Monday, December 15, 2014

Bye Bye Baby Gear

Vivienne turns one in a few days.  Umm what?  Excuse me?  That can't be right.  I just squeezed that wailing little lemon head first into this crazy world... 

In celebration of this milestone, (and also because we needed to wedge a Christmas tree in the living room) we packed up and donated all our baby gear to a local charity.  Lamb swing, lamb bouncy seat, jump-a-roo, co-sleeper...all gone.  We're left with a pack n' play and a used breast pump.  

We're pretty sure we're done having babies, and we have no storage space for such large items.  I considered hanging on to them, but I hated the thought of letting everything rot in our damp basement just in off they went.  Of course, we're taunting the universe with such a bold move, so we'll probably be blessed with triplets next year.  

It was sad watching Eric load everything in the back of his truck.  It's just stuff, and I usually have no problem getting rid of things I no longer use.  But these things rocked and cuddled and bounced my girls.  Sob.  Mah babies!!  

I remember how exciting it was to set up all those items for the first time.  That jump-a-roo seemed so foreign.  A spaceship might as well have landed in our living room.  The swing was bought in desperation during the height of Maddie's colic.  It changed our lives!  

It was just as exciting to set them up again last year as we waited for Vivi's arrival.  Madeline would put her dolls in the seats, and we'd wonder what it would be like to welcome a little sister to the family.  Vivi napped in that swing or bouncy seat for the first six months of her life.  

But as exciting as it was to set all that equipment up for the first time, it was also liberating taking them apart.  Baby stuff takes up a lot of space.  Our tiny house suddenly feels so spacious.  

And in a way, it feels good to set that stage of our lives in the past.  We're ready for the next part.

 I know from our experiences with Madeline that it only gets better.  Each age is more interesting, more challenging, more fun than the last.  So, while I'm mourning the end of our baby days, I'm more excited to watch our girls grow, grow, grow.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Dear Santa

We brought the girls too see Santa with my family last weekend.

Vivi is getting a little less shy around strangers, but I did not have high hopes for her first visit with Mr. Claus. 

When she saw him, her grip on me tightened, but she didn't cry.  We were able to sit for a few family photos before the tears finally came.  I call that a win.

Maddie was braver this year too.  Before we got there, she decided that although she wouldn't sit on his lap, she would sit next to him. And that's just what she did.  She wouldn't look at him though....hey, baby steps.  

The goal is to eventually get a picture of the girls without Eric and I there too.  Maddie will probably be twelve by then.  

When we were finished, Madeline realized that she didn't tell Santa what she wanted for Christmas.  This worried her a but, but we reminded her that we wrote him a letter, so all was well.  

We've been bringing Madeline to the same local garden center to see Santa since she was one.  They have lots of decorated trees, hot cider, chocolate chip  cookies, and a large train set to keep the kiddos (and adults) amused.  

(I hate to tell you girls, but there's a creeper in the bushes behind you.)

(Cousin Love) 

And now, the ghosts of Santas past: (They also switched Santas on us this year, and we were bummed. The old Santa was the best!)



Thanks for playing photographer, Mimi and Bob!

I can't get over how much Madeline looks like Vivi in this picture....or Vivi looks like Maddie...

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Help! I'm Seeing Elves!

We "adopted" an elf for Christmas this year.  Her name is Tipsy, and she has a drinking problem.

(Eric got a beer advent case, and this may have contributed greatly toward our decision to introduce an elf to our home.)

But when she's not busy pounding them back, she's filling Madeline's life with magic and candy canes.  

I have mixed feelings about the whole Elf on the Shelf tradition.  I mean, it's kinda creepy that this elf watches you all day and then flies back to Santa to narc you out every night.  It's Santa, not the Gestapo for goodness sake.  Plus, I'd rather her be a good human because it's the right thing to do, and not because she's worried Santa won't bring her presents...which he is, obviously.  

On the other hand, I love cheesy stuff like this. I nerd out thinking of all the fun we can have with this elf.  

Best of all, Madelne's reaction to Tipsy has been priceless.  She believes.  Oh, she believes so hard.  

On the first day of our advent calendar, Madeline recieved a telegram from Santa stating that our request for an elf had been approved.  Later that afternoon, Tipsy appeared under our tree.  

Madeline was very quiet as we read the note Tipsy wrote to her.  Then she carefully held Tipsy in her lap while we read the book.  When we got to the part about how it's against the rules to touch an Elf on the Shelf, Maddie quickly passed her to me.  I told her it was okay because it was her first day with us.   I let her give Tipsy a kiss before we placed her on the shelf, and she hasn't touched her since.  

On the first night, Maddie had a hard time falling asleep.  

"Do you think she's come to life yet?"  she whispered across her bedroom as I fed Vivi a bottle.  

We downplay the part about Tipsy flying back to the North Pole to tell on her.  Although Tipsy did bring her a candy cane for good behavior one morning.  I'm not saying we haven't fallen back on the whole, "Remember, Tipsy is watching..." bit a few times.  When your kid refuses to eat her dinner three nights in a row, you'll try anything.  

Mostly, we focus on the idea that Tipsy helps us get in the holiday spirit!  

Here's what Tipsy's gotten herself into so far...

She threw herself a welcome parade with the instrument ornaments from our tree.

She perched on Giselle the Gazelle to get a better view of our house.

She took a ride on our penguin slide.  

She read Rudolph a Christmas book about reindeer.  

She played dress up with Anna and Elsa, and came away with a new skirt!

She took the princess Little People on a joy ride in the Little People school bus, but she was driving too fast for me to get a picture...

And she's educating the toys on Elf culture.

Oh that Tipsy Elf...

Friday, December 5, 2014

Vivi: Forty-Nine and Fifty Weeks

Vivi had her first bad cold this week.  She spent Tuesday sleeping on my chest all day long.  She was pretty sad.

We brought her into bed with us that night.  She nuzzled right up under my chin and twirled my hair as she slept.  It was really sweet.  I almost didn't mind the six inches of space that she left me to sleep in.

Luckily, two days later she was back to her normal rascally self.  

She's been kinda terrible to Madeline recently.  Every time I give big sister attention, she gets jealous.  If Maddie's sitting on my lap, she crawls over, whines, and tries to push her body between us.  If that doesn't work, she bangs her hand on Maddie's head.  

Yesterday, I was reading them both a story.  I had the girls on either side of me, but Vivi still found it necessary to crawl over to Madeline's side and push her out of the way.  

You better get used to it Miss Vivienne because I'm not going to stop cuddling my Maddie Bear any time soon.  

On the other hand, Vivi and Madeline are playing together more, and it's the cutest.  Yesterday they played hide and seek (Vivi "hid" behind a curtain) then they chased one another around the living room for half an hour.  The house was filled with squeals and giggles.  

Vivi makes a noise that we think is her attempt at saying Madeline.  It sounds like Ma-ine-ine-ine.  She repeats it a lot especially at lunch or dinner when she's sitting next to her sister.  Or maybe she's just saying she's hungry...

This morning this happened when Madeline woke up:


A few weeks ago I was convinced that Vivi's eyes were just about brown.  Now they're bright blue again.  Can that happen?  

She's curious about everything.  She points to things around the room and asks, "Dah?"  And I list the names of everything until she's satisfied.  She likes to point to her head most of all.  She thinks that's funny.  I don't know why.   Babies...

She's still not walking, just thinking about it.  Madeline learned to walk about a week after her first birthday, and I feel that Vivi's working on the same timeline.  

She had some more poop episodes over the past two weeks.  They were the first in months.  I have no idea what happened.  It seems like her body just doesn't want to digest anything too solid.  

I keep a log of everything she eats along with rashes and BMs, etc.  When we see the allergist and nutritionist in a few weeks, I figure it might be useful.  

Anyhow, things are operating as they should be now.  I'm learning not to be too stressed over it.  For whatever reason, this is how her body works.  

In the meantime, our local bakery that made vegan treats went out of buisiness.  If anyone has a good recipe for dairy and egg free cupcakes, I'd be grateful.  This girl needs to have a birthday cupcake!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Under the Christmas Tree

December gets busy fast.  Last Saturday night, Eric and I realized we didn't have another free weekend until after the New Year.

"When are we going to get a tree???" I moaned.

So we spent Sunday finding a tree and decorating it.  Good man.  We'll see what happens if I bring up the lights...

Madeline was really excited about decorating the tree this year.  As we set up the stand then swept up the needles then unraveled the lights, she bounced giddily around the room.  

"Is it ready now?  Is it ready?"

She loved taking the ornaments out one by one.  She started hanging them on the tree by herself but got tired of that quickly.  Too much work.  Instead, she'd demand I hang it then rush back to the boxes to dig out the next treasure.  

Vivi was mildly confused by the whole process.  She pointed at the tree a few times, but mostly spent the time quietly observing from Eric's lap.

We were really worried that Vivi would find nightmarish ways of destroying the tree and herself in the process.  This is the child that is obsessed with our blinds and all electrical sockets after all. Yet, there was no need to worry.  She could care less about the tree.  She barely even glances at it.  

Madeline on the other hand?  I have to remind her not to tug on the tree or paw at the ornaments on an hourly basis.  She hasn't broken any yet, but I did catch her banging two together yesterday.  I'm sure it will happen eventually.  

And here's the people I love most (I even grew two of them myself!) under the tree:

Eric's always so fancy wearing his bow tie around the house.

Madeline posing with the ever faithful Olaf and our dog Bird.

Can you spy the Vivienne?

She's just diving into her box of diapers...

To make a mess of her wipes.  

P.S. Our house looks instantly 200 times better when there's holiday decorations up.  I might leave them till Valentine's Day.  

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving Weekend

At Thanksgiving last year, I ate too much pumpkin cheesecake.  The next day, I had a non-stress test, and Vivi was climbing my uterine walls from all that second-hand sugar.  

This, year she did not get any cheesecake (darn dairy allergy), but that didn't stop her from crawling all over my parents' house.  Round and round in circles she went...under the table...down the hallway.  She slept very well that night.  

We had our first snow storm of the season on Thanksgiving eve.  Madeline was so excited.  She kept saying, "Elsa came!"  Thanks, Frozen.  

On Thanksgiving morning, the girls watched Eric shoveling from the front windows.  

As I was snapping pictures, Maddie leaned over, hugged her sister, and said, "I'm thankful for Vivi."  

Oh my goodness...heart explosion.  

Around 8 am, Maddie decided she was ready for turkey, and she went upstairs and got herself dressed.  

Maddie had a bad cold the rest of the weekend, so we were housebound.  I lost count of how many Christmas-themed cartoons we watched on Netflix. Has anyone else been subjected to The Swan Princess Christmas?  It's terrible.  Awful.  But Maddie Bear is obsessed.  

Meanwhile, Eric and I finally painted the dining room.  I wasn't sure about the color, even as it was going up.  But now?  I love it!  It's exactly what I wanted.  

On Saturday night, Eric and I realized that this would be our last weekend without plans till after the New Year. Yikes!  So we hustled on Sunday to get our tree set up.  

We're ready for Christmas!  We even got an Elf on the Shelf.  Who am I?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Forty-Eight Weeks

We saw Vivi's GI dude this week, and he's very happy with how she's doing.  She weighs 16 lbs 8 oz, which puts her in the same percentile as last time.  She's growing as she should be.  

We're taking her off the acid blockers.  This is not only good news for her tummy, but also for our wallet!  Hoo-ray!  

Speaking of chubby babies, Vivi is great at getting food in her own mouth.  I feel like Maddie didn't have that skill mastered until the age of three, but Vivi shovels it in by the fistful, forkful, or cupful.  

Those chubby cheeks are not just for kissing and squeezing though.  She hides  food in them.  When there's no more room, she spits all the mushed up food back out.  Gross.  Sometimes she spits the food out half an hour after she's eaten.  It's like she's preparing for winter.  

We tried avocado again this week without incident.  Last week's rash must have been from her clothing.  Hoo-Ray!

She now loves avocado, beans, grapes, and applesauce the best.  We had spicy chili for dinner one night this week, and she loved it!  Maddie likes spicy foods too.  It always surprises me.  

Vivi is a champion pointer.  She points at pictures on the wall, people walking by, toys she wants.  Pretty much everything. When Eric gets home from work, she crawls up to him and gives him the double point.  "You.  Hey, you.  I know you, man."  

We have a red headed witch decoration that we hung on our door for Halloween. Today, Vivi pointed at the witch, then pointed at me, then back to the witch.  She repeated this gesture several times.  I guess I look like a witch.  

She's getting braver about standing solo.  I think she'd be able to walk if she were just a little more confident about letting go.  We'll see.

She's also been a bit better around other people.  Not the doctors...who touch her, but people who stay a comfortable distance away seem okay.  

She's entering such a fun age.  We can see the wheels turning.  We can watch her facial expressions as she processes the world.  Communication is growing.  Her personality is fully emerging.  

I can't believe we'll be celebrating her first birthday next month.  Life is passing so quickly...too quickly.  Sob.  My baby!