Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Girls, Girls, Girls

Recent Conversation

M: Do you know why sunflowers are called sunflowers?

Me: Because they look like the sun?

M: No (as if it's obvious that looking like the sun could NEVER be the reason), it's because they need the sun to grow.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Newsletter: March 2008

My Beautiful Girls,

Once again, March has proven to be a month of milestones for both of you.

E, you have spent most of March cooing and talking. Your cute little smile comes out when you pull your head down and shoulders up. It's fleeting and has yet to be captured on either a still or video camera, but the attempt continues. Your talking ranges from little peeps and squeaks to full on dialogue with who or whatever catches your fancy. You've also been known to talk with your mouth full (e.g., still nursing and not having the courtesy to detach yourself from my breast before making comments). Mommy would really appreciate all comments regarding food be submitted in triplicate to the appropriate authority.

Your favorite activity has been looking at your hands and trying so desperately to get your thumb in your mouth. In a side-lying position, you bring your hands up and stare at them intently. In an upward or other forward position, you like to move/wave your hands around in a way that reminds me of your Grandpa T when he's telling a story.

March has also been the month of trying a schedule. Once we achieved 100% nursing! (more on that in a future post), Mommy has been trying to regulate your eating, playing, sleeping cycle. Unfortunately, we're going to have to teach you to put yourself to sleep, but that is for in the next couple weeks, in the meanwhile, we're just trying to get you to sleep in the daytime. You, like your sister before you, are not such a great daytime napper. You have been, however, going to sleep between 8:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. and sleeping until 7:00 the next morning (I do get you up to eat around 11:00 p.m., but you sleep and eat).

Until we figured out your nighttime routine, your sleeping process was having Daddy march you through the house. We even created a dirge for him to hum along as he (and sometimes Mommy) performed the March. Many times, you tricked us into thinking you were ready to be placed in your bed only to look down at you and to see your eyes wide open at us as if to say, "You weren't really thinking you were done, did you?"

The final thing is that now that you have given up (for the time being) the 3:00 AM feeding and play time, I have to say that I miss that time. I used that time that you were awake to tidy your room, write thank you notes, and other assorted tasks. I also checked on your sister and made the rounds of the house, enjoying the quiet while everyone was asleep. One night, however, you fell back to sleep while nursing and while I held you, you quietly snuffled. Then, from across the hall, your sister started talking in her sleep, Daddy began snoring louder, and Bailey began whining. It was quite a cacophony in the middle of the night. I smiled and was grateful to be up at 3:00 AM to hear it, but don't necessarily need to hear it again on a regular basis.

As for you my darling M, you have changed so much this month. It's amazing to me that as a parent I miss the all the small moments that add up into one in which I see you in a whole new way and you redefine yourself. For example, most of the time when we go out to restaurants, you'd prefer it if Daddy or I ordered for you. One afternoon, you and I had been to get your haircut. Because we had other things going on, I called Daddy to see if he wanted to meet us downtown for dinner. He did, so we arranged to meet him and E there. You and I arrived and discussed dinner choices while we waited for Daddy and E. Once everyone arrived, the waitress came to take our order. When I confirmed with you what you wanted, you said to me, "No Mom, I'll order," and proceeded to do so as if you'd been practicing it. You were well-spoken, polite, poised, and sure of your choices. It was amazing to see how so many previous moments came together for that dinner.

You've also spent the month becoming even more self-sufficient. Mommy and Daddy put your breakfast out for you the night before so you don't have to wait for one of us (usually mommy is feeding E) in the morning. We've also been asking you to be more responsible for yourself by putting your laundry away. While you don't like putting yours away, you do often help me put E's away. I think it's your way of sizing up which clothes may be coming available to your dolls.

This was a milestone month for Daddy and I when we went and registered you for kindergarten. We've been talking about how we'll practice walking to school this summer and all the fun things that you'll do, but it was a bittersweet moment when we dropped off the paperwork. We have other informational meetings later this spring/early summer, but registering you feels like the first step towards a breakneck rush towards college. Now that it's here, it feels as if you will be gone so quickly and I just want to grab you and make time stand still. At the same time, though, you are endlessly fascinating to me and I'm so interested in what your friends will be like as you get older, what kinds of experiences you'll have, the impact of peers, etc. all the life changes that will help shape you.

March was also the month that you completed a 100 piece puzzle all by yourself. You've always been really good with puzzles, completing 24 piece puzzles when you were two. They (24 piece puzzles) were a great entertainment (and old hat by then) when we were in Nashville. Since then, you've progressed to more challenging pictures with more pieces. Usually, though, you've asked for help with the ones that are 100 pieces. So a couple mornings ago (3/31), you went to play and eat breakfast while I fed E. You told me you were working on a puzzle and, after a little while, you told me to come see you. When I did, I found you smiling and the puzzle complete. Since then, you've continued to work on puzzles with very little help from Dad or I. Sitting by is easier for Daddy but it bums me out because I love puzzles. I remember having a puzzle set up on a card table, especially during the winter. Perhaps this will be a future activity for us.

Finally, we were able to see and show off you both off during the Easter Holiday. E met her great grandma and various great aunts and uncles as well as her Aunt Birdie. A combination of E's feeding schedule, various illnesses (ours, theirs), crappy and cold weather, and our crazy February appointments made it really difficult to get out. Everyone was happy to see both of you and Daddy and I loved showing off our girls.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Talking to the Animals

I know I'm due for a monthly newsletter and I have many other posts I'd like to write, but a quickie to tie us over.

E loves her room. I've posted pictures before of some of the artwork that my friend R did. One I didn't post was of a cross-stitched afghan that my mom did when M was born (the room was originally M's). We finally hung the afghan when we readied the room for E. Anyway, E looks at many elements of the room, but especially the wall hanging which is behind the chair when I nurse (the room has been moved around since the pictures below) and it's not uncommon for her to really stare at it when she can see it.

Tonight, as I was nursing, I was holding her on my left in the football hold, where she's positioned along my side with her feet behind me. Towards the end of the feeding, she'd stop nursing, turn and look at it for a few moments, then return to nursing. Twice, she felt the need to also smile, gurgle, and coo at it. She's a mystery.