Sunday, September 15, 2013

Kids These Days

It's 10 am on a dreary fall morning, and of course, that means my husband can be found at the bar. To be fair, he goes to any bar an average of 15 times a year, and always at 10am, and only to watch his beloved Vikings play football (I'm too stingy to buy the NFL network - in fact, this year, I convinced him to cancel cable all together, but that's another story). That means the kids and I are up and watching PBS weekend tv, and I'm happy to have my two babies piled onto my lap. And do a little blog updating.

All three of us have circles under our eyes this morning. Ellie's enjoying the freedom of her big girl bed a little too much these nights (and early mornings), and both are teething, and I'm getting the short end of both these sticks when it comes to sleep. Days like these I especially appreciate not heading off to work in the morning.

I had a dream last night in which Dash was back in the hospital and was acting fine - no breathing or feeding assistance required. I begged the nurse to let me take him home and she asked the doctor who gave us the okay to be discharged. I cried tears of joy and when I woke up my relief was palpable. Thank goodness he's ours and he's healthy. I recounted my dream to Peter, who reminded me that today is Dash's five month birthday. So it is! Happy five months, big guy!
Too busy laughing to stay still for the camera
What's Dash up to these days? Besides teething, which is keeping him from sleeping too soundly but not making him grumpy or unhappy otherwise?
See? Teething
He found his feet this week and is pretty thrilled to have built in toys which his sister cannot steal away from him, regardless of how hard she tries. He's still a bit on the young side of the developmental spectrum - really he acts more like a four month old in most ways (except his size. He passed the 20 pound mark and is snuggly wearing size 12-18 month). He found his voice too, and likes to experiment with it, likes to converse with us and will give us some priceless giggles if we work hard enough. Although he's rolled over in the past, he prefers being stationary and watching the chaos unfold around him. I have a feeling he'll be a bit slower on the movement front, which is just FINE with this tired mama.

He's a champion nurser (obviously) and lately has spent the majority of his waking hours attached to my breast. We're good at breastfeeding on the go, but it is making me quite hungry all the time. :) He's showing almost zero interest in real food, and I'm going to let him take the lead on this one. He'll eat when he's ready (although, I admit I have shared a couple "bites" of peaches and plums with him already. I can't help it - this end of summer fruit is so delicious, I have to let him try it before it's gone for another year! I love him too much to have him wait for his first bite of delicious summer peach). Sleep could be better, but could be worse too, so I'm counting it as a win. Dash is perfectly content sitting and watching whatever is happening around him, which makes him literally the easiest baby I've ever encountered. He's so happy, so sweet and so easy and so darn cute that I find myself many, many times a day shaking my head in disbelief that he's mine. You guys - I just love him so incredibly much.

And his big sister? I love her incredibly much too, of course. What's she up to these days?

Ellie is simultaneously the biggest handful and the biggest source of joy to me. Such a combination of incredibly frustrating and heart-bursting amazing this little girl is. I suppose that's true of most two year olds? She's so thirsty for knowledge these days (and water too, and JUICE!). She amazed us by quickly learning almost all the letters almost entirely on her own, and has moved on to trying to draw them. She loves trucks, trains, airplanes etc, and will beg for as much tv as we let her watch. Superwhy is a favorite, but Dinosaur Train is not far behind, with the old Pixar standbys reliably waiting in the wings. She loves her brother, but occasionally finds joy in kicking him, which leads to a most unhappy timeout. She loves her crib/toddler bed, but does not love to stay in it unless she determines she's been rocked and "talked to" enough before hand. She calls the process of rocking and talking "SO" (because we always begin the conversation with "so, how was your day?") and will beg and cry for "MORE SO!" and come out of the room as many times as she wants asking for "more so?" until we either give in or determine that she's done - in which case she will cry herself to sleep.... It's pretty exhausting. Additionally she refuses to sleep in her twin bed and will only use her crib/toddler bed, which would be fine, but we're getting anxious to move Dash to the crib and out of bed with me. It'll get there, eventually.
Dash is just fine in the twin bed, however.
Superwhy! on the kindle! 
She loves playdough and coloring and playing blocks with Daddy and riding her airplane around the house and pushing her baby stroller. She's a pretty good eater most of the time. She seems to be at a language plateau, which is frustrating for everyone.

She's teething her molars which seems pretty painful at times. Eleanor's creative and silly and sweet and fun-loving and brave, and strong willed and energetic and frustrated at her limitations (either self imposed or imposed by us) all in one. She loves her brother almost all the time, but you never know if she's about to shove something in his face and jump on him with love, or get super angry at whatever he's holding or attention he's garnering. She's started a two hour a week Toddler Group, which after one session, I can say she earned an A+ for attitude and F for following the group.

She's amazing. She's a handful. We're quite lucky.


  1. You are an amazing Mom, Julia. I'm traveling more, but I'd love to see you soon. How about lunch together in U Village or a girls night soon? I miss you, Kelli and Megan.

  2. Sounds like you and Peter are being held prisoner by Ellie's two-year-old tyrant self! I empathize. She is a wonderful, formidable little girl. She has such a strong will and very clear ideas about what she wants, both from herself and others. One word of warning - if you are in any way waiting for the time when she will grow out of it and respond to parental limits in a reasonable way, you have about 20 years to go. :( One guideline I used when I was in an active parenting/step-parenting role was to ask myself, "can I live with this behavior long term?" If the answer was yes, I let that be an area of flexibility. If the answer was no, I worked hard to hold the boundaries and let the chips (and tears) fall where they might. Good luck with the sleeping issues. You're a great and loving mom. I know you're up to these challenges!