Saturday, March 26, 2011

cookies and other slippery slopes

There is a story we tell in our family about Little Sister's manipulating skills as a child.  The story goes that Jessica had asked for a cookie and been denied.  As a newly verbal toddler, she proceeds to lead my mom down a slippery slope.  At first she just says, "Look.  Look.  Look," nodding her head in encouraging my mom to at least let her look at the cookie.  So my mom lets her look.  But that turns into "Touch it.  Touch it.  Touch it."  Which turns into hold it.  Which turns into lick it.  Which turns into taste it.  Which turns into bite it.  Which eventually leads to "'Nother, 'nother."  I'm sure Mom knew where this was going when it started and just wanted to see the path it would take to get there.  It's amazing how easily you can find yourself at the bottom of a slippery slope.

Tonight I broke one of the cardinal rules of parenting: never disturb a sleeping child.

Here's the slope on which I slipped.  Fridays I get the privilege of caring for my friend's sweet daughter, Ruby.  She is a joy and Lila loves her, but that doesn't mean it's easy for her to see her mommy cuddling another baby all day.  It made her a little needy.

Lila checking out Baby Ruby

Plus we didn't go outside at all today because Kansas is being stupid and our week that started out at 80 degrees is closing out with snow.  And we all know how much Lila needs to be outside.  On top of that, poor Baby Girl got some shots yesterday so she wasn't feeling great today.  By the time the Husband got home we already had a grumpy baby on our hands.  And then I had a wedding shower to attend tonight so that left the Husband on daddy-duty.  At which he excels.  However, Lila didn't make it easy on him.  So when I asked my usual question for nights that I don't get to put Lila to bed, "How was the baby?" his answer was, "GRUMPY."  Which made me sad for them because she spends all day asking for her daddy and then is a big ole grumpalump for him when they get some daddy-daughter hangout time.

So tonight, I was feeling sad that she wasn't feeling good and had a long day and was grumpy for her daddy and I didn't get to kiss her goodnight and, and, and... I'm saying all this to Eric.  We often talk about how we miss her after she's been in bed for a few hours.  So tonight I said, "I miss her.  I'm going to go look at her."  Dangerous, Kelsey.  You know what else started with just looking?  Jessica's cookie.  But I looked anyway.  Which turned into brushing the hair out of her face.  Which turned into putting my hand on her tummy.  Which turned into picking her up to snuggle her.

But let's back up a second.  Before it escalated to picking her up, I was just standing there looking at her and I was thinking about how earlier today I had my first moment of actual tears at the realization of how big Baby Girl is getting.  While I was changing Ruby's diaper, Lila wanted to get in Baby Ruby's bassinet (actually, it's the bassinet we used for LJ when she was a tiny peanut), so I put her in it.  And her feet dangled off the end.  I looked down at her and saw her big toddler body that didn't fit in the baby bassinet anymore and I just started crying.  She looked at me rather concerned so I explained, "Lila, you are so big and that makes Mommy sad!"

So fast forward back to tonight when I was standing above her crib looking at my baby who was now a toddler and I suddenly realized that it won't be long before she is too big for her crib, too big for me to hold and snuggle.  To which I told myself, "Don't let an opportunity to hold her slip by you!  She's here now and still small enough to pick up out of a crib to hold tight, so do it!"  And I did.  And I don't regret it at all.  So there.  'Nother?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Oh Heavenly Day

I've been listening to Patty Griffin a LOT lately.  This song, specifically.  Because, gosh, are we enjoying this heavenly Spring weather we've been having.  Plus also, it's almost Little Sister and Uncle Kyle's (that's my Little Sister and Lila's Uncle Kyle, just so you know we're not a creepy family) first anniversary and Jess walked down the aisle to Heavenly Day.  It was perfect.  Tangent...

Anyway, we are loving this weather.  Lila can't get enough of being outside.  The other day we were outside for more than two hours straight and she still threw a fit when we had to come back in.  This weather has opened up a whole new world for us.  I don't know what I was doing last Spring (other than surviving), but I did not enjoy the weather this much.  I think in hindsight I was more wigged out with my new job than I thought I was.  I didn't leave the house much at all that I can remember.  It's like having a baby gave me permission to totally collapse into my introverted world.  Maybe I would still be hiding there if it weren't for my social and apparently extroverted child.

This was actually our worst fear when we were still pregnant - that our child would be extroverted like her Aunt Jess and would either be miserable living the life of the child of two hopeless introverts or we would have to re-work our life and live outside of our own little hidden world for the sake of our baby.  Let's just say that Lila demands the latter.

By about 2:30 each afternoon, she starts banging on the front door and signing "please" to me with this desperate look on her face.  "Pleeeeaasssse Mom!  Let me OUT OF HERE!"  And she gets really tired of me by the end of the day.  She treats me like I'm torturing her by only providing myself as her company.

So now I have had to be very intentional about planning outings for us.  We have a weekly mall-walking date with Holly and baby Camille (yes, we're those moms).  We take near-daily neighborhood strolls.  We spend hours at a time watching the doggy tear around the yard and walking back and forth across the driveway.  And we've been exploring the parks nearby.

It was at the park that I was forced to question how good of a mom I really am.  I realized that Lila had never been in a swing.  Gasp!  That's right, she's 15 months old and this is her first time in a swing.  What kind of a mother am I?? And I terrified her.  I wasn't even thinking about the fact that she'd never been in a swing, so I stuck her in and gave her a big ol' push.  And she got this look of terror on her face and freaked out.  I guess it would be pretty scary to suddenly feel like you were falling through the air.  I made her stay in the swing for a few minutes and eventually she liked it.  Mostly.  

So swing experience number two was yesterday and she didn't cry this time, but she hasn't quite gotten the hang of it:
I kept trying to get her to lean back, but I guess she felt more secure leaning forward and hanging on for dear life.  She really was having fun, I promise.

However, after this particular excursion I got to experience the most dramatic temper-tantrum to date.  There was hitting and kicking and arching of a cute little back.  I had to shove her in her car seat and hold her down to buckle her in.  It wasn't pretty and I was halfway irritated and halfway amused.  She cried the whole way home, crocodile tears rolling down rosy cheeks.  The good news is she was so relieved for me to take her out of her car seat once we pulled into the driveway it seemed as though she had forgotten I was the one who strapped her into it in the first place.  All the trouble'd gone away, for awhile anyway.  Oh heavenly day.





Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lila's first sleepover

The Husband and I took a much-needed night away this weekend to celebrate our 5th anniversary (a few weeks late).  That means that Lila also had her first over-night away from home.  Her first night away from us.  Our first night away from her.  It was very sad.  For me.  She was fine.

I had to practically hold her down to give her a hug and kiss goodbye because she was more interested in the toys at Nanny and Pop's house.  She gave me this little apathetic wave...it was really more like waving me off.  "Mo-ommmm!  I'm fiiinnnne!  Just go already!" (That's her teenager voice I'm projecting on her.)  As I was waving goodbye for the 5th time, my mom said to me, "Kelsey, you don't really want to go, do you?"  It was obvious to everyone in the room that this was harder for Mama than it was for Lila.

And she did great.  She rocked it actually.  She went to bed without a peep, barely stirred all night and woke up smiling at 8:30 this morning.  When we came back to pick her up this morning, she was walking down the sidewalk with her Pop and I just about jumped out of the car and ran to her.  I picked her up and she wrapped her little arms around my neck and said, "Mommy!  Yeah-Mommy!  Mommy!  Mommy! Mommy-Daddy?  Daddy? Daddy?  Daddy-yeah-Daddy?"  Well, at least I got a couple of "mommies" out of her before she was moving on to her favorite guy in the world.

I took these pictures to document the occasion (yes, I'm that mom):
all packed for Lila's first sleepover

Cheesy smile: Lila right before we left for Nanny and Pop's house
All in all, the weekend went better than expected...despite Eric and I spending the first 45 minutes fighting.  Of course.  Doesn't that always happen?  That Enemy we have just takes every opportunity to steal, kill and destroy the things that bring us life.  Thankfully, we have a Father who is faithful to help us defeat those sneak-attacks and we got over it pretty quickly and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  And I only called to check on Lila three times.  I think that's pretty good.

Thanks, Nanny and Pop for watching the Baby Girl.  You're the best.

Thanks, Baby Girl for, in Pop's words, "Winning the award for Easiest Child."  We missed you more than you missed us, I'm sure.

Thanks, Husband for a fun date night and five years of loving me.  I love you!

Thanks, Abba for fighting our fights for us, for maintaining our marriage and for blessing us beyond measure.  You are good.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Ring around the Lila

So Lila just learned how to spin.  She's very into it as you will see.  This is what we did the other day:



Please note the look she gives me at 48 seconds right after she lectures me about singing again.  It's like, "DO it, Mom."  And dontcha love the way she says "Yeah!" so enthusiastically?  She's so proud that I understood what she was communicating to me.

Sheesh.  She's getting so big.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

You are a genius! And I am a genius because I married you!

Cosby anyone? (skip to 7:20 on that link) So that title's not really relevant other than the fact that Netflix just started streaming Cosby and the Husband and I stayed up too late last night watching that episode.  Also I think I might be a genius.  I may have just discovered the silver lining on the nimbus cloud weekend that brought "spring forward" daylight savings and MORE STUPID SNOW.

The discovery came when it occurred to me that Lila can't tell time.  So even though my clock now says 7:30am, her little body still thinks it's 6:30am so she keeps on a-sleepin'!  I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out if there is a reason I should shift her schedule to daylight savings time.  Cuz where I sit, I've got a baby who sleeps in an hour later, who naps an hour later and stays up an hour later.  This is good news because I'm really kind of over being confined to my house after 6:30pm each night.  So now, we could actually go out to dinner!  The Husband could actually get more than an hour with Baby Girl after work!  And the next morning, the Mommy could actually SLEEP IN UNTIL NINE O'CLOCK!!!  What??  For the first time in my life I could really get behind this losing-an-hour thing.

I'm really glad I am realizing this now because I sure needed something positive to focus on today.  So far Monday has not treated us well.  In fact, Mondays always seem a bit rough starting out.  I think it's because both Lila and I have been spoiled all weekend by the Dad-band (that's my very own made-up contraction of Daddy and Husband) playing with Lila in the way only daddies can play and therefore giving Mama a much-needed break.  So when Monday morning rolls around, Lila wakes up saying, "Daddy!  Yeah-Daddy!" and is not so thrilled when sleepy Mommy stumbles into her room.  To be honest, Mommy is not so thrilled either. 

Today I was just not cutting it for her.  I wasn't reading the books right or playing with the blocks right or getting her cereal fast enough (which, in the end, she smeared all in her just-washed hair, mandating another bath).  She threw tantrum after tantrum, yelled "No-no-no-nooo!" more than any other word and was just all-out frustrated with life.  Finally I said, "Do you miss Daddy?"  And she replied, "Daddy!  Yeah-Daddy!" and ran into our room looking for him.  Only to be very disappointed when I was still the only one here.  

note the crusty Elvis-hair courtesy of the smooshed cereal from breakfast
But I don't care.  I'm just focusing on the fact that I don't have school tomorrow (Yeah! Spring Break!) and the Punk-of-the-World still thinks it's an hour earlier than it is!  Plus, after awhile, she decided to give me a chance to prove that I can be fun too and the morning shaped up pretty well.   

How was your Monday?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hey-O

Hey just wanted to let you know we're still here.  Just taking a bit of a break from the February blogginess.

Also Lila's being a punk and a half (temper tantrums, pinching, hitting, general floppiness) and I'm not so happy about saying bye-bye to my sweet infant angel who could do no wrong because she couldn't talk or move really.  Now that she's talking (a lot) and moving (a whole lot - like, nonstop) there's no tellin' what shenanigans she'll get into.  This mama does not get a moment of respite.  Also, she and the doggy are in cahoots.
here they are, plotting some sort of destruction under the table
this is their most common scheme:
lila feeds her unwanted food to our scavenger of a dog
i tried to get her to snuggle me on the couch, but nooooo.  she wanted to sit (with her back to me, I might add) next to
the doggy (who is looking very smug, i might also add).  and while i'm adding things, please notice the toys on the furniture - an attempt to prevent a repeat performance of couch vomit while we are out of the house
On a happier note, the Husband and I just celebrated our 5th anniversary!  Huzzah!  I love that man.  On to year six!  We recently dubbed year five "The Year of Hard Work" and predicted year six to be "The Year of Turning the Corner" leading into year seven: "The Year of Jubilee."  Just trying to keep it biblical over here.  But seriously, this year I feel like we really earned it.  Besides conquering that daunting hill that is the first year of parenthood, we also illuminated some dark corners of our marriage and dug through the muck for awhile.  Hard? Yes.  Pretty? No.  Worth it?  Definitely.  Love you, Husband!