Wednesday, July 28, 2010

15 months

Just wandering

Mama and P

Dear Little P.,
You turned 15 months old today and with such zest! You began really running today, zipping around at lightning speed. You love trying to get me or Maren the wonder dog to chase you. You laugh and squeal with such glee...it makes my heart melt and catching you is one of my most favorite things! You've gotten good at climbing up onto the furniture (grrrr) but haven't yet perfected the whole issue of getting back down. I'll be happy when that's been mastered! You also love to find a set of stairs to climb up. You like to give me heart attacks like that. Since you are now climbing, it's hard to take you to the playgrounds that have play structures because you can climb up them, but they all have openings where you can fall out. So, you end up crying all the time because I take you down from them. I want to encourage you to climb, but in a safe way.

Exploring the twigs

I'm now finding new places to take you that don't involve climbing structures that are huge and dangerous. The Acton Arboretum; nearby, is the perfect place. It's huge and filled with gardens, woods, trails, paths, bridges and just overall beauty to explore.

Over the bridge

Under the archway

You can run completely freely and safely. You LOVE it! There's so much to explore, find, and touch. I like it because I don't have to be in panic mode and there's nothing for you to climb up and fall off of. Yet. Lucky for me you aren't climbing trees at this point. Anyway, we spent the cooler part of the morning there just enjoying the atmosphere and spending some nice time together.

So many flowers

Later in the day, after your nap, we went swimming at Walden Pond. Such a beautiful, clear and clean body of water but way too crowded! I think the little pond and beach just across the way will be where we spend most of our water time from now on. It's got much more room for running around and much less people! (It DOES have a darned play structure for you to climb, but you aren't interested when we are going in the water.) I hope you had a fun day today. I had fun with you. I had a hard time getting you out of the water; you kept wanting to run deeper and deeper in and you didn't even seem to mind when you accidentally went over your head and gulped too much water. I tried to seem calm in front of you but I was freaking the heck out inside. You make me want to be brave; for your sake and my own. Anyway, you are in LOVE with the water and it's fun to watch you putter all around and flail your arms in it. The joy you express is contagious to everyone around you; mostly me.

It's funny. People always warned me about how different things were to be when you started walking. There was such a negative spin on it. I was practically terrified. I was worried about all the trouble you'd get into and how I would have "so much more work." Now that it has happened, I am happy to report that I'm really enjoying myself and this time. You are definitely doing a lot more, but it's much more fun now. I was always vigilant to watch over you before, so not much has changed for me in that area. But now, I can take you places and plop you down and off you go! It's almost EASIER now. I feel like I've rejoined the world and you get to be part of it too. It's fun to watch you make discoveries and find out about the world on your own two feet. Life just got a whole lot more interesting and enriched and I'm loving every second of being with you. You really helped me get back out there and smell the roses and for that I'm forever grateful.
I'm so proud and happy for you. I'm one lucky Mama.
Love you always and forever,
Mama

Rosy

Mama and Paige

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Messy McMesserson

A few days ago King Kong...I mean, Paige decided it was time to start spreading messy joy wherever she goes. She clears every shelf she comes to. Dumps every basket. Flings every book. It's like a horror movie. I also call her my little Godzilla. Through the day, I am constantly picking up the same spewed crap over and over. But then she just stays right with me and re-flings it all immediately after cleaning.
You walk in the room and you can't see the floor. NO FLOOR. Just where the toy-monster decided to vomit little wooden shape pieces, plastic shape pieces, stacking cups, and other various piece-y things. Then, a corner or three where the toy monster pooped a pile of books. Books EVERYWHERE. The girl loves to enjoy books, but I didn't think she'd want to tile the floor with them. They act like little banana peels making us slip and slide all over. More vomit of stuffed animals, figures, and other random doodads add a lovely sprinkle. She doesn't have TONS of toys, but she DOES have ones that happen to have a ton of pieces. Shape sorters, stacking rings, blocks, books, stacking cups, magnetic letters and the like. WHYYYYY???????
I was exhausted this morning after another clean fest gone awry. Another Godzilla attack. I swear, my eye started to twitch. After tripping for the millionth time in 2 days I decided to go through all her stuff and thin it out, to put it mildly. I asked Chris to bring a huge plastic bin of stuff and 4 bags of books to the basement all to cycle in the future once she's "tired" of what she has out now. There should be a hell of a lot less mess to clean now and should be easier for P to choose what she wants to play with. Her huge wicker laundry basket of books is gone. Now, there are only maybe 6 to choose from. I filled 4 little grocery bags with books and will rotate a bag per week so the books stay fresh.
Back in the day when people used to tell me about their toddlers and how they would run through a room and dump out everything in sight onto the floors creating general chaos I figured it was because they just let them do whatever and didn't really care about the mess. I just figured that one day I would be diligent about teaching my little one how to pick up her things. Smug bitch that I was. Well, now I have my own kid and the reality of the whole thing has shown its ugly head. Paige HAD never cared to make messes. She just sort of went from one activity to the next...would generally only take what she wanted from the shelves--one thing at a time. I thought I had gotten lucky and dodged a bullet. (HA HA HA!!!!) I also quickly learned that she is simply too young to explain about putting her toys away. I'm sure she understands maybe 15 percent of what I say. And, yes, she has selective hearing too. I had always assumed that if they walked, they could listen to you. Isn't that hilarious? I was so stoooooooopid.
I will slowly start working with her on learning how to put things away. Everything seems to have a specific home now, so that should help make it easier. But I know it will be a long time before she will be doing it. It takes a lot of repetition and time. Again; I can't believe I used to be so smug and dumb about it. Chalk it up to another parenting lesson learned. *sigh*

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stand and Deliver

The other day I walked into the living room and couldn't find Paige. I was puzzled as I hadn't seen her leave the room. I finally saw the top of her fuzzy head peeking out as she had CLIMBED INTO MY OFFICE CHAIR. She was casually sitting there kicking her feet back and forth on top of the seat. She glanced up and smiled at me when I ran over after I got over the shock that she'd climbed in there all by herself. Poop, I thought to myself. The next day, I came in the room and found Paige sitting on the couch casually flipping through my "Maine" magazine. How did you get up there!? I thought to myself. I've finally managed to "catch" her doing it...she practically puts her foot up near her face and somehow manages to step up onto things. It's crazy. I haven't gotten a picture, because usually I'm busy having a heart attack or shitting my pants in fear she will fall on her head while I lunge toward her to make sure she doesn't fall. Because she loves to try standing up and takes a step to casually walk off the edges of things. She hasn't realized she needs to sit on her bum and lower herself down. I'm strictly enforcing the "no standing on the furniture" rule, but it's not without a now weakened heart and dirty pants. I just glanced over as I write this and she's sitting on the couch with her head resting on a pillow. She looks so content. I guess I will have to get used to the idea that she may get hurt, as I can't always be right by her side. Boo. Time to buy a pacemaker and some new undies. See y'all soon! (and I'm kidding about all the pooing and heart-attacking for those who don't get my jokes).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summertime

Togus Sunset

Hi friends!
I'm sorry for being gone so long! We spent a full week up at Togus Pond in Augusta, Maine...we rented my Mom's cousin's camp. It was wonderful! It was also extra special because Paige got to play in the waters where I learned to swim, MY mother learned, HER mother learned, and I bet even HER mother learned. So, we continued a tradition.

Swimming with Mama

There's something so wonderful about going back to your place of childhood fun. I have many warm and happy memories of summer days spent at that pond. There's a certain feeling of coming home. We spent the week swimming, reading, relaxing, chasing Paige around the yard, and just pondering in general. I also turned 32 on July 14th which found us being visited by my parents and my brother later on in the day. It was also a tiring week; spending time in a new place with a wily and quick toddler can wear you thin. But, I knew it would be like that and was happy to relax during her naps! I have so many fun things to share with you this week! First, I'll end this post by showing you a barrage of images from our trip.

Bellybutton

lotion at bedtime

blowing bubbles

Relaxing with Daddy

Playing with Maren the dog

View from dock

View from lawn

Belly

Exploring Nature

Loving Grampa

Loving Nana


Togus Sunset

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Home Inspiration

Hi there!
That last post had some great responses! It's interesting to see what others thought about the article. In light of that, I wanted to share this blog post from Meg at Sew Liberated. In it, she shares how she has set up her home for her newly walking little one. She has set it up according to Montessori methods and it seems much more homey and relatable, eh? (I'm not one for the EC method in regards to toileting, but I really found the rest of her setup inspirational). I love how she has the little extra space for the play kitchen. He must love playing in there! What do you think of Meg's toddler setup?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Style of Living

Hi friends!
A while back, I read this article in NY Social Diary about the home set up and philosophies of Lisa Mahar. (She's the owner of Kid-O toy boutique, etc.) Go take a gander if you'd like; as I'm about to discuss it.
Here's a picture of part of her childrens' play room from the article:
ny social diary

So organized and sleek, right?
As Paige grows, I find that I am taking lots of time to think about how I want to set up the house to accomodate her needs; especially now that she's walking. I'm also pondering how to teach her the things she needs to learn...educational kinds of stuff. I'm really trying to get to know her and what will work best for her.

The article I mention above is inspirational for me but not necessarily aspirational. I like how she has pared the toy chaos down to just their favorites and has everything available for them. I also like how she doesn't just give them baby toys to play with, rather, actual materials that adults use. I believe when children are ready they can rise to any occasion with a little guidance. Emphasis on when children are ready. I also believe that children must have the chance to let their imaginations take flight and too much exposure to commercialization can cloud things a bit.
But, I also feel that she takes these ideals to the extreme (and that's fine for her)...I couldn't go so far with all the ideals she discusses in the article. I'm a little more "live and let live" about things when it comes to toys and household set up. I'm a little more "let kids be kids and if they want Elmo then give it to them" (within reason of course). Some of the viewpoints expressed came off as judgmental, snobby, and rigid. That said, I really respect and admire her resolve and that she cares so much about her family. Not enough people have thought any of these issues through to have a viewpoint. Good for her! I found some nuggets of inspiration there in terms of organization of household clutter and chaos as well as future educational experiences.
What did YOU think of the article? Did it inspire you or turn you off? (For me it did a little of both in equal measure).
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