Well the whole Christmas season excitement has finally gotten to Aria. What with candy every day, and way more junk food than we would ever normally allow, and just all the fun the season brings, I can’t really blame her for being all riled up.
Which is why last night, although surprising at the time, in hindsight is not so surprising. Yes last night Aria scaled her baby gate, then the baby gate across our door, and into bed with us. With her Blanket. I said something about putting her back in her own bed and Eric surpringly said to let her be.
At first I thought it was the cutest thing ever and snuggled her in bed next to me, and cuddled her and let her share my pillow, and nuzzled her and thought to myself how sweet this was. That lasted for all of a minute, until I realized how uncomfortable I was, and how much I really wanted to go back to sleep and how squirmy she is.
Not to mention all of the commotion woke everyone, including the baby, so I had to keep rocking the bassinet with my foot to try to lure her back to sleep.
When Aria had tried the whole “lying still” thing and tired of it, she would stand up to see Avery, or would press herself up to her daddy to see if he was sleeping and what his face looked like.
I tried whispering to her that we needed to whisper so we didn’t wake Avery back up, so she at one point put her face in mine, one hand on either side of my head and whisper gibbered at me very seriously.
I snuggled her back in bed next to me, held her close, and pet her hair to soothe her. So in return she put her fingers in my hair and tangled them up and made a mess. I had left my glasses on so I could check on Avery and so that I wasn’t blind when needing to figure out what Aria was doing, but she made me take them off. And tucked me in just so.
After a very long squirmy hour (or however long it was) I asked her if she was ready to go back to bed and she very firmly rooted herself in bed, asked her daddy to cover her with Blanket, and I guess eventually fell asleep. That was all from 5 to some much later time. Eric said when he got up she was snuggled next to him but migrated over to me until he woke me up because I kept snoozing my alarm.
She woke too and jumped up and ran around the bed and followed him to the bathroom to brush her teeth alongside him. This from the child I usually dress, including diaper change, while she is so knocked out she’s often still snoring.
It was a bit of a battle to get her dressed and convince her she wanted to go to “school” (daycare), but finally the idea of seeing her friends won out.
Oh, and the stinker usually clings to my legs when I drop her off, but this time she went and stood next to her friend, and when I said bye she just waved.
Eric, despite being super tired, talked to me the whole way to work, swapping stories about Aria’s antics last night and how cute and ridiculous she is, amidst many yawns.
Pain in the Butt #1:
My cute adorable little toddler is such a stinker sometimes, but we all already knew this.
I was taking a shower in the bathtub in the main bathroom and found that quite a bit of my hair was coming out. Having recently given birth and rarely washing my hair anymore, clumps were sticking to my fingers as I combed the conditioner through my locks. In an effort to reduce the amount of strands washed down the drain, and there to clog said drain, I began to plaster the strands to the wall so I could throw it all into the trash when I stepped out.
Aria wandered in, saw me in the shower, and proclaimed, “Aria shower! Shower with mommy!”
I reluctantly allowed her in, grieving the loss of the closed shower doors (she likes to leave them open) and the warmth that escaped in a breath. She plugged the tub, capturing the soapy water that began to swirl around our ankles. She splashed, she spun, she sortof let me wash her hair as she wandered aimlessly around the tub.
Then Aria looked up and screamed, “EEW!! Eeew eeew eeew!!” I followed her gaze and saw her looking in horror at the spidery mess on the wall.
Other recent antics include wanting to change the movie in the DVD player over and over again. She is able to do it all herself, will go and get a movie from the case (she recognizes them by their cases, she knows which ones are which), take the movie out, eject whatever movie is currently in the player, puts the new one in, puts the ejected one away in its correct case and back in the movie stand thingy, and will watch for approximately 2 min before wanting to do it all over again. The only thing she can’t do quite yet is start a movie that requires the remote control. The DVDs will start automatically, so she, literally, is completely self sufficient and doesn’t need any adult shmadults.
This becomes frustrating when, oh say, you’re trying to watch something on tv, like a football game, and she decides she’d rather watch a singalong video, and she and her father are RACING to the tv to see who can get to it first. I personally find this incredibly amusing.
For some completely unknown reason when I put her to bed it takes a million times longer than when her father does. Together we say our prayers, read books, put on our PJs and lotion and chapstick (mouth breather, always wakes up with cracked lips unless enough stuff is put on her lips before bed), sing songs, give lots of hugs and kisses and then she still cries and yells after me the names of songs she still wants sung, or asking for more hugs or kisses.. When Eric puts her down she is completely content after the 5 to 10 min he spends with her then leaves her tucked in and happy with no crying or yelling. So unfair.
Pain in the Butt #2:
My sweet, precious, oh so cute little baby is sooo patient and calm. One would never think she could be a pain in the butt. But no, she can be. For example, the bar that connects her shoes is off for now because she keeps kicking her shoe off by using the bar as leverage, and instead of spending the whole day re-buckling and re-tying her shoe, we’ve been told to just leave the bar off until we see the doctor again. She is SO excited to have freedom of her feet and they just kick constantly. Like at 5 in the morning. She apparently wasn’t hungry yet, because not a peep came from her mouth. No, we were just awoken with a very rhythmic, thunk thunk! … thunk thunk! … thunk thunk! It would last for awhile then I would groggily turn on the vibrate and music on the bassinet, and that would lull her for a bit, then it would start up again. This went on until I finally dragged myself out of bed and got us ready for the day. Ugh, so tired. Stinker.
But she’s soooooooooooo cute, and that smile just makes you instantly forgive her. And really, who can blame her for reveling in her new found freedom.
Pain in the Butt #3:
An actual pain. No really, I have a pain in my butt. The dermatologist took a suspicious looking mole for biopsy. So my butt hurts.
Pain in the Butt #4:
The hubby. Often of an evening I’ll ask him to put Aria to bed, or will give him the list of things I still need to do, and he’ll take over some portion of that list. Last night I rattled off things I still needed to accomplish and how tired I was (a little under the weather) and jokingly asked if he could pump for me. I’m so tired of pumping. Well he never actually signed up for any of the nightly activities and went about cleaning or whatever he was doing. I was a bit peeved and huffily took Aria up for a bath and to put her to bed. A tiny bit pissy the whole time.
Well once she was tucked away I came back downstairs and Eric was holding Avery, had just fed her, and also showed me one of the pump bottles with something in it. He said, “I pumped, but this is all that came out.”
It was slightly brown and viscous. I was very very wary of what was in the bottle, and while appreciative that he had fed the baby, I still had to take her up and top her off because she was clearly not sleepy yet. Not to mention I still had to pump.. ugh.
I asked, “what’s in the bottle?” and his response was repeatedly, “I pumped! You asked me to pump and I did! Aren’t you happy?”
So, while a bit less pissy, I was still frustrated that I still had to put the baby to bed and pump.. I just wanted to go to sleep already.
Once all that was done, I came back down and was going to go wash bottles and pump parts for the next day. But Eric had already washed everything. Ok, I was no longer pissy.. but what was in that bottle???
I opened it. It was sweet smelling. “Eric! Did you put syrup in here??”
Last night for our bedtime routine I brought Avery into Aria’s room. I was worried the first time that Aria would get jealous, especially if I had Avery in my lap where Aria usually perches, but each time she’s generally been ok with it. This time I started off with Avery on the bean bag, and Aria announced that’s where she wanted to sit, so Avery ended up in my lap, and then Aria read stories to us. Her favorite story is still Piggies.
(When we moved to the bed she did get upset that Avery was in my lap, but I asked her to turn off the light, which she thoroughly enjoys, and offered to hold the book of lullabies so that she could see the pictures, and that was enough distraction to get her to lie down and not be upset with Avery anymore.)
This is a little overdue, I started writing this back in October but never finished it:
Oh my little angel puff. It’s not like I didn’t love her immensely and unconditionally before, but now… I’m just falling so deeply in love with my little baby. I want to hold her and snuggle her and nuzzle her and cuddle her. I miss her when I’m not with her..
I remember when I fell for Aria. I thought nursing was what strengthened that mothery bond, but Avery can’t nurse and I’m still having the same heart wrenching experiences with her, when I give her a bottle. And then when she’s finished, if she doesn’t fall asleep, I get a couple enormous smiles and delicate coos.
And it’s different this time. With Aria, she was my little curious, noisy, active baby who blew past milestones before she was supposed to reach them. Avery is more reserved, and my heart breaks for her continuously because of all that we’re going through. Instead of motherly pride at her latest accomplishments, it’s joy that she was able to reach them and rooting for her to keep going when she doesn’t. It’s constantly working with her to help her thrive.
She’s just such a precious sweet baby, who is so easy to please. She only cries when she’s hungry, and even then she gives you lots of warning as she builds up to mad rage. But as soon as you pop that bottle in her mouth she’s content again. Although, she will help hold that bottle to her mouth to ensure it’s not going anywhere. I love how she holds onto your fingers and, when less hungry, will play around with pushing and pulling on them to move the bottle in and out of her mouth.
She’s just so patient, especially in the morning. I wake her up and change her diaper, get her bundled into her car seat, and there she has to wait. She sits snuggled in it while I first get Aria dressed, then packed up, then into the car, and finally Avery gets put into the car. Then she has to wait while we drop off Aria at daycare, and then head over to her grandparents house, and then you’d think finally she could be fed, but no, she still has to wait for a bottle to warm since I bring her milk for the day with us. She’s pretty used to not eating until a little after 8, because on days that I have her at home she goes through this routine minus going to the grandparents’, and she doesn’t give me much fuss until around 8:15 if I haven’t gotten her bottle into her mouth by that point.
While Aria and I used to go everywhere together, like shopping and to Bible study, etc., Avery and I have a different relationship. We go lots of places together, but they’re usually doctor’s offices. We have it down pretty well, now, though. If I make an appointment in the morning I try to make it for around 8 so that by the time we get there we’re still on time for her first bottle, and then we can do whatever we need to do.
When Aria takes an interest in her she calmly allows whatever antics Aria has prepared for her. Yesterday I found Aria “sitting” over the top of Avery (on her knees, not actually putting weight on Avery) on the floor, making Avery play patty cake. It was really adorable.
I think we might have finally overcome that hurdle of difficulty, that it’s going to be easier going forward. I’m not as worried about Avery surviving her sister, and figuring out what to do with both of them at the same time isn’t as hard as it once was, and now Avery’s taking an interest in the world around her so it’s pretty easy to let her just sit somewhere and watch what we’re doing. And someday I’ll be able to combine bathtime and mealtimes..
So I get why people have kids now.
Ok, maybe not why they have kids, but a major joy of having kids, to help offset all of the crazy.
So that you can see through their eyes, and relive your childhood through them. That look of awe at something new, that magical wonderful giddiness they get when something is awesome. Experiencing the mundane in a fun childlike way, like cooking or cleaning dishes. It’s just so amazing.
Aria has most assuredly become her own person with her own opinions and ways of doing things. She still sometimes observes what everyone else is doing, to get an idea of what she may be wanting to do herself, but mostly she marches to her own beat. For instance, often when Eric calls her into another room with, “Aria! Aria, come here please” she’ll yell back, “no Aria. No daddy, no Aria.”
She makes up her mind for herself before anyone else can assist, “Aria color. Yeah, color,” or she lets me know before she does something by holding up an object and asking, “Aria throw this?” with a look of, Pleeeeeease can I do this thing that I want to do without getting yelled at?
She’s all about coloring now, or mimicking me at whatever I’m doing. I’ll catch her watching me intently, then she goes and does it herself. So while I’m cooking dinner I’m asking, “what are you making Aria?” I used to be so worried when she’d disappear and it would be all quiet. Now I usually find her sitting at a table somewhere coloring or stickering. And I decide that the cons of stickers stuck to things they shouldn’t be stuck to don’t outweigh the benefits of me having a chance to focus on Avery or whatever else I may be working on. My new motto is, ‘As long as she isn’t killing herself or someone else, I’ll survive whatever she’s doing.’
Thanksgiving was so neat. She was placed at the table before anyone else, and sat there waiting eagerly, watching all of the dishes accumulate on the table. When I gave her a plate and started putting small helpings, she took her giant spoon and started shoveling. Of course, being a toddler who isn’t much into growing anymore, she wasn’t much into eating a whole lot and was much more interested in climbing down from her seat and running a muck. But she did pretty good.
She also spent a great deal of time leading around someone’s dog who was wearing a bit of rope for a leash. She just dragged him around, occasionally grabbing me or someone else with a, “‘mon Mommy. Mommy, ‘mon!” such that the dog leash was in one hand, mine in the other, and her leading us around like a mini parade.
Cooking is fascinating, and she loves to get to help dump stuff into pots. I see her stirring things sometimes, a bit wildly, and am grateful that it’s imaginary so it’s not everywhere.
I love how she reads to herself or to Avery, or to me, now. The other night she read the entire 5 Minute Bedtime Stories book to me. You could tell the ones she wasn’t as familiar with, because they mostly went, “weeda dooda fummina dooda mumna…” but then ones she knew included familiar parts like, “WAIT! weeda dooda fummina WAIT!” And then Piggies. Her favorite story a few months ago, and apparently still cherished though we’re not allowed to read it anymore. She did the hand gestures and everything as she read about her little finger piggies. I had to do it too while she read. And she would yell the parts she knew so well, “HOT PIDDIES! TOOOOLD PIDDIES! DIRTY PIDDIES! fumina meembla Dance on Toes!”
So I was so proud of how she now takes her plate when we’re done eating, and scrapes the leftovers into the garbage then puts her plate in the dishwasher or sink. However, it has recently occurred to me how much this can backfire. She most recently very much did not enjoy what I had made for dinner and proceeded to say “Aria done” and rushed her plate to the garbage to scrape her uneaten meal into it. Another time she told me she wanted more, then by the time I had brought her more she had either changed her mind, or had managed to dupe me, and proceeded to dump the second helping into the trash.
Not only does she change her own diaper now, but also her clothes, and apparently her cousins’ clothes as well. I don’t even really help much anymore, I just tell her to go change her diaper and as long as she’s feeling helpful, it goes off without a hitch. It’s those days that she’s feeling mischievous that end up being problematic.
She apparently also knows how to get into the freezer in the basement if the door down to the basement is left open. And will reappear with things like frozen juice freezer pop things.
Somehow her blanket is always taking a bath when she checks on it too. Incidentally, there were several consecutive occasions in which Aria had gone looking for her blanket in the washing machine and Eric had told her it wasn’t there, and yet lo and behold it was there whenever she went looking. I’m not sure how it all aligned so perfectly, but those happened to be the days that I really was giving blanket a bath. So I think she believes that any time she checks the washing machine, Blanket will be there. It’s not unheard of for Blanket to be in two places at once though, because somehow Blanket is both at home and at daycare every day.
Halloween was fun and catastrophic at the same time. She embraced being Piglet, had a blast running around and collecting candy or playing at Halloween parties, enjoyed being grossed out and then eventually immersing herself in gutting and carving pumpkins, and just seemed to really enjoy the whole season. But then the candy monster emerged. To this day still, when she gets home the first thing out of her mouth is a high pitched, “CAAAAAANNNDYYYYY??!!” before anyone ever has a chance to tell her no, which we do. Oh, and every small piece of candy is Jelly Beans. Including M&Ms, candy corn, etc. They’re all “telly peens.”
What’s funny is that I always hated the Chicken Dance. It was so dumb and annoying when played at weddings. .. and now I love it. Because Aria loves it. I started singing it and doing the dance one day and now she asks me, “mommy, duh duh duh?” And I tell her to say Chicken Dance, and she does, then, “mommy, chicken dance?” Her dance moves are sooooo cute too.
I think I just love putting her in a scenario, like something new, or taking her to the playground, or letting her experience a holiday, and just watching her face light up, or watching her watch others, and just absorbing her absorbing it all. She’s just so adorable to watch. You really do get to reexperience childhood.