Monday, February 23, 2009

. . . Two

It's hard for we-the-parents to believe that our tiny baby is now two. It's hard to believe that it's been that long, so many days, since the minutes we first held her and kissed her tiny head.

Our Mardi Gras girl was born at 9:18 a.m. on Fat Tuesday - a fitting date for parents who spent many a courting day in La Nouvelle-Orléans. Her arrival was the miraculous result of almost 3 years of hoping and waiting - a day of joy for us like none we'd ever had before.

She spent her 2nd birthday enjoying all of her favorite things - including having all three of her favorite snacks for breakfast: cheerios, animal crackers and 'bubble-bubbles' (goldfish). She watched Sam and Ty about ten times each ('watch Sam? watch Ty? watch babies, Mama?), and spent nearly an hour doing 'ark' with her crayons and stickers. She watched her beloved George so many times Mama can't remember, and had a special birthday lunch at Clary's before heading off to see the ducks at the park.

Later in the day, she opened cards (she loved this) and presents, 'talked' to her Aunties & her Gram & Grandpa G, and had a dinner of her favorite foods (mostly red): spaghetti, strawberries, tomatoes, sweet red peppers and grapes. And then there was cake.

Though she wasn't much of a fan last year, this year found our tiny girl shoving tiny handfuls of cake into her mouth. Cake was everywhere, just as it should be.

And just because it was her very special day, the girl got to play rock-star and stay up late with Mama and Dadoo so she could spend an extra bit of time watching . . . George.

The face of our tiny two:

**Photo of our newborn baby girl by our friend Tim.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

. . . cupcakes

After two years, the girl decides she likes cupcakes. At least, she likes the frosting.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

. . . 'big girl' practice: round two

We're all tied up here as we-the-family work toward the days of diaper-free living.
The current score:
Team Toddler - 1
Team Tee-tee - 1

Round one went to the girl who showed poise, endurance and good judgement in keeping the tee-tee in until the diaper was on.

Round two went hands down to the tee-tee, which showed strength, determination, and an amazing ability to spread . . . down the legs of the girl, down the back of the couch, and down the pants of the Dadoo who was sitting on said couch playing 'nigh-nigh, hop-hop' with the girl. Luckily for Mama, she was sitting on the floor and so avoided getting soaked.

The girl was not so happy, and wanted panties removed immediately. She seemed upset, and not quite sure what had happened. The tears stopped once she and Mama decided to get out her 'ruffle' jammies and watch George* for a few minutes before bed.

This morning while she was getting dressed, she asked to wear her 'pannies' but seemed to be ok with practicing wearing them later tonight.

The game continues. And it feels like progress. Yet it also seems a little bit like a disaster waiting to happen. Mama has a sneaking suspicion that the whole 'learning to potty' thing is going to involve just as much laundry as those early, newborn days. And a small, tiny, itsy part of her finds diapers to be such a convenient container for all the stuff she doesn't want to have to wash out of tiny clothes. It's a mixed bag to be sure.


*This George that we're watching is the 65th anniversary edition and it has a lot of stories on it - including some of the 'Frog and Toad' ones. The opening story, 'Curious George comes to America' shows the Man in the yellow hat practically stealing George from the jungle. Which is bothersome. Mama seems to remember that George was rescued from poachers . . . but she doesn't have the book on hand to check. Anyone know what the real story is here? Was George kidnapped?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

. . . ribbons and candles

Not very many days ago, mama's growing girl requested ribbons for her hair. Mama obliged, and raided her craft stash to find tiny satin ribbons for the toddler's tiny curls. Each day since, the girl eagerly awaits the adornment of her hair. Her most frequent request is for 'pink ones, mama! pink!'. Today, a ribbon in the hair wasn't quite enough. She needed one for her wrist as well. After she was sufficiently bedecked, she gathered her candles (battery operated, of course) for some moments of meditation on the (holy-cow-it-needs-to-be-swept) kitchen floor.

In other itsy news, the toddler wore her first pair of itsy panties last night. This big-girl practice run went extremely well with no accidents at all. She wore them for about 2 hours and even told mama that 'tee-tee coming! it's coming' in time for us to race to the potty. In truth, it wasn't coming, but it was good training for we-the-family. After her bath, the poor girl cried when we put her diaper on - she only wanted to wear her 'tiny pannies! no diaper!'. It broke our hearts. She recovered quickly once we agreed she could watch George before bed.

**Editors note: Original title edited to remove '& panties' for obvious reasons.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

. . . self discipline

This morning.

Dadoo and toddler are playing happily together, choosing outfits for the girl's magnetic 'paper' doll, building with blocks, bowling, jumping and shopping.

In the midst of the playing, there's a rules infraction (team toddler) and a warning (team Dadoo). Alas, the next minute sees repetition of said infraction, and so comes a calm explanation and the consequence:

'You didn't listen to Dadoo and now we have to put this toy away'.

The tiny toddler displays her traditional sad face as Dadoo removes toy. She turns to Mama and makes her traditional sad plea for intervention. Mama's reply is that we have to listen to Dadoo and do what he says. The girl nods. Looks sadder. And turns away from Mama.

'Tigh-out' she says. 'Tigh-out, tigh-out, Mama'.

And she walks herself over to her time out space. Where she sits down. On her own. And waits.

Good? Bad? Good?

Friday, February 6, 2009

. . . 25 things

Right. It's not facebook. But it's a free country, and everyone has a right to post their own 25 things. Here's the baby-adorable's list:

1. Baby-adorable is almost two. Yes, two. Two years ago at this moment, mama was on mandatory bed-rest waiting, waiting, waiting for the girl to arrive. She didn't arrive for another fourteen days. It was a long wait.

2. As we-the-family near this second year milestone, we realize that our 'baby' is no longer such. And we are excited about how she's grown. And we are sad about how quickly she's grown. And we love her more than ever.

3. The sweetest girl talks a lot. This morning while getting dressed, she said, 'Mama, shoes on and watch George. Socks on and watch George.' After the socks and shoes were on, she sat down on the floor and said, 'Mama, sit down! Avie sit down, too, Mama.' More words come every day and every day she forms them into longer sentences. Lately, she can't talk enough of the 'Helicopter big, Mama. Helicopter orange an' white, Dadoo. Big. Up in sky'.

4. Baby-healthy eats her veggies. She loves peas and broccoli best, but also eats cauliflower, green beans, tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms with garlic. She does not like lettuce or radishes, but will eat spinach if it's cooked with lemon and garlic.

5. Like every other toddler, the tiny girl loves animals. She's especially loving her sea creatures bath tub animals. Last night during her bath she made sure she got them all clean. 'Wash cow's 'gi-nah, Mama. Wash dol-feen's bum, too.'

6. As you may have surmised from #5, the girl can name nearly all her body parts. We-the-parents didn't skip any, though we struggled with what to call the, ahem, lady parts. We decided to call them what they are. And she does.

7. Baby-polite is mostly good about using her manners. She most often forgets the word, 'please', but nearly always says 'thank you'. We-the-parents are working on demonstrating this more ourselves.

8. Averie loves shoes. She loves her black boots and will even wear them over her footed pajamas. She's started to request specific footwear in the mornings. Yesterday it was imperative that she wear her 'purple ones, Mama'.

9. She 'reads'. More accurately, she's memorized her books, and will sit on the floor and recite them to herself. She even laughs at the appropriate spots - especially the 'oops!' in Blue Hat, Green Hat.

10. Dadoo's ipod is a recent favorite and she will sit and listen to it as long as we let her. The earbuds are too big for her ears, and they fall out if she moves. When this happens, she always says, 'uh-oh song! uh-oh song!' until we realize the problem and put them back up to her ears. She still loves electronica and sometimes listens to a chill house mix before bed.

11. Another of her favorite toys is a stick she picked up in the yard with her Dadoo. It currently resides inside the house, next to the front door. She carries it around like a staff and is strangely very careful with it.

12. She likes to eat cheese, but has recently begun demanding that it be placed in the direct center of her flat, fingers-out, palm up hand. As soon as she stuffs one piece in her mouth, she extends her palm and taps it with the other hand, almost as if she's asking for some cash. We-the-parents laugh every time she does it.

13. Though she's never been a big fan of meat, we've recently discovered that she will eat nearly anything if it's covered in ketchup. Appropriately, "Chicken & ketchup" is now a menu staple here at Chez-bebe. A good thing for the protein department but bad timing with the recent mercury issues. The great news is that any red sauce passes as 'ketchup' in the world of our toddler, so we often have chicken and (red curry) ketchup, or (sausage) chicken and (tomato sauce) ketchup. This does not work with shrimp.

14. Baby-freshest loves to brush her teeth. Every morning she stands on a chair and brushes her teeth while mama puts her hair into pony-tails. She always requests Dadoo's assistance with the 'top ones, Dadoo!', and she always demands that we turn the water on 'loud'. After she brushes her teeth, she wants make-up.

15. She asked for ribbons in her hair. Mama gave them to her, although a part of Mama's pinky was trimmed off in the process of cutting the ribbons. The tiny girl wore them all day without pulling them out.

16. She does not like snow peas, sippie cups, apple skins, rinsing her hair or having her curls touched.

17. She loves salsa, crayons, pretzels, jumping , singing and tickling her parents, her cat and herself.

18. Baby-sweetheart is friendly. When we pass other children on the street, at the park or in a store, she always says, 'Hi friends! Hi!'. She also loves babies, though she identifies any toddler her own size or smaller as a 'be-be'.

19. Averie has never tasted peanut butter. With the current peanut problem, mama thinks it may be a bit longer before she does.

20. Though she doesn't like many sweets, she loves scones, lemon pound cake and animal crackers. The two former are usually 'treats' from Starbucks. The latter we carry with us everywhere.

21. During her recent illness she refused almost all food and drink. In an act of desperation, Mama gave her a candy-cane. She loved it and carried it around for an entire day before it mysteriously disappeared around dinnertime. The experiment didn't turn out too badly, though it made an incredibly sticky mess of her hair.

22. She is getting taller and has an unbelievable reach. She has also begun to remember things - like what Mama used to cut the flowers (scissors) and where Mama keeps them (the very back of the kitchen drawer). This combination of increased height, reach and memory is resulting in an all new design for child-proofing our home as well as many 'how did you get that?' moments.

23. She acts much older than her age, and sometimes we-the-parents forget that she's still not quite two. We are often surprised to see her doing something we associate with a toddler . . . and then we have to stop and remind ourselves that she is a toddler. This was the case during last night's dinner when she took a huge drink from her adult-sized glass with ease, carefully set the glass back on the table and then slowly let all of the bright red juice dribble out of her tiny lips, down her neck, under her bib and onto her just-bleached-clean-by-mama-white-shirt.

24. When she was a little younger, she called her pet cat 'Waddy'. His name is Rèmy. Not too many days ago, she heard her Dadoo call him 'Rem'. She picked up on it immediately and now refers to him as either 'Rem' or Rèmy. Part of us is sad that she's outgrown her mispronunciation. We-the-parents are thinking of amending his name.

25. She's really, really good at going to bed. She's really, really good at telling us when she's tired. And when she's tired, and ready to go to bed, she doesn't want to mess around with it. She wants to get her jammies on, have some milk and get to her pillow. But it's important that she also have her bear, bear's blanket, her blanket, her 'udder blinkit, Mama', her lady-bug, her music, her 'Amal-sounds' book and her 'Hippo book'. Once all this is in place, she's off to dream. With no fuss. We are thankful.

***Mama wishes to note that baby-brilliant realizes that it is indeed the cow (and not the bull) that has a 'gi-nah'. Additionally, we stole borrowed the word 'bum' from our friends because it sounds so sweet coming out of their older son's mouth. And, we didn't like the sound of the word 'butt' coming out of our daughter's tiny little lips. ***