you played with the Sesame Street playhouse instead.

It's funny how possessive you are of Daddy but not of me. You loved to play with Teddy and cheer him on as he showed us his new trick of rolling over. You were careful and gentle. All good signs. It appears you understand that babies need to be treated in a special way and you were such a good listener and following directions when it came to Teddy. I can only hope it will be the same with your sister.

Welcome Summer! It's nice to see you again.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Go Home and Be a Mommy

Today was my last day at work. Well I should clarify, the work where I get a pay check. It was a long day and after many goodbyes and so longs, one of my favorite teachers with tears in his eyes and mine said, "it's time to go home and be a mommy."

And that is essentially what I am doing. I am putting my own life on hold so I can be a full time mom to you and your sister. I am not confident. I am not sure this is the "right" decision. Heck, I have no idea if we will even survive, emotionally or financially. Oh we have crunched the numbers, we have prayed, we have thought about it. But I am still not sure. But I am sure I love you like no other person in the entire world. I have faith that my love will help me succeed. I don't think my masters or post graduate certifications are going to be much help.

We have been getting baby things out and ready. You are intensely curious about all things baby. You must touch or play with anything that is meant for the baby. Last weekend, all you wanted to do was play in your old infant car seats that I cleaned. It was cute until you started tipping yourself over. Now when I leave for work or just an errand, you have started to ask me if I am coming back. I try to reassure you that I will always come back to you. Your anxiety level is rising and you cling to me when I am home. Apparently, you are able to sense that the baby is coming soon and you need extra emotional support. In order to make you feel better, we go "splashing" at our local city pool. You are obsessed with the pool and so far I am using it as a very efficient bargaining tool.

We also went to Becca's ballet recital last weekend where you insisted wearing a tutu even though you weren't in the show. You absolutely loved all the dancers little and big. There was a group just a tad older than you who danced to Barney's "I love you" song. You were in heaven. Now you like to do ballet all over the house. We have some pretty ridiculous videos of your "performances" that I will have to post soon.

In other news, Aunt Katie, Uncle Kevin and TEDDY and Owie are coming home on Sunday! They are moving back to Maryland! Hooray! You will have a cousin living close to us!

Finally, there is a possibility that you are "reading" some words, really just decoding. So far you have identified the words "small" and "Sunday" that have been written out in the world. You randomly identified these words within 24hrs of each other without prompting. Both times your daddy and I have been completely baffled and caught off guard. We found it impossible that you could "read" these words but somehow you connected these symbols in your mind. In fact, when you identified the word small, we asked how you knew that it said small and you said, "S, M!" We had no idea you even knew the letters s and m. And for the record, we are not even sure if these two incidents are freak occurrences or you really were able to decode the symbols. I guess only time will tell.

I don't think I can keep up with you. But I guess, in a way, I am glad that my work is changing. Now I should have the time to be able to keep up with you and challenge and expose your young mind to new words and concepts. And we will have more time to visit Teddy and Owie too.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

June is for Strawberry Picking

Aunt Molly came to visit you!!! She brought our cousins, Kathleen and Sean with her so we could all go strawberry picking at a local farm. You had a blast hanging out with Aunt Molly, Kathleen and Sean. After they left you wouldn't stop talking about your friends and all the fun we had. We went to the infamous petting zoo where you were traumatized last summer by an aggressive goat. The goat was still there but you seem to have no memory of being bullied by the goat. We fed the animals and you chased the ducks around the pond because you couldn't understand why they wouldn't stay still to be pet.

It was a glorious afternoon and you really enjoy people: your family, your friends, whoever will play and interact with you. I wish we had more lazy June afternoons to go and pick strawberries with our friends!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

June is for Graduations

Our neighbor, Becca graduated from high school last weekend. She won like every award and scholarship possible. Becca is a great neighbor and friend to you, and your father and I. We are going to miss her when she goes away to college in the fall. For now, you two will have the summer to hang out, go swimming, play outside, try on make-up and shoes and generally just be girls together. You might be 16 years a part in age, but that doesn't mean you won't be life-long friends. You already think you are part of their family and somehow sneak into their family photos!

In 16 years, 2027 you will graduate from high school. I will show you this picture of you and Daddy leaving Becca's graduation. I hope I can get a similar photo then, you will be a young woman on the brink of independence.

Sort of like now, your toddler self on the brink of an independent existence away from me and your father. One day soon you will truly do almost everything "by myself" and not need us as much. It's already started happening and I'm not ready. But you are.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Church Carnival

Our church had a carnival last weekend. Daddy volunteered to work a booth. He was in charge of the PLINKO game. My absolute favorite. Apparently yours too. You were crazy about sending those pucks down the board plinking all the way. In fact you were so obsessed I had to distract you with getting your hand painted so paying customers could get a shot at a prize.

Although you are not ready to get your face painted, I thought it would be nice for your hand to be be painted with an ice cream cone. Lately, you have been consumed with everything ice cream/ cupcakes / Popsicles. I saw the ice cream cone option and thought it was perfect. I obviously didn't think it all the way through. After it dried, you decided it looked so tasty you were going to eat it, right off your arm. You excitedly exclaimed, "My eat it!" as you licked your hand. Lovely.

You were so patient when getting the cone painted.


The ice cream cone gone from your arm and moved to your face!

I should have predicted this would happen. I have known you all of your life after all.