Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Monkey Shines

Another bit about the Divine Miss M. She's now begun talking in earnest! Sunday she started calling both Steve and myself "Da-da." We weren't sure at first whether she was just babbling as usual, but it became apparent those sounds had a purpose, as she'd repeat it with gusto when she wanted to be picked up. So I'm "Da-da" for now. I'll take it. What a thrill! She tells her daddy good morning now, with a cheery "Ah, Da-da!" Who could resist her? We'll work on "Ma-ma" later.

Today at lunch I cocked my head and peeped at her across the table, and she did the same. I pattered my hands on her high chair tray and she copied me. We kept up this game a good five minutes before Big Brother couldn't stand the diversion and decided to put his dirty feet on the table. "Now laugh at me, Mommy," he said. I commenced to rib tickling my boy. I'll just eat her up when Connor's napping later.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pulling Up and Letting Loose

She did it! Mia pulled herself right up into a standing position, unassisted this morning. I don't know whether to cheer or cry. She's been fiercely intent upon practicing her walking lately, grabbing onto fingers and pulling us down the hall and around and around the living room, singing and drooling to beat all. I know it's a bizarre worry, but I sometimes wonder whether she'll take the time to crawl before she toddles. She has always detested being placed on her belly, and even refused to roll herself over for months after she discovered she could, perhaps only as an act of sheer stubbornness. The child has her own ideas about how to get about, and we can't dissuade her. I recall a similar scenario with her brother, though, wherein I thought he'd end up skipping the all fours stage, and he ended up delighting us with an abbreviated version, "commando-crawling" across the floor for a week or so, crawling outright another, and finally walking right after that. He was a crawler for about a heartbeat and a half. Enough to satisfy us. I think we may have gotten it on video. Once.

And on to legitimate concerns. Connor's teacher took me aside this morning and asked whether I had noticed how frequently he has to go to the bathroom at home. I guess he's going a lot at school and it worried her. I hadn't thought much about it until now, but he sure does go a lot, sometimes three or four times in an hour. I've just been so doggone thrilled that he's depositing all that in a toilet instead of a diaper nowadays, I haven't taken stock of just how often that is. His teacher mentioned that frequent urination, among other symptoms, can be a sign of diabetes. We already knew this--in fact, before he turned two, I remember bringing up to his pediatrician that he seemed to have odd behavioral issues that appeared to be linked to low blood sugar--but we never had him tested. His three-year checkup is coming up. I think I will revisit that topic with Dr. Jeannie.

Miz Loretta also informed me, incidentally, that my young fellow decided during outside time this morning, to take it upon himself to drop trou and relieve himself right there on the cedar chips by the swings. In front of God and everybody. I will assume fault for this one. At home, I let him pee in the yard. It's so much easier than untangling his sister from the baby swing and hauling everyone inside every ten minutes. Like I said, he goes a lot. I guess our next lesson will be "places that are appropriate to use as a toilet."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Friends and Family

What an amazing weekend filled with simple pleasures. We spent the latter half of the week and the weekend too, visiting my grandparents in Montgomery and some dear friends in Calera. Below are the highlights. You can click on the mosaic to enlarge the images.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Stop, Time.

It's still the beginning of April, so I can't very well post a "month-in-review" blog. I am, however, compelled to reflect on the all-too-rapid growth of my little sweet ones.

I went to drop Connor off at Mother's Day Out this morning, as I have every Tuesday since August. He handed me his backpack and juice and bounced off to join his friends, just like he always does. I watched him join right up with his little friend Keaton, the only other boy in his class, and the two of them set to work pushing little balls thru an obstacle toy, giggling every time one got away across the floor. The three girls in his class were across the room, huddled around a miniature stroller, into which they were trying to fasten a baby doll. Everyone was engaged in organized conversation and play. It dawned on me. These kids used to be babies. Last fall. Look at them now! Little people. Wow, that was fast.

In the past year, Connor has learned to socialize like a big kid, draw recognizable shapes and objects, and he's ditched the diapers (hallelujah). He's able to tell a story based on a sequence of events, and express complex thoughts and opinions. He's even trying to scrawl out letters and numbers. I sometimes miss the days when a teething toy would keep him occupied for half an hour. Still, it's so much fun to watch his personality emerge. He's really into yard tools these days. Not just his beloved lawn mowers, but leaf blowers and rakes and hoes and hedge clippers. Maybe someday he'll go into landscaping. The kid spends literally hours outside just "working on the yard," as he soberly describes it. I notice him developing empathy, as he worries about his sister when she cries (he can make her laugh again like nobody else). He can also come up with some real zinger questions. "Mommy, what's a lie? Mommy, what does hope mean?" He's so excited about his third birthday coming up. He's put in a request for a tricycle with pedals.

And at nine months, Miss Mimi is on the fast track to toddlerhood. It seems like she was just in my tummy. She watches her brother zoom around the house and I can see her yearn to chase him. Until recently, she was more than content to sit and observe the passers-by, but it's simply not enough anymore. She squirms to get off my lap, even though she can't go anywhere once she's down. She's now cruising the furniture with increasing steadiness, and grabbing at anything within her reach. She eats like a garbage disposal, anything she's offered, and she loves to cram table food into her own mouth. She's making efforts to crawl, although she can't figure out how to propel forward yet. I think she's going to be a "backward crawler" for a little while, like her brother was. If she's like him, she won't crawl long. My next project is to rearrange everything in the house that's lower than 2 feet from the floor! I love the little sounds she makes when she's content. Little singsongy, distinctly feminine gurgles. She still loves her thumb and pink bear blankie for comfort. She wore the loving out of them last week when she cut four teeth at the same time. What misery that was. Now they've all come thru, and that makes six total. It makes me nervous when I nurse her, but she hasn't nibbled me in a couple months. I'll miss her toothless smile!

Maybe the most delightful thing to watch lately is the blossoming relationship between Sister and Brother in our house. Mia's always idolized him, from the time that she could focus her eyes. Connor's usually bent on avoiding her, but increasingly, I catch the two of them actually playing together. He makes her absolutely cackle. At mealtimes, they sit across from one another and flirt. He brings her toys and even shares his own once in a while. When she wakes, he finds me to let me know, then goes to her crib to entertain her until I can get there. Once she's mobile, the two of them will be unstoppable.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Prom princess Leslie

My cousin (whose diapers I have changed) went to her senior prom Saturday night. I was most honored to be able to help her with makeup and snap a few creative photos of her. She was stunning.