Friday, January 28, 2011
Dear Little P,
21 months old! You are turning into a little lady. There's just no denying it that you are losing your baby chub as you grow and stretch and turn into a little girl. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't hard for me to see you leaving your babyhood behind. It has gone much too quickly. We tried so hard to bring you into the world and then your babyhood came and went in such a flash. I feel like babyhood needs to last just a little bit longer! But, I guess it would never seem like enough. I can never hold you or snuggle you enough. Such is the plight of being your Mama. Especially because now you aren't too keen on being snuggled unless it's on your terms.
This past month you have made some great strides in your speech development as well as with your focus and attention. You seem to be doing better every day. You discovered an obsession with puzzles and fine motor tasks. I've watched you put puzzles together and then immediately dump them out over and over and over again. I've been giving you more difficult challenges but you seem to solve them so quickly! It's hard for me to keep up with this flurry of connections you are making. I love watching you concentrate and the way you say Ray!!! (Hooray) when you finish a task. You've taken a shine to working with Play Doh and playing with your shape stacking puzzles. It's different because you used to be so into running around, moving and getting into things. Now I can usually find you sitting over a little project. All within a week or two's time. Watching you grow is just amazing!
The best part about all of these changes, by far, has to be that you are bonding with me more. You come to me and engage with me much more than you used to; it warms my heart to feel this connection with you I've waited so long for. You cuddle my legs, you look at me with a smile and joy in your eyes that makes me melt. You ask for me and look for me and always want me to play with you. You are my sunshine and my heart; the joy and love I feel for you is everlasting. Please know that everything I do is for you and what is best for you in mind. Being your Mama is a job I take very seriously and put a lot of conscious thought into because I love you more than the world. I see a beautiful and perfect soul in your smile and for that I am forever lucky and grateful.
I love you always and forever,
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
She is Paige's much loved special toy that she takes with her to bed and everywhere else. We have 2 Dollies...one for upstairs and one for down (the downstairs one also tends to go in the diaper bag with us). They often cross paths, to Paige's delight. Sometimes both of them go to bed with her. It's great that one can go into the wash while the other one gets to hang out; they can get AWFULLY stinky and gross. I'm already wishing we had a third. I just wanted to document her favorite toy for the sake of posterity. Thanks for taking the time to meet her!
Monday, January 24, 2011
Several months ago, my parents unearthed my old lunchbox from when I was in Kindergarten...E.T.! I can see my 1983 wisdom of personalizing it with stickers to spell my name and embellish the front with a heart and some antennae-thingies on ET's head. I was so excited to see this old thing! It's been sitting around on a shelf for a while now and I decided to store Paige's play clay tools in it. It's got a simple latch that she can do herself and I like that I can see my old friend and keep him useful again!
For tools Paige is favoring some plastic straws (sturdy like sticks) to poke, poke, poke the Play Doh. She also likes chopsticks and this little rotary wheel thingie (that makes nice lines) I found in the basement cache of tools. There's also a cheesy plastic rolling pin that she uses the end to poke the Doh and also a little plastic "garlic press" that makes "hair." I prompt her to "pull, pull, pull!" when I squeeze the hair out. And finally is a little dull plastic knife for cutting and making lines and poking. She never used to be very engaged with this, but today she took this out twice. The first time she played for over a half-hour, and the second time was a good 15 minutes. I only had to remind her once that the activity stays ON the table. And when we were done she was happy to put away all the tools back in the box and latch it shut. I'll enjoy her penchant for cleaning up while it lasts. :) Over the past few days I've noticed a love for fine-motor games take her over. She's obsessed with all her puzzles and has speedily put them all together...and she's now onto all her other toys that have little bits and bobs to stack, sort, peg, build, etc. She gets so focused and intent on doing them all over and over. All stuff to keep her little fingers busy and flying. I want to encourage her, but at the same time she is lost in her own little world. Not good when she still doesn't have much going on for language. But, we're working on sneaking in chances for building speech into her little games. I'll fit it in however I can!! See you in this space soon!
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Now that the playroom is "done" I thought I'd post some new photos of it with the play kitchen in place and all Paige's holiday toys put away. I also avoided using the wide-angle lens for this so it doesn't distort the room. To answer an earlier question from a reader, the room size, I believe, is 11 x 12 feet. (Sidenote: If anyone wants to know more about some of the stuff in here, try checking out the topics column on the right of this blog under "playroom for wee." I tagged all the posts about this room with that to make it easy to find info. Or you can feel free to email me at the address listed on the upper-right) Since everything has its place, it's easy to clean up at the end of the day and keep it looking like this. Some days I don't feel like it so the floor has scattered books and bits on it, but for the most part we like to pick it up and keep it looking new. We also added a mirror to the wall where Paige can admire herself during dress up (which so far means donning a bunch of cheapy necklaces and watching them swish back and forth) and we play mimicking games. She also likes to watch her mouth move as she tries to babble and sound out words. So cute! The thing in the left corner in the toy zone is not a TV; it's a lamp that looks like an aquarium. Paige is very visual and loves fish so it was easy to decide to get it. I often find her staring at it and waving hi to her little fishy friends; especially when she's a little tired and needs extra soothing. I'm glad we changed the office into her playspace; we are in there all day long with plenty to do with no temptation of the television in the family room. I know Paige enjoys having her own place to go and be cozy and where we can all play, make art, make music, read, and enjoy being together...and that was my goal. Mission accomplished!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Here is her new play apron made from vintage 50's fabric. I got it from Etsy seller Gagie Pagie Pudding Pie (appropriately named I think!!). You can see it on her in the photo below the text in this post.
I thought I'd take this chance to show you the new play kitchen that Paige's grandparents gifted her for Christmas. Most of her gifts from us were kitchen-related. She's a little young yet to fully do the whole "pretend" thing, but she's starting. I figure she will keep growing into it. For now, she likes to lift the sink out and throw toys down underneath to hide them. She also will stir her imagined soup in the pot. She keeps pushing the burner buttons on and off while also pouring with her little metal tea kettle. This particular play kitchen is from Ikea and seemed to be the most affordable option out there and I also happened to aesthetically like it the best. It has everything I thought a play kitchen should...including little burners that light up. There's plenty of storage and the simple design matches many decors. Another cool thing is that the legs adjust and it can raise up even higher when she is older. Yay! As you can see, I added hooks to the sides to store cleaning implements and her apron/kitchen cloth. I wanted to install actual metal fixtures for this, but it felt like overkill when the time came to set it up. The simple hooks are functional and easy and are also removable since they are that sticky pull-off material. As my bloggie friend Lor mentioned in the comments in an earlier post, the magnets that hold the cabinets shut are VERY strong. Paige has a hard time opening them; so a few layers of masking tape over them allows for the magnets to work much more gently. When she's older I can just remove the tape. Easy-peasy! So, that's the play kitchen "review." We love it!
Monday, January 10, 2011
Paige's cousin gave her some cool new boots, which are a hit!
Well, we've been sick with colds again here. As per usual it seems!!! It's been an exhausting start to the new year! What with colds, appointments, plans and errands...no rest for the weary!
I've been reading up on lots of blogs; exploring what resolutions everyone is deciding to tackle and whatnot. I never can get on board with resolutions because they usually equal pressure. And we all know I hate that. Anyway, Chris and I have been wanting to have "date nights" more regularly (I can't remember when our last one was?) and schedule them twice per month if we can. So, we've just booked two nights out of this month with our lovely babysitter and we're so excited to make plans to get out. We want to go to the movies and we'd like to luxuriate in a meal that we don't have to rush through. We spend a lot of quality time together as a family, but I think it's important to reconnect as a couple to remember we're more than parents. Once the month is over, we'll sit down with a calendar and figure out our 2 days for February...that way I have a jump on contacting the babysitter well in advance. It's more likely to happen if you book it far in advance, right? It's just as important as a doctor, dentist, or other appointment we all tend to make sure and keep...if not MORE so. SO, that's our "resolution" for this year and I'm excited about it.
In other news, Paige seems to finally be starting to pick up some words here and there. She's a bit of a late bloomer when it comes to talking; but it's better late than never, eh? We've recently found out that she needs a lot of specific sensory motor play in order to focus and pay attention better and we already see a big difference in her speech development. To aid in her focus, we've continued to keep the TV off, and now *gulp* the radio, and *super gulp* the internet. Chris and I indulge in those things after P is in bed. Again, these measures are seemingly making a big impact in her development in just a short amount of time. We're excited for her. Life is easier when there's some communicating going on! Perhaps I'll share some of our fun sensory games here in this space from time to time? I'm all about sharing, as you know. Feel free to share some of your ideas with me too!
Well, I can hear her mumbling now from her crib which signals the end of nap (and my internet time!). Be well, and I hope to post more frequently here in this new year. But we won't call that a resolution, ok?
Sunday, January 9, 2011
Sunday, January 2, 2011
My dearest Paige,
This letter is a little late this month; we've been away celebrating the holidays. We were at Nana and Grampa's house in Maine for Christmas, then we went to Grammy and Rico's house in Connecticut. Our final stop was to the Carty family house in Vermont to celebrate New Year's with lots of friends. Phew! Now we are home and you are finally adjusting to your old routine (after lots of screaming sleepless nights). You are 20 months old now; out of the teens and drawing nearer to turning 2. I can hardly believe it. We've been so lucky to witness how sweet you are...so gentle and easy-going. You are also a bit shy and seem to open up only when someone is outgoing with you first. I think you are best-friends with anyone willing to dangle you upside-down and twirl you all over the place. You seem to love being chased...you look back with a sly grin as you begin to run. How can we NOT chase you after you make such a cute face? But you do cute things a lot, as toddlers do, and today was no exception. You did a little dance to the song "Superfreak" as you looked at your new dress-up jewelry in the mirror. Daddy got that one on video that I hope to post soon. I hope you don't mind; it's too cute not to share. It was so wonderful to share the holidays with you. Your Daddy and I stared at our stockings all in a row on the mantle and we both got very teary. We felt so lucky as we hugged and looked at them...his, yours, and mine. I'd never realized I'd been waiting for that moment all of my life. To have a little stocking for Santa to fill next to ours. Yours. It was a surreal and unbelievable moment for both of us...a reminder of how grateful we are for you and how lucky we are. Wonderful things are in store for you in the year ahead; I wish I could express here how excited I am about them all. I love you my little peanut. There is only one special You. Full of wonder, love and life. A million hugs and kisses wouldn't be enough to show you, but I'll tell you again that I love you forever and always.