Sunday, July 27, 2014

What We've Been Up To

There's like a whole separate world that exists after the sun goes down that does not involve potty breaks and crying babies.  People eat leisurely dinners by candlelight, sip martinis, listen to music, look at the stars. I had forgotten that.  

Our life is never quite boring, but it is pathetically routine.  You can find us starting bedtime for the girls by 6 pm most nights.  A wild time in our house involves a drink and some Netflix.  

So it's pretty amazing that we were out after dark not one, but two nights over the weekend. 

We started things off with a picnic on Friday afternoon...

Then we went to the Lowell Folk Festival Friday night where we...gasp...stayed out till after the sun went down.  

I was too busy having fun to take any pictures, but the girls were great.  We ate some delicious food, Maddie danced to some drums, Vivi discovered that dogs exist (she does not like them), and we walked around our old stomping grounds.  

On Saturday, we drove up to York Beach, Maine for one of Eric's concerts.  We ate seafood, rode carousels, stared at the ocean, and...gasp...stayed out past dark for the second night in a row.  It was such a gorgeous night, and again, the girls were great.  

And hey, they even slept in till 8 this morning after their wild nights out on the town.  Pretty good.  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Vivi: Thirty-One Weeks

Vivi is getting to be so vocal.  As I type this, I can hear her moaning to Eric upstairs as he tries to get her to nap.  She sounds like a little old lady listing her problems.  She likes it when we mimic her.  Her eyes light up, and she smiles proudly.  It's like she thinks she's finally getting through to us.

She's sleeping better at night for the most part.  She's not a great napper though.  I can only get her down for one nap a day in the afternoon and that nap only lasts an hour if we're lucky.

She doesn't like to be on her back or tummy much anymore.  She much prefers sitting up.  When she is lying down, she can roll around pretty well, and she's starting to scoot a bit though she's not happy about it.  Sometimes she squawks loudly in the middle of the night, and I find that she's flipped onto her tummy accidentally and is totally freaked out by it.

She's still a Mumma's girl, but she's must happier with Dada than she was a few weeks ago.  Now that he's home for the summer, she's spending a lot more time with him.  She grins widely when he enters the room, and she's much more likely to fall asleep on him than she is on me.

Vivi likes to chew on blocks and the corners of books.  She wants to get her hands on whatever she sees Madeline playing with.  She is interested in different textures, moving parts, and crinkly noises.  When we sit down to dinner, we can give her a paper towel tube to play with to keep her happy.  Sometimes we give her a spoon instead.

She wants to eat so badly.  Sometimes she looks at the three of us eating, and I swear her eyes are asking, "Mumma?  Where's mine?"  Due to her tummy troubles, I'm reluctant to give her too many solids.  She eats lunch at the same time as Madeline every day, but otherwise it's just breast milk or small sips of water.  Her diet still consists of mostly pears and prunes, but I gave her some sweet potatoes this week, which she loved.  I'd like to get back to adding more variety to her diet and even trying some oats, but I'm a little nervous about it.

We had some tummy troubles early this week that scared me a little due to her discomfort level of the problem.  Back to the doctors we went.  The doctor was just as baffled as we are, but agreed that these are not normal tummy problems.  We were able to schedule another appointment at Children's for next week instead of waiting for our previously scheduled follow-up at the end of August.  The doctor we met with thinks she needs some blood tests done to check for various intolerances and conditions, so we'll see what the GI doctor thinks.  I'm hoping we get to the bottom of this soon.  In the meantime, she's on daily laxatives.  Poor baby.

On the positive side, her reflux seems to have worked itself out.  I stopped giving her the medication for that, and she's doing just fine without it.  And she's certainly gaining weight.  She was a whole pound heavier than she was a month ago at her last doctor's appointment.

Mostly, Vivi is a little sweetheart.  I often find myself starting at her and giggling for no other reason than her cuteness.  She's getting so chubby and squishy, and I just want to eat her up I love her so.

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.