Monday, May 31, 2010

13 Months

13 Months

Dear Little P.,
A few days ago you turned 13 months old. Another month flown by. For stats...you're still really tall (about 33 inches tall) and getting heavier every day. My back can attest to it. You've moved into wearing a lot of size 2T stuff (depending on the maker) and that just blows my mind. It seems like I get you new clothes in 18-24 month sizes and all of a sudden you've outgrown most of them. I can't seem to keep up. And, being tall means that you can pretty much reach everything we don't want you to reach. So, you're quickly learning what not to touch thanks to my stern voice and annoying "eh! eh! eh!" noises along with "no touch!" You make the best face when I say that. You look at me all surprised and wide-eyed and then look at the item...then back at me and you back away from it. I'll enjoy it for now. I know soon you may not be as compliant! I try to praise you a lot when you listen; I figure it can't hurt! In the meantime we've baby-proofed what we can; that helps limit all the "no's". I'm down to saying it maybe once or twice per day at most.


Walking practice

So, you've been working hard on your walking skills as you cruise around the living room holding onto different things as you move. You typically don't like to walk while holding our hands. You seem to want to try it for yourself. You'll privately crawl to the other side of the room and stand up in the middle of the rug. Then, you'll try to take a little step and then land on your bum. It's like you want privacy and don't want prying eyes judging you or something. I can tell you, your Dad and I are so proud of you! We see you trying hard on your own...giving it your best in your own time. You're even starting to allow us to help you every once in a while which is fun. I love to see the proud look on your face when you've taken steps holding our hands. You can do anything you know.


P and Dad

proud


You've been transitioning from 2 naps to 1 (a painful process for us all) and we've been working with you on a decent bedtime and naptime routine. We'll get it right soon; or fall asleep trying. I'll have to do a whole other post on this topic; but it's moving along in the right direction.
As far as food goes, we've still been introducing you to new and exciting things. You still prefer mushy pureed stuff, but you're slowly venturing out into new tastes. I figure, as long as you are eating some sort of thing we're winners. We've been working on weaning you from formula to milk and it's taking longer than I'd thought. You aren't the biggest fan yet. But, I've learned this stuff isn't really up to ME so I'm just riding it out.


shy


So, that's what's been going on with you this past month! We've been slowing the pace around here; keeping things quiet and simple. I can see this works well for you and helps you focus much better than before. It's fascinating and rewarding to watch you learn and discover; so slowing down and simplifying has been good for both of us! I've really been enjoying being with you and I hope you enjoy being with me too. We have a lot ahead of us and I want you to know that you make me feel so delighted and so happy. You are incredibly precious to me and I'll never know of anything better than hanging with you!
I love you always and forever my little shining star,
Mama

P.S. There's nothing cuter than a baby in jammies. My heart melts every morning.

jammies

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Worrier

Daydream

You know? I don't think I've ever heard an epic song on the subject of worrying. The title of this post made me think of the song "The Boxer" by Simon and Garfunkel. "The Worrier" isn't as cool I suppose. Nobody cheers for the worrier. Nobody strives to one day be a worrier. They certainly don't get good sponsorships, except for maybe some anxiety medications.
I think I'm finally starting to come toward the end of this wave of worrying and fretting I've been phasing in. I feel better, too, after a friend of mine told me she went through a similar stage when her son was just turning one as well. She told me the feeling subsided and just sort of ebbs and flows over time. Now that Paige is starting to be able to DO more things I'd found myself wondering if I'm doing enough to help her and worrying about the things I'm doing that may be hindering her. I guess the hindering is where I linger. I don't want to do the wrong things, you know? I never thought I'd be the anxious hovering parent and now here I am. "should she be in some sort of class?" "am I trying to help her walk enough?" "is she eating the right kinds of foods?" "are the food pieces small enough?" "is she socializing enough?" "does she have enough of a challenge?" "am I challenging her too much?" "am I smothering?" It can go on.

How did this happen??! I guess it's because I love my little one so very much and just want the best for her. I want to do this right. There's no "right way" though. A lot of this is probably more because she is my first child and I am muddling along trying to figure it all out as I try to let her guide the way. It's hard for me to not feel "in control" all the time. It's hard not knowing what to expect. It's hard not feeling prepared 100% of the time for anything.

I downloaded the e-book version of Simplicity Parenting and I find it refreshing and comforting. So far, the nutshell without the psycho-babble is that it is good to simplify and have few toys out at once, limited or no television, a strong routine and no over-scheduling to fill up all the free time. It allows children to focus more deeply on what they are doing, engage more in imaginative play, and just be calmer overall in the slower pace of childhood. I thought that sounded good and makes lots of sense to me. I notice when I put out just 3 toys for Paige to play with for the morning, she is so much more engaged with those particular toys and is much more rested when it's time for nap. Anyway, it's been an interesting book so far and I'm starting to feel my wild mothering tentacles relax as I realize that I need to slow down to HER pace. The pace of babyhood and toddlerhood. I can't expect her to go the speed of digitized and crazed adulthood. She's still learning to chew for God's sake! I feel some relief from all my worries too...thanks in part to that book and the advice of friends and my own mom.

So, that's where I've been at in my brain lately. I also have a goal of trying to get together with a friend at least once or twice per week. It does wonders for my soul when I get to laugh and chat with other women for a bit during the day. It is easy to fall into isolation (for me) so I need to be conscious of not only getting out of the house but actually seeking and talking to other adults. It's a different world from the 8:30-5:30 workplace, that's for sure, without the built-in social opportunities. So, going forward, I'm making more of an effort now to seek them out. What are the challenges YOU are contemplating?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

blaaaaaaggggghhhhh

I woke up today in an extra tired way. I looked at the clock and it said 5:20...I heard Paige making her calls for me (loud "MMMMMMMMMMMMM" sounds) and off I went. I didn't sleep well and haven't much of the week. Lots of insomnia and trouble with my chatterbox brain. Anyway, I grabbed little P and gave her the milk and off we went. It turns out she woke up on the wrong side of the crib too. She spent the whole morning fussing, crying, whining and generally making me nuts (I guess I felt bad for her too but this is about ME right now. :) ). I can see that several soon-to-erupt teeth are giving her issues. Geez. Why can't the teeth just grow the hell in already and be done with it???!!! I even burst into tears a few times. Tiredness really gets to me. I get so frustrated when she's in a constant fuss. I yell "what do you want me to dooooo???!!! What the helllllll???!!!" I know that's not nice. I just couldn't help it. She hates being cuddled and my attempts at soothing just piss her off. *sigh*
She is quietly napping in her room right now and I'm enjoying a brief respite from the fuss monster. I think she'll feel better after her rest, fingers crossed. She's had her teething tabs and painkillers and whatnot. Despite it all, I miss her while she sleeps and I still feel lucky. Let's just say I'm going to bed early tonight. Just don't tell HER that or she'll sabotage it in some way, ok?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Of Measure

Hi friends!
Thanks for your kind words about our photos! I don't know how we'll decide.
So, today I am thinking a lot about the topic of comparing my child to other children. I always figured I would NEVER be that person who worried that my child wasn't doing what all the others seemed to be doing. I always told myself that "children will do things in their own time so there is no sense worrying about it." That was BEFORE I had Paige. I still tell myself those things, of course, but now I can't help but see what other toddlers who are Paige's age are doing and wonder when she'll be able to do those same things and *gasp* is she behind? This is when my mantra of "she'll do it in her own time, don't worry" kicks in. But then I worry. A little. I guess this is normal, from what I'm hearing, but I still feel silly for comparing my child to what others are doing. It doesn't help that I am CONSTANTLY asked "oh! Hey! Is she walking? No? Ohhhhhhh." or "She must be saying a few words now, right? No? Ohhhhhh...I'm sure she will soon." I get some version of this almost every time we are out and about. I just got the words question yesterday at the library. The woman then went on to tell me how her 5 year old was "saying 3-word sentences at 6 months" and that her 2-year old son is "a lot slower than that so she worried he needed speech therapy." This while I'm listening to him chat up the room and delight us with his sweet personality. He seemed so much older than two and I thought he was so charming. And she's sitting there worried about him? I looked at Little P and she seemed dazzled by the boy and all the toys. She didn't seem to care that she couldn't say any words yet. Those darn questions. They serve to make me feel a little neurotic and a little defensive...like I'm not doing enough to help her along. But that's just it. You can't rush along basic life skills. The truth is she WILL talk at some point...her crazy babbling tells me so...and she WILL walk at one point...she's cruising tentatively around the living room but refuses to hold my hands to let me help her at all (she wants to do everything herself and makes sure we know it). Like pregnancy and many other things in life, it's largely out of my own personal control.
Here is what I have learned and have decided on:
1. When people ask about my child's life skills, they are really asking because they want to compare their OWN kid to mine and see where they are measuring up against their own peers. So, if their kid did something earlier than mine they can feel a little bit better about things. Or, alternately, if their child HASN'T done something mine does, they will go and fret and worry and wonder if they are behind. There's nothing like self torture. Usually, the questions aren't about my kid per se...but all about making sure we are all on basically the same playing field and that we aren't alone in our plight. That someone out there understands that we have NO control over this stuff.
2. I have decided to keep a list of "Butt-in-ski" questions that people will be asking until the end of time (the questions that someone somewhere deemed ok to ask):
When are you two getting married?
When are you two gonna have kids already?
Are you pregnant? (this question is so rude...please don't ever ask someone this. It's so intrusive)
When are you due? (this one isn't a bad one...just a very common one)
Are you breastfeeding?
Is he/she sleeping through the night? (only serves to piss off the tired parent if the kid doesn't sleep)
Is he/she eating solids yet? and "what does she/he eat?"
Is she crawling?
Is he/she drinking from a cup yet?
Is he/she saying words yet?
Is he/she walking yet?
Are you going to have another baby soon?

These are the questions I've experienced in plenty thus far and I'm already curious about the ones yet to come. I can only imagine.

3. My kid is perfect. In my eyes, of course, but that's all I really care about anyway. Nobody asks "Is her sense of humor sparkling and complex yet?" or "is her smile lighting up the room?" or "is her laughter the most beautiful sound in the world?" It's a shame, too, because she's talented in those areas. I know she will be able to do all kinds of cool things soon enough. And time goes by so quickly! So, in the meantime, I may just start wearing earplugs and perfect my own skills of smiling and nodding.

(update: I had to add after Jesse's wonderful comment reminded me...that some people's questions ARE of good intent without judgement of self or others. That there is genuine interest and those questions are out of curiosity of what is to come for their own kids or just in general interest. That it's nice to be able to share triumphs or questions. I meant to add that, but forgot. Thanks Jesse!)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Photoshoot!






Hi friends!
Well, We're finally getting some rest again around here. Putting Paige to bed earlier has truly done the trick. She now wakes at 6:15 or so instead of 5:30. She also sleeps right through the night quietly and hasn't had tantrums or screaming night wakings. It helps if she is worn out when she goes to bed...so I spend lots of time running her energy out during the afternoon. She goes to bed between 6 and 6:30 and it works like a charm. She used to have that bedtime, but as she's gotten older and seemingly could stay up later we moved her bedtime to 7/7:30. Well, she fell asleep ok in the beginning but then the night-wakings with screaming began. Soon, she was tantruming at bedtime and then her morning wakeup moved from 6:30 to a painfully earlier 5:30/5:15 am. Moving her bedtime back to the earlier time has been magic. Thank you Marc Weissbluth and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. Your book has not failed me ONCE during Paige's young lifetime.

In other news, I recently got to see the photos from the photoshoot we won a little while back from Kristina Young Photography. A few are included with this post. You can see the slideshow (up for a limited time) here if you want to see more. We are so thrilled! And Kristina was such a pleasure to have in our home...she was so warm, friendly, and made the whole thing fun. Now, the hard part is choosing which ones to have printed!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day

mother and child
daddy daughter fun
I hope you had a great weekend! I had a wonderful Mother's Day. What fun we had! We went to the Acton Arboretum and walked around...I got to try out my new lens that Chris gave me for my camera. Chris made me my favorite dinner: Chicken Rolatini and stuffed mushrooms. Yum! He also made me a hardcover book from Kodakgallery using pictures of Paige and me and he wrote a whole little rhyming story about why I am a great Mom. It was so sweet; I cried and cried. He made sure the pictures illustrated the line of the story on that page. Kind of like a children's book. It will be my treasured possession, that's for sure. It was a wonderful time to reflect on the past year of mothering Little P and how much work it is...and how much reward where it doesn't even seem like work. I feel lucky every day.
arboretum

car seat

Speaking of lucky; Maren and Paige are forging quite the bond lately...frolicking and kissing and such. It warms my heart when I see these two getting along so well. Paige is even learning to finally pet Maren in a gentle and loving way...even if it only lasts a few seconds.

bonding with Maren

laughter

pals

Be back soon!!!!

playing fun

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Paige

I'm so sorry I've been away for so long! Ugh. Time keeps getting away from me. Paige has erupted into nightly screams and tantrums at bedtime and sporadically through the nights...so I've been spending more time during the days trying to nap when she's sleeping and thus no blogging. I think I have the answer to her night wakings...an earlier bedtime...which is what we will institute tonight. I'd promised to show you some pics of Paige at her birthday party...I don't want to show the pictures of many others at the party to protect their privacy but I thought a few would be ok. I'll be back tomorrow with a comment or two about Mother's Day. I just called my Mom a little while ago to wish her a happy day and my mind is swirling with all the wonderful things we did together while I was growing up. She gave me a wonderful childhood...a gift that will always keep giving. I love you Mom.
And...onto the pictures!

Here is Paige in her "birthday hat". I got her to wear it just long enough to take a picture.
Birthday Hat

Here is Little P with her Uncle Jason (my brother).
Uncle and Niece

Here is Paige's Nana (my Mom) reading her a new birthday book
Nana and Paige

Here everyone is singing Happy Birthday to Paige as she get's her "cake."
Singing

To our surprise she wasn't really into eating the cupcake; but liked playing with it and clapping.
Clapping

Had to get Mom and Dad in there!
Birthday Girl

Godmommy Sue helped Paige enjoy her frosting...
Godmommy

All the kids and Daddy helped Paige with her gifts...I had that phone when I was a baby!
Chatter Phone

My Mom gave Paige this Fisher Price "camera" and it's been a huge hit. She LOVES it (it plays songs and flashes a light).
New Camera

Daddy read Paige all her birthday cards. She liked that...it's like story time!
Cards

Here I am opening a gift for Paige...it was a beautiful frame for a birthday photo to go in.
Presents

I hope you enjoyed these little moments from Paige's special day; I think she had fun even though she'll never remember it. She'll have the photos to look back on and know that she was surrounded by love that day and all the days in before and after.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Birthday Details

Birthday "cake"
Hi friends! Whew! Things have been busy around here! We had Paige's first birthday party on Saturday with mostly immediate family. It was great! I figured I'd show you, in this post, a few of the decoration details. There wasn't really a "theme" to the party...just more of a look with the colors turquoise, yellow and pale orange. We set up a table that had most of the details in play...which ended up being covered with all kinds of platters of food but I got a few pictures at the beginning before we finished the set up with all the stuff so that I could show you. I was really inspired by this post by Sharilyn over at LovelyDesign. She put out her cupcake flag template for use, so I opened it up in Adobe Illustrator and changed the colors and used the design for Paige's cupcake flags, the Happy Birthday banner flags, and the flags on the invitation. Thanks to her we had the look of the party underway! I found the "poms" over at Etsy at PomLove found here. They weren't too hard to put together, but my father did 2 of them. He was much better at it than me! I'll be back soon to show a few pics of Paige enjoying her party and thanks to all who came and made it special for her and for all the kind comments from our awesome blog friends!

Invitation

cupcake tower and cookies

IMG_5553.jpg

I printed the banner flags on Crane's Lettra paper (on my inkjet printer), cut them out, and attached them with colorful plastic brads I found at the craft store. I was going to sew a fancy bunting, but I realized it was a bigger time commitment than I had to spare so I made the paper one instead. Much quicker!
banner detail

Poms!

drinks on a hot day

Yummy

flags

paper straws


Here is the table before we put all the food on it.

before all the food
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