Tag Archives: transition

New Beginnings

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It’s been almost four months since I’ve blogged, and this post isn’t even necessarily about the fact that I’m only about four weeks away (!) from having this baby. Or the fact that we’re having our THIRD girl!

No. What’s top of mind for me tonight is that my first baby is going off to 4k in the morning.

How did that even happen? When she’s sleeping at night and I check on her before I go to bed, I just stare at the long legs, the long hair, and the very big kid sleeping in the bed. I picture her as a teeny newborn and it’s a little mind boggling to realize how very, very quickly this all goes.

I’ve had these realizations before. Especially after having more than one child. The second time around it’s easier to keep things in perspective when your infant isn’t sleeping through the night, or you’re trying to get rid of the pacifier, or struggling through potty training — it’s easier to tell yourself, “This will only last a few [fill-in-the blank — days, weeks, months].”

As a parent, we’re so excited when our child reaches a new level of independence, be it sleeping through the night, being able to wash his/her own hands, getting their own water. Let’s be honest, mostly because it means less work for us.

But my latest realization was different — for the first time, I realized how truly short a time period it is that our kids are 100% completely dependent on us.

I mean, between six and nine months babies are already less dependent on us because they’re crawling. They can move away from us. Bean was walking at 9.5 months.

Wow, right? At nine months old, NINE MONTHS, the amount of time it took you to grow them, they’re already doing things independently. Without you.

And it just snowballs from there. Their independence milestones just keep getting bigger.

As a parent, we feel like our job is to “raise” this new life. To take care of them, provide for their needs. They NEED us, right?

But really, I’m starting to realize that our job as a parent is to teach them how to succeed in life … without us.

And that’s just a little sad, isn’t it?

I remember my mom wistfully telling me (as an adult) “I gave my kids wings so they could fly.” As an adult, I thought that was great! Now as a parent that makes me boo hoo hoo. I think it’s the hardest thing in the world to so lovingly and tenderly put so much time into another human being just to watch them walk away from you.

Monkey’s first day of school tomorrow reminds me of the first time I dropped her off at my mother-in-law’s house to go back to work after maternity leave. The girls’ Nana has been watching them four days a week since they were 10 and 12 weeks old, respectively. They LOVE their Nana and love going to her house. They’re usually a little disappointed on the weekend when we tell them “No, you’re not going to Nana’s house today, you get to stay home with Daddy and me!” (much to our chagrin).

I remember trying to be really brave and matter of fact when I dropped Monkey off that first day back to work. I almost made it too, until I started bawling at the last minute and then basically had to run out the door. I was so sad that someone else was getting the privilege of spending 8-9 hours of the day with MY baby and that someone wasn’t me. Someone else was getting to *be* there. I was jealous.

Ultimately the experiences Monkey has had over the last 4.5 years at Nana’s house — the memories she’s made and the bond she has with her Nana — have been a benefit to everyone, including me and especially her. The same is true for Bean.

And I know that school will be SUCH a blessing for Monkey. She is so looking forward to it. She will love it and she will thrive. She has an inquisitive nature and it will be so wonderful to watch her mind growing right before our eyes.

But it’s definitely bittersweet. It’s hard to watch this child I love so much take another small step away from me. Even though she was in preschool two mornings a week last year, this is a bigger step. Every day there will be another person, aside from her Nana, her dad and me, who will occupy a central role in her life and development. Another person will get to spend 3+ hours a day with her that I won’t get to spend with her.

My friend who is a teacher wrote this last night and I can only hope all of our kids will experience a teacher or teachers like this in their lives:

“I am excited as always for the first day of school. Parents who are nervous about sending their kids to school: remember, your children are spending the day with peers, but they are also being welcomed, taught, challenged, cherished and watched over by teachers who open their classroom doors, their arms and their hearts to your children. Teachers, remember that tomorrow your rooms will be filled with the most important people in the world, and every one of them is their parents’ heart and soul and pride and joy. Handle with care. And parents, remember, we teachers teach because we want to love and guide your children. We know you see your child as a miracle; know that we do, too. Work with us, and know that we take what you say to heart, and we have the very best intentions in what we do to help your child grow and thrive. Most importantly parents, talk to us. Give us the feedback we need to make the most of our time with your child. I know that it is hard to believe that anyone could feel about your child the way you do — but know that your child’s teachers spend the majority of their lives trying to do and give everything they can for the students they’re blessed to work with. Have a beautiful first day of school everyone!”

I’m hoping I can keep my boo hoo hooing to myself.

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(No More Nuky) WOW OH WOW!

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On November 9 we made a big move in this household — it became NO MORE PACIFIER DAY!

We finally exhausted all the reasons to let Bean keep her pacifier — her eye teeth (aka canine teeth, aka cuspids) came in, she had her tear duct surgery, and she wasn’t sick.

I finally got Husband to agree to set a date. And we did. And we did it. And it was fine. (Husband had been more reluctant than me to ditch the paci mostly because it meant knowingly committing to more nightly interruptions and less sleep for him; which is totally valid because he regularly gets only 5 hours of sleep every night.)

And, let’s be honest, the nuk is a fast and easy way to calm your child. Even though Bean only got her nuk during naptime and bedtime, it also was a crutch in church, in the car, and when she was unusually belligerent.

We had tried to get Bean to give up the nuk in March when she was 13 months and it didn’t work very well. She just wasn’t ready, and since we had teething and surgery issues, I didn’t care enough to push it. In retrospect I’m glad we waited, if only for the surgery alone. I think it provided a great comfort to her, and helped quell her hunger.

BUT, as soon as she turned 21 months (3 months older than Monkey was when we got rid of her nuk), and her surgery was complete, I was anxious to ax it because I know the next major transitions are just around the corner: big girl bed and potty training.

I’m going to keep Bean in her crib as long as I can to cut down on the inevitable frustration of her having total and complete bedroom freedom — it was somewhat of a disaster with Monkey, probably because she was only 19 months old, but I can’t help it that she took a flying leap out of her crib. But, I know that moment could come at anytime, and I was going to be d@mned if I was going to be searching a big girl bed, and sheet, and comforter, for a dang nuk in the middle of the night. It was annoying enough to do it in her crib with no flat sheet or big comforter.

And sometime either before or after the big girl bed comes potty training. We were able to train Monkey in three days when she was 23.5 months and I have no idea if it will be that easy with Bean, but I’m sure we’ll give it a shot.

At any rate, I didn’t want Bean to be going through three major transitions in her life, so the nuk had to go!

I knew we would have to go a different route than just cutting off the tip. When we tried that in March it didn’t work AT ALL. As I’ve mentioned, Bean can sometimes be difficult to console. And she was P*SSED. In fact, she was downright furious.

I happened to be on Twitter about a week before we were planning to pull the plug when I stumbled across some Sesame Street You Tube videos about giving up the pacifier. Apparently, November 4 was NO MORE PACIFIER DAY, and Elmo had a series of cheeky videos about how kids could give up the binky in preparation for the big day (i.e. give it away, make an exchange, use a sticker chart, have a visit from the pacifier fairy, etc.) How fortuitous.

Elmo putting down his binky.

Since Bean was a little older, I thought she would understand the whole “give the nuk to a baby,” trick and settled on that as our main tactic. About a week before the big day, I started telling Bean that she wasn’t a baby anymore and that we were going to give her nuks to her baby cousin C. Every time I asked her if she was going to give her nuks to C she replied with “No.” 😉

We watched all NINE Sesame Street videos multiple times over the course of that week. On the morning of the big day I took Bean to the store and bought her a brand new baby doll in exchange for her nuks. That afternoon, before her nap, we gathered up her four remaining nuks, put them in a box and I again told her that I was going to mail them to her baby cousin. The next day, Bean’s Nana did the same thing.

We also stopped referring to her as a baby and really amped up the “big girl” praise. For MONTHS, Bean has referred to herself and any other child, larger or smaller than she, as a “baby.” Initially after giving up the nuk when we asked her if she was a baby she would respond enthusiastically, “Uh huh!” But it only took another week and she would respond, “Noooo, mama.” I think she loves that she’s a big girl now like her sister.

That first night Bean cried half heartedly on and off for about 30 minutes. We went in a couple of times and patted her back and eventually she fell asleep. She then proceeded to wake up about 5 times. I’m not gonna lie. It sucked. Husband and I were switching off going in and patting her back (but giving in was never an option). Finally, Husband fell asleep in the chair in her room.

Luckily for us, the next night went smoother with 15 minutes of half-hearted crying and only waking up once during the night.

And that was that! It’s been almost three weeks now and while it does take her longer to calm down at bedtime and fall asleep — meaning that she’s not crying, but that we’re having to go into her room a million times after we put her to bed, although this could have more to do with the fact that she’s had back-to-back illnesses — it’s really been easy breezy with minimal night wakings. I don’t know what was easier — cutting the tip for Monkey or doing an exchange for Bean. I guess it’s all a matter of finding the best method for your kid.

Check out who’s a big kid now!

Elmo helped Bean celebrate putting down the pacifier.

A Different Kind of Terrible

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I started this post over two months ago and I never finished it. Initially I entitled it “Way More Terrible.” And it’s about Bean. And her terribleness compared to Monkey’s. But rather than being way more terrible than Monkey’s foray into the terrible two’s, I’ve realized that she’s already mellowed some after only two months, and that she’s really not way more terrible. She’s just different.

Monkey is high energy. I can handle high energy. I can do high energy all night long standing on my head. I rock high energy.

When Monkey was in her “terrible twos” I remember thinking she was pretty terrible.

In retrospect, she wasn’t that bad.

Because Bean is high energy. Bean is busy, busy, busy, combined with extreme willfulness and independence. Emphasis on extreme.

She’s just not easily distracted. She is unusually focused and determined. And we could see that about her even when she was a little baby.

As an infant she could be very difficult to console. While it took awhile for her to get worked up, when she did, she was MAD. She was just very intent on being really p*ssed off!

I distinctly remember being totally bewildered during these intense crying fits as she continued to scream her head off even after I picked her up, shushed her, swaddled her, bounced her and showed her a stunning and magical array of blue elephants. Finally, I would be like, “Dude, I’M HOLDING YOU. Do you SEE ME, holding YOU?” Which didn’t work either.

Honestly, she’s been like this since the SECOND she was born. Literally. She was born, she screamed, I got to hold her for a minute during which time she was stunned into silence … and then commenced screaming again. And then the nurse took her to clean her off and she SCREAMED the entire time. I think it took that nurse like 20 minutes to do the APGAR, handprint and footprint her, and then even after I got her back, she continued to cry and cry. Major. Stress Hormones.

So yeah. The whole introduce a new toy to distract her from the toy you just took away? Didn’t really work for her. Needless to say, the whole introduce a new activity to distract her from the activity you don’t want her doing works equally well. That sofa she’s bouncing on? That chair she’s climbing? You’re gonna have to physically remove her from the room and lock her up somewhere. Because when you ask her nicely to stop what she’s doing, she looks at you and nicely responds back, “No.”

And that very specific toy that she’s looking for? Well another pink plastic toy pacifier will just not work. She doesn’t want the HARD PLASTIC one, she wants the SOFT PLASTIC one. WHY DO YOU KEEP SHOVING THIS CLEARLY INFERIOR HARD PLASTIC TOY PACIFIER IN MY FACE? Excuse me while I lay crumpled and sobbing on the floor.

I’ve learned that I just need to let her go. When she’s reached that point I don’t try to console her because the more I try to talk to her, the more angry she gets. She’ll just continue shouting “NO!” at the top of her lungs. If I try to empathize with her? Forget it. If I offer her a hug when she’s angry? She doesn’t want any of that either. She’d rather turn her back than look at you.

Monkey in general was (and still is) more amenable to compromises, and hugs and empathy. And reason.

She is doing less hitting and throwing when she’s angry. I think timeouts and ignoring her has really helped. Thank God too, because it’s the awesomiest thing when we’re in a public place and she starts hitting you.

Her ability to listen and follow directions is still up for debate. Some days she’s great. Other days? Not. At. All. Sometimes I feel like trying not to tell her what to do because I know she’ll just do the opposite of what I want.

And when we try to pick her up and make her do what we tell her to do — like don’t run away from me during Monkey’s school performance, don’t run away from me in the library, don’t run away from me down the hall —  she usually cycles her legs and flails her arms all around in an effort to get us to put her down.

Maybe I should just let go. 😉

That “Okay we’re leaving now,” trick where you walk out the door and leave her? Yeah, that totally doesn’t work with her. She’s completely unphased.

Two weeks ago she didn’t want to leave the neighbor’s house so Husband, Monkey and I walked out the door and stood there watching her through the window as she continued to play. She didn’t even look around for us after we left. After a Christmas parade last weekend we started walking away from her on the sidewalk and she just turned around and walked the other way. And when we were leaving my cousin’s in-laws’ house (people Bean literally sees 2-3 times/year) we said, “Okay, we’re leaving now. Are you staying here?” And she said, “Uh huh,” and started unzipping her coat.

Little sh*t.

Monkey definitely seemed to listen more. And that leaving trick TOTALLY worked with her. Hysterical sobbing usually would ensue with Monkey. Monkey’s still shy and Bean generally is not.

Monkey also is more prone to emotional outbursts. She’s a more emotional person. So while we had more frequent, but shorter tantrums with Monkey, we have fewer, but longer ones with Bean. Not necessarily more terrible. Just different.

I think the first four months of Bean’s life were so peaceful and easy because God knew how terrified I was about having a Toddler Tornado and a newborn.

Guess we were in for a surprise. I can’t wait to see how these traits manifest themselves in future years.

I See You

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I’ve realized in the last few weeks that I’m experiencing a transformation. Before my mom identity was one of “mom to toddler,” and now it’s being transformed to a mom of a preschooler. I’m responsible for new things now. Like getting my child to and from school on time, checking her backpack, reading school papers, signing permission slips, sending in field trip money, remembering a show and tell item, and helping with craft projects.

Last week I didn’t remember the show and tell until we were almost walking out the door and then in panic called Husband and said, “Quick! What can Monkey bring that starts with the letter “L??” My mind had gone completely blank. Wanna know what we decided? A lunchbox. How lame. But she didn’t seem to mind. It was only after I left that Husband called back to say that we could have grabbed her lovey or her mama lion that she sleeps with every night. Whoops!

There are just so many new things to think about and remember. Like I need to remember to replace the pair of socks that stays in her backpack because she wore them for gym class last week and now they need to be washed.

And I don’t think the transformation is unique to me. I think Monkey is undergoing one too. It might be partially her age (3.5), but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we’re suddenly experiencing a lot more defiance, hyper behavior, and MAJOR attitude. She’s been shouting a lot and purposely throwing extended temper tantrums about the most mundane things (it’s so painfully obvious that she’s not that upset about something, but that she’s going to make herself continue to fake cry, shriek and moan if it kills her).

Yet at school her teacher gives me glowing reviews. She says that Monkey is really “with it,” she does a great job helping and she was even picked to be the line leader. 😉 And she loves it! Loves all of it! After her first day she said she wanted to go to school every day.

I think she’s trying to grapple with her newfound responsibilities too. She’s learning how to conduct herself in a social setting. She’s learning to do things that she’s never had to do before; rules that she’s never had to follow. And it’s hard.

I think that’s why she’s getting home and losing her sh*t. She just can’t hold it all together for that long!

Even though Monkey has always been high energy, for a fleeting moment I was afraid that all of her super hyper activity was a sign that she was ADHD. But I don’t think that’s really it. I think she’s just learning how to navigate this next phase in her life, and sometimes that manifests itself in some super psycho behavior. There’s nothing that makes you feel like a terrible parent more than a child who suddenly acts like a first-rate brat.

It seems to be getting easier. Yesterday we played with her dolls on the floor and I marveled at her. I saw her. I saw what she was becoming. Thoughtful, studious, and gaining a better grasp on her world and how it works, day by day. Self-assured, opinionated and independent.

I wanted to be playful and she was serious. I wanted to goof around and she chastised me. I put a fake grass skirt on my head and pretended it was a wig. She asked me to take it off. I wanted to drive the car through the house. She told me that we can’t drive cars through houses. I had to play the way she wanted to play. I had to follow her rules.

“Mama, please don’t do that now.”

“Mama, don’t lay down and play. Sit up.”

“Mama, they’re not going to eat lunch now, they’re going to take a nap.”

I see you.

I see what you’re becoming. I like it.

I see what I’m becoming. And I like it too.

We’ll try to weather the next phase as gracefully as we can.




And So It Begins

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Laboring — In All Its Many Stages

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Earlier this evening I was waxing nostalgic because my sister-in-law is in the hospital AT THIS MOMENT giving birth. Here was my status:

Thinking about [sister-in-law] in labor right now kinda makes me want to have another baby. It’s just such an amazing and exciting time – the prospect of meeting a whole new person that you helped make, and who will have his/her own personality, and who you will spend a lifetime loving. A-mazing.

She commented back, You can take my place right now if you want! 😉 this is so not fun!”

In short order, my sister-in-law will find that everything she endured during labor was ALL worth it.

And I guess that’s something that, as a parent, you continually need to remind yourself of. Because as is wont to happen during child-rearing, you find yourself in a “stage” (and aren’t they always stages? It’s just a series of never ending stages?). We currently are in A STAGE with Bean. And if we don’t get out of THIS STAGE soon, I think I might have to go into her mouth and start pulling the non-protruding teeth out with a pliers. Because I’m just not so sure how long I can handle THIS STAGE.

Teething. Ugh. It seriously is nev-er end-ing. It was really, really bad about a month ago. And then it was better for a week or so. And now it’s just depressingly bad and annoying again. It’s the crying. The crying and the clinging and the crying. And the taking extra, extra long (along with extra time and attention from us) to fall asleep at night, the waking up in the middle of the night, and the waking up too early in the morning. Dear Bean’s teeth: PLEASE COME OUT NOW.

The fact that I was all nostalgic about having another baby, and then a mere 15 minutes after my “here and now” children arrived home I wanted to hide in closet with cotton stuffed in my ears, is just typical. Typical of what every parent goes through.

Even when you have the benefit of an older child, and you rationally know that these stages don’t last forever, it just FEELS like forever sometimes.

But, as in the case of labor during childbirth, the “labor” of raising a child is worth it (and this is oh so much clearer when your children are asleep, are not crying, screaming or otherwise clamoring for attention, and you are enjoying some free time).

Bye, bye, bye?

Speaking of stages, I spontaneously decided to wean Bean (hey, as Monkey would say, “that rhymes!” She has been rhyming some choice words lately, but more on that some other day) from the nuk tonight. You may remember we’ve been considering this for awhile. I wasn’t really planning on it. I was just annoyed with all the crying and carrying on at bedtime, and it just seemed like the nuk wasn’t helping. So why even bother with it?? We had experimentally cut the tip off of one of her five remaining nuks two months ago, just to see her reaction. It was pretty funny. She kept playing with it in her mouth. Taking it out, looking at it. Popping it back in. All the while not sucking on it. Her reaction pretty much mirrored Monkey’s when we did it to her.

So tonight, after my third trip into her bedroom to give her back the nuk she threw out, I decided to replace it with the one with the severed tip. She took it fine. Laid down. Played with it in her mouth. Of course I had to sit in the chair next to her crib until she fell asleep (because I tried to just hug her and leave three times and that sure didn’t work), but she had no issues with the nuk.

I honestly think she’ll be fine. We’ll keep giving her nuks with the tips cut off for the next 5-7 days, and I think she’ll just lose interest. We did the same thing with Monkey and finally on the seventh night or so, we just didn’t give it to her and she never even noticed. I’m hoping the same will happen with Bean.

I feel like Bean doesn’t even really need it like she thinks she does. She does more chewing on it than she does sucking. And it’s starting to become more and more of a crutch for us. Since she’s been so crabby lately, we’re starting to shove it in her mouth at the least provocation (aka, ALL THE TIME).

So we’ll see what happens.

Not much crying, but still teary

Speaking of the Beaner, her tear duct probe surgery turned out to be SO totally fine and not nerve-wracking at all. Thank you everyone who said prayers, wished us luck, or sent us positive thoughts.

The nurse gave her some sort of liquid sedative, which she warned tasted awful, and Bean proved by spitting most of it out. But apparently all she needed was a little bit to take the edge off. And then miraculously, when the anesthesiologist came to take her, she went right with him!!! She looked out the door, interested in all the action going on, and never looked back at us. No crying, no fuss. I was happily stunned. Oh! And I didn’t cry at all either!

The ophthalmologist performing the surgery came out to talk to us about 10 minutes later. Yes, seriously. He was able to get the probe about 75% of the way through (he warned us in advance that if it became difficult to pass the probe he would stop and not force it). Since he wasn’t able to get the probe all the way through, the procedure doesn’t have as high of a success rate (80-90%), but still better than 50-50.

Another 10 minutes passed and the nurse came to get us, saying that Bean was awake and we could come and be with her. Much to the amusement of the nurses, when they woke her up and a female nurse reached for her, she burst into tears and reached for the male anesthesiologist again! I don’t know, she must have thought he was cute!!

By the time we got to her she had been crying kind of hard, but she calmed down right away. After a pulse and oxygen test, we were out of there. The procedure began at 7:30 a.m. and we were back home by 8:20. Crazy!

Unfortunately for us, I don’t think the procedure worked. The ophthalmologist said that we would know for sure in 2-3 weeks, and it’s been just over two weeks. So far, Bean is still tearing. Her eye isn’t getting as gunky, but it’s definitely still tearing. Argh. If it doesn’t improve in the next several days, then I guess we’ll ultimately have to schedule an appointment at Children’s to have a tube placed in her tear duct to keep it open.

What the ophthalmologist failed to mention the first time he talked to us about our options, was that in most cases, the tube can be removed through the nose in the doctor’s office — thus it won’t require two procedures like I’d previously thought. I really wish I had known this because I think it may have been in our best interests to just do the tube procedure in the first place. While I’m no longer a nervous nelly about the anesthesia for the second procedure, the probe wasn’t cheap, and I don’t want to have to pay for a second surgery.

The royal marketing machine. I mean, wedding.

I have a mild interest in the wedding of Prince Whatshisname? Right. William. I seriously had to think about it for a minute. I still couldn’t remember and I had to ask my husband. Prince William and Catherine (who will no longer be known as “Kate” post-wedding) Middleton.

So I’ve been paying pretty minimal attention. I’ve glanced at the occasional article on People.com, but the idea of getting up at 4 a.m. to watch it was ridiculous to me. And I certainly wasn’t about to DVR it, because I don’t have six hours to watch it at some later point at my leisure. More importantly, I don’t have enough space on my DVR. I do regularly keep up with pop culture, but I figured I would just catch some highlights and call it a day.

And then … I thought, but this is one of those things that happen in a lifetime. One of the (thankfully non-tragic things) that people will always remember and talk about it. This is a huge pop cultural event. I think I kinda want to see it live. Plus, who doesn’t love a good wedding?

But still. It’s just not that important to me that I want to drag my butt out of bed at 4 a.m. to stare bleary-eyed at my TV screen for five hours. I have to do something else with that time.

And then I realized there are any number of things I could do with my time if I did indeed decide to get up at 4 a.m. And watching the Royal Wedding would make those tasks a little more enjoyable. (I do have a history of working during the wee hours of the morning anyway, so what the hell.)

For example:

  • Paying bills and balancing the checkbook (I absolutely abhor this task and I tend to put it off; it MUST be done tomorrow)
  • Folding kids’ laundry
  • Ordering a swimming suit from Lands’ End
  • Checking flights to Vegas for my future sister-in-law’s bachelorette party

I will not, however, be throwing a viewing party. Unless for some reason you wanted to come over and balance your checkbook too. Or, in case my favorite neighbors wanted to stop by with Starbucks and doughnuts. I’m just saying. I’ll make sure to dress appropriately. And by appropriately, I don’t mean with royal wedding-watching garb. I just mean with clothes on.

If you’ll be watching too, facebook me. And don’t forget the doughnuts!

!!! Spring Edition

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I guess it’s officially spring, although we’re supposed to get a rain/snow storm this afternoon.

But that’s really beside the point, because more importantly it’s Friday, it’s FRIDAY! I’m so HAPPY that IT’S FRIDAY! The fact that it’s Friday, when I was SURE that Friday would never get here, is just proof that time, indeed, marches on. Speaking of march, GOODBYE MARCH, HELLO APRIL.

So in the spirit of time’s unceasing movement forward, here are a couple of my favorite !!! moments (intentional happiness) from the past two weeks.

What’s good for the goose …

Last week, Husband jokingly de-pantsed Monkey. He thought it was hysterical, naturally, and she chided him with “Daddy!”

I, however, did not find it funny. I gave Husband a very stern look and reprimanded him. “She’s going to do that at school in the fall,” I pointed out. “No way. DO NOT do that again.”

Several hours later, guess what happens. Husband is lying on the floor and Monkey comes up behind him and pulls his pants down. She laughs and thinks she’s hysterical. Husband exclaims, “Hey! No, Monkey don’t do that.”

Monkey ignores him and does it again, this time pulling his underwear down with his pants. Now he’s really embarrassed and Monkey’s still laughing.

I look at him with my best I told you so face and say, “See! You have to explain to her right now why that’s not okay and that you were wrong. Tell her that you need a time out.” Husband gets a gleeful expression on his face and says, “Whoopee! A 35-minute time out!?? Okay!”

Potty time

Monkey is only three weeks away from her third birthday, and she’s been potty trained for a year. But, she still wears a pull-up, or in our house, “nighttime underwear” for sleeping. Some mornings she wakes up and her pull-up is SOAKED, and other mornings it’s wet, but not drenched. She’s really been getting better about going potty on the toilet right away when she wakes up, as opposed to just peeing in the pull-up. We’ve also been emphasizing that she can get up and go to the bathroom anytime she needs to, whether it’s at night or for a nap and that she doesn’t have to call for us or wait for us. I even told her, “You know, Daddy and I do that all the time. We always wake up at night and go to the bathroom.” She seemed very surprised to hear this information.

Well it must have made an impression on her, because last night the unthinkable happened. Monkey actually got out of bed around 10 p.m., used the bathroom and then went back to bed!! Holy cow! I certainly was not expecting that to happen! Especially since most parents have told me that their kids were still in pull-ups at night until they were four. We’re not gonna be going pull-up free anytime soon, but I can’t believe she did that!

Hello (hello, hello, hello)

Carys learned what an echo was and spent the good part of an afternoon yelling hello in our front yard to hear her echo.

Bye-bye nappy

My poor little Beany. She’s just going through so much lately. She also seems to have officially dropped her morning nap, which I don’t think is helping. Even though she’s rubbing her eyes and acting tired, when I try to put her down in the morning she’s quiet in her crib for about 15 minutes, then she plays, and then she cries to get up.

I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, our whole morning just opened up. It’s SO nice to be able to do a morning activity, have lunch and a nap, and then do an afternoon activity. We have so much more flexibility now. On the other hand, it’s hard because I see that she’s tired and somewhat crabby and could benefit from the extra sleep. We’ll see how she adjusts over the next several weeks.

It’s all about me

The plus side of Bean’s major separation anxiety, teething and sickness issues is that I’m getting a lot of extra cuddle time with her. There’s no cry that apparently my arms can’t calm. When I pick her up, it stops immediately (or nearly). I think the instant ease that kids feel in their mothers’ arms is universal — they must feel so soothed, so protected, so safe! I wish I could remember the comforting feeling of my mom’s arms. We should develop a name for this instant ease — like Momease or Momcalm. What should we call it?

Vocab

I’m thinking Bean might be going through a brain growth spurt — which could be another contributing factor to her not sleeping well lately — because she’s mastered the word “Hi” and also is saying “Nana,” and attempting “buh bye” and “please.” I think her Nana is going to be pretty thrilled to come home and hear her say, “Hi Nana.”

Bed head

Finally, finally, finally Bean is growing some hair. Finally! Monkey didn’t have much hair either (she’s only had like three haircuts in her life), but even she had more hair at 14 months than Bean does. And Bean’s hair is just starting to get long enough that occasionally she’ll wake up with a small section of errant hairs that stick straight up. The first time it happened I thought it was so cute that I didn’t even try to smooth it down.

So what’s made you !!! lately?

Intentional Happiness

Bad Mommy Moments !!! Momalom !!!