Monday, July 21, 2014

Vivi: Thirty Weeks

I wrote a pretty amazing weekly update on Friday morning, and then Blogger ate it.  Here's what you missed:

- Her eyes are turning brown.
- She likes to pull M's hair...a LOT!  
- She likes to "feed" herself.
- She likes to play peek-a-boo.
- She's very well behaved in restaurants.
- Bedtime is getting easier.  Mostly...
- Naps are for the birds.  
- She is very vocal.
- Rash is gone
- The bad poops are not gone.  
- Her hair is pretty red.  
- She's tied for first in the world's cutest baby that ever was contest with Madeline.  

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Madeline's First Fish

Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, just off the easternmost point of Long Island, there lives a fish. For the majority of this fish's existence, life was rather simple.  He spent his days looking for smaller fish to eat, tried his best to avoid getting eaten by bigger fish, and swam carelessly on the bottom of the dark, cold sea he knew so well.  But recently, life became much more complicated for Mr. Fish.

For one, his mouth has a hole in it.  It's a bit sore, and the other fish eye it suspiciously.  Though they are too polite to ask how it got there, they assume he is trying to look tough, and he has lost many of his friends.  

Meanwhile, he used to dart after his prey with the eagerness of a fish half his age, but recently finding food has left him feeling a bit anxious and scared.  Sometimes, just as he's about to swallow a plump crab, he suddenly feels like he can't breathe.

Above all, he has developed an overwhelming sense that life is fleeting, that he should be using the short time he has been given to the fullest.  But as a fish, what else is there besides swimming, eating smaller fish, and trying not to get eaten by bigger fish?

Perhaps Mr. Fish would find some comfort in knowing that his existential crisis is the result of a little girl catching her first fish with her grandparents, and that doing so brought her great happiness.  But alas, he's only a fish.


Pop brought Madeline out fishing on the boat while we were in Montauk.  Nana and Dada went along as well.

Maddie has been curious about fishing all spring since finding out that the boys who live down the street go with their dad.  But while Eric loves boats, he doesn't care for fishing much, so we knew Pop was probably a better person to expose her to the sport.

They didn't go out for too long, and Nana created a backup plan involving a pre-caught fish just in case nothing was biting.  She wanted to make sure Madeline's first fishing trip wasn't boring.

Yet, as luck would have it, they didn't need it.  They caught a Porgy almost immediately after casting the line.  Due to Pop's amazing fishing prowess, they didn't even have time to get a picture.

Luckily, they had Nana's decoy for photography purposes and for a second round of excitement.

Madeline, tenderhearted soul that she is, decided to let Mr. Porgy go back to his family, which is why he's currently swimming amongst the rocks on the bottom of the ocean feeling completely out of sorts.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Montauk, 2014: Beach'n It

I took approximately 500 photos on ye old IPhone while we were in Montauk, so please excuse me if your eyes glaze over a bit while I share some of my family's vacation memories a la Clark Griswold.

One of our priorities for this vacation was to spend a lot of time relaxing at the beach soaking in the salt air and gazing at the horizon.  We had beautiful weather the entire time we were there, (except for the Fourth...thanks, stupid hurricane.) so we were able to meet this goal pretty easily.  

We like to hit the beach as early in the day as possible.  I don't like big crowds, I don't like heat, and obviously the sun is a little too fond of our redheadedness...but in spite of these facts, I do love the beach.  Most days we were sitting under a beach umbrella by 9:30 and gone by noon right when it was getting crowded and hot.

This was Vivienne's first time being a beach baby, and we weren't really sure what she'd think.  She's been known to protest loudly when she's not pleased with her universe, so I was prepared for some major squawking.  But...she was great!
Vivi did not like putting her toes in the water.  She did, however, like napping on Eric.  Every time Eric stood with her in the surf, she'd stare sleepily at the ocean, listen to the sound of the waves crashing,  lean her cheek against Dada's chest, and lights out.  It was awesome.
We'd follow nap time with some nursing, and then she'd sit happily on a beach blanket trying her darnedest to scoop up fistfuls of sand no matter how many towels we layered beneath her.

As for Madeline?  Our little water baby was in beach heaven.  She's still a little too young to go swimming in the ocean, but she doesn't mind.  Running from the waves is fun enough for her.  After two weeks, she became brave enough to wade in up to her thighs and laugh when the waves splashed her chest.  When she got cold, she'd sit happily digging in the sand.

Eric spent a lot of time with a snoozing Vivienne on his chest, and a lot of time observing the surfers and reminiscing about his youth, and a lot of time chasing Madeline in the waves.  I spent a lot of time nursing Vivienne, chasing Madeline in the waves, and collecting seashells and rocks.  For some reason, the beaches down there have more of those things than the beaches near us, which are pretty seashell free in comparison.

On our last visit to the beach, the weather was perfectly cool and sunny.  The holiday crowds had disappeared, and except for the lifeguards and a handful of dog walkers, we had the beach to ourselves.     It was perfect, and we can't wait to visit again next summer.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Parenting, Currently

Bedtime started two and a half hours ago, but nobody is sleeping.  I'm currently sitting on the stairs listening to both girls cry.

Maddie Bear is in our room because she was keeping Vivi awake with all the singing and standing on her head.  Obviously, that is the way one falls asleep.  

And Vivi...sigh...she rages against the crib so hard with those tiny fists.  

We've tried everything else. Tonight, my love, we try letting you just scream yourself tired.  Trust me, it's harder on me than it is on you.  

This is why God, in all His infinite wisdom, created wine.  It's for the mothers.  

P.S.  To the man in my neighborhood with the ridiculously loud motorcycle...WTF, dude.  

P.P.S. I actually wrote this two nights ago.  It's getting better.  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Letters to Maddie Bear: July, 2014

Dear Madeline,

We're nearing the end of three.  Very soon, you will be four, and you are so excited.  You ask when it will be your birthday almost every day.  You remind us that you're almost four constantly.  

This morning you watched me reach the microwave and said, "Maybe when I'm four, I'll be as big as you."  

Although, it will still be a few years until you can reach the microwave, you're growing like a weed.  Your legs are so long.  Your arms are so long.  Everything about you is long.  

I bought your summer clothes in size 4T. The length is right, but you swim in them around the waist.  Most of the time your bum ends up hanging out of your shorts.  

Speaking of which, potty humor is hilarious to you.  You make jokes about your bum all the time.  For example, you told me it looked beautiful because it was getting married to your feet.  You're also into the chest area.  You held a bra up to yourself at the store and cried, "Don't I look fancy?"  Sometimes you stuff your shirt with toys.  Seriously, you might be turning fourteen instead of four.  

You had so much fun on our trip to Montauk.  You have always loved the water and the beach.  We loved watching you run in the waves, collect shells, build sandcastles.  

Plus, you had grandparents, aunties, and uncles giving you lots of attention.  There was always an adult ready to play with you and always a new game to be discovered.  Auntie Carol even set up a Fourth of July Easter egg hunt for you since the holiday got rained out.  

You continue to be such a good big sister even though it's not always easy.  Vivi has started bunking with you.  You try your best to be quiet, but you're always restless at bedtime.  It's like you can't help standing on your head instead of sleeping.  You can't control the songs pouring out of you.  As a result, some nights you are banished to Mumma and Dada's room until everyone is calm.  It's not really fair, but we're trying our best to figure out how to make sharing a room work.

I love you my Maddie Bear.  


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Vivi: Twenty-Eight and Twenty-Nine Weeks

I'm baa-aack!  We spent the past two weeks in Montauk. I've been far too busy slathering my fair-skinned brood with buckets of sunscreen to blog.  It's hard to type with such slippery hands.  

But while we've been gone, Vivi has been growing fast!  She seems suddenly enormous.  I put her in the jumperoo yesterday afternoon for the first time in two weeks and was shocked at how much she's grown in such a short time.
She no longer has to stretch her toes to touch the floor.  Her tummy fills the seat. 

And she's able to play so much better.  She can reach all the toys with ease.  She can manipulate them in her hands. And everything finds its way to her mouth. 

One of her favorite games is grabbing the sunglasses off our faces.  She wrinkles her nose mischievously at her reflection in the lenses, and she laughs joyfully at her own cleverness when she gets them off.  

She has started leaning forward on her hands while sitting up. (Tripoding?)  If there's something she wants within reach, she can bend and wiggle all the way over to reach it.  I think she'll be crawling before we know it.  

She likes sitting in her high chair to eat with us.  We give her a cup or a spoon or a paper plate to play with while we finish our meal.  I think it makes her feel like she's one of us if she has some kind of dinnerware in her grasp.  When we go out to eat, she likes to observe the people around us from her perch.  

Her skin cleared up about two days after arriving in Montauk.  The eczema is still slightly there on the backs of her knees and on her ankles, but her face is much better.  I'm hoping it continues to hold off.  

She had another bad poop attack over the Fourth.  This is the third one she's had in the past three months ever since starting solids. We have so many theories about what may be causing it, but no answers.  The first two poop attacks happened after she ate rice cereal. This time, she had eaten nothing but pears and prunes.  

I have started eating normally again except for dairy.  Still, there were a few times I was lax with the dairy while we were away, so that could be the culprit although I have my doubts.  Her poops weren't any better when I was avoiding everything.  

In a kinda reverse elimination diet,  I ate some cheese  two days ago to see if it causes any problems.  (And cause I needed pizza.). So far, no problems, but in the past, it's taken a week to filter through the system, so we'll just continue to wait.  

In other news, we've moved her into Madeline's room.  They shared a room without any major problems in Montauk.  So far, it's going okay at home.  Vivi is not too pleased with her crib, and she's not afraid to show it.  Sorry, kiddo.  You can't bunk with Mumma forever.  

Speaking of which, we're dealing with some separation anxiety.  If I'm in the same room, but not holding her, we get some epic baby whining.  She often cries when I leave the room, and Dada gets a major earful if he tries to put her to bed instead of me.  It's nice to be loved, but it's also a bit draining.  

P.S. Today's bunny picture was hard.  Gal did not want to sit still or smile.  I got a lot of stink eye.  Also, that shirt was mine as a baby. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Vivi: Twenty-Seven Weeks

Eric's on vacation for the summer, we're at the beach, and I've already lost track of time.  Is it really Friday already?  Is it even June still?  What year is it?  Where we're going we don't need roads?  

Don't mind me.  I just drank a piƱa colada by the sea because...vacation.  I'm not a delinquent parent.  Vivi was napping in the stroller right by my side the entire time.  

Vivienne's rashy problems are consistently inconsistent.  One day her skin looks great, and the next it's a mess all over again.  I've been scouring my food journal, but fail to recognize any connections between what I'm eating and her health symptoms.  Bah humbug.

I'm still dairy free, but have become a lot less strict with the rest.  The good news is that I'm twenty pounds lighter than my pre pregnancy weight.  But then I lost five pounds last week alone and decided I was becoming obsessively ridiculous and needed to chill.  

In other news...

While at the beach, we've learned that Vivi does not like sand, waves, or sunscreen.  However, the sound of the waves crashing put her into a deep slumber on Eric's shoulder.  

Maddie and Vivi have been sharing a room for the first time while we're on vacation.  When Vivi realized Madeline was lying in bed across from her, she couldn't settle to sleep.  She just wanted to smile and screech at her big sister.  

Tonight, when Vivi started getting fussy at dinner, Maddie was able to distract her and keep her calm.  The two of them played happily at the table while we adults finished eating in peace.  They're so sweet together.  

Vivi loves chewing her toes, loves banging objects on the table, loves drinking from a cup, and loves pulling my hair.  And I love her.