Weekend for two

Monday, August 24, 2015
(Oops — found this as a draft from a few weeks ago. Guess I’ll publish it now!)
The Husband and The Big Sis went out of town at the end of July, and so The Little Sis and I were left behind to enjoy a Mommy/Little Kid weekend.Now, I am not saying that parenting just one child is a breeze. Clearly it is not. But given the fact that I was left with the easy-going kid, and the fact that my workload and obligations were cut in at least half, it almost felt like a refreshing vacation. I didn’t yell or get stressed out once, which some days would be a minor miracle.

We started off the weekend with some grilled cheese sandwiches, a trip to the grocery store for ice cream sandwiches (her choice from the ice cream section!), and then a heated game of Chutes and Ladders. (She won!) The Little Sis watched a movie while I slept in some on Saturday, then we had breakfast before taking The Dog on a walk around the neighborhood. It was a beautiful morning, and though you could tell it was going to be hot later in the day, that heat hadn’t reached its peak yet, so it was quite pleasant out. Perhaps best of all was watching her chase butterflies, honestly thinking she was going to catch them without a net. She would gasp as she’d spot one, then traipse across the grass with a bounce in her step and her eyes on the prize, finding such joy in a simple summer pleasure.

We came back and had lunch, then played a game of Life, which she also won. (I had to handle her money for her, but she did a great job playing by the actual rules.) We relaxed a little bit before heading over to a good friend’s swimming pool during the late afternoon. We ended up staying for about three hours, and it was probably the highlight of the weekend for both of us. Someone had left behind some dive sticks, and we threw those for The Little Sis to chase for at least an hour, maybe more. It was also great for me to occasionally get some actual swim time in for a little bit of a workout (more than I’ve been able to get with the broken ankle). I can’t swim for real because I shouldn’t use my left foot, but there are plenty of things to do in the pool without that, and it’s not like I swim for real anyway without a broken bone (just a slow head-above-the-water crawl). We stopped at Culver’s for a late dinner on the way home, then she pretty much crashed in bed once we got home, leaving me another evening to watch a movie and read. Ahhhhh….

Sunday is our usual errand day, but you can totally package that up as an adventure to a 3-year-old, and she was sold. We took The Dog for another walk in the morning, had an early lunch at home, then set out for our errand “adventures.” Our main goals were finding a birthday present for my niece, as well as doing the weekly grocery shopping, with a couple other side errands in there as well, and we successfully accomplished our mission. Our reward was going home to make some homemade pizzas, and they turned out quite superb.

I’m pretty sure it was more of a vacation than our actual vacation was later that week!


The obedient one

Friday, October 3, 2014
Recently we were at a local kids’ indoor playground, and it was almost time to leave since the place was about to close for the night. We’d given appropriate 5- and 10-minute warnings that it was almost time to leave, then the time was finally upon us to make our way to the car. Although she’s much better about it now, The Big Sis used to have a lot of problems with such transitions, and understandably so, as we were making her leave fun places, and what kid wants that? The Little Sis, by contrast, has always been our more agreeable, compliant child.

So when we told The Little Sis that it was time to leave, she declared, “No!” then turned around and started bouncing again. Okay, then.

The Husband said, “Hrm, and I thought she was supposed to be the obedient one.”

As he was saying this, The Little Sis bounced approximately three or four times, then bounced to her bottom and said, “Okay, I all done now,” and scooted her way out of the bouncer.

I smirked to The Husband, “Yep, she really IS the obedient one. There’s no way The Big Sis would have ever come out of there on her own when she was that age. We’d be carrying her out over one shoulder with her kicking and screaming the whole way.”

I’ll take the obedient one for the win!

Joie de vivre

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Little Sis has an incredible love of life at the moment. Even the littlest things turn her giddy with enthusiasm as she takes in all that’s around her. “I LOVE oranges,” she’ll declare to me, unsolicited. “I like my babies very much,” she’ll assert with unmatched confidence.

This morning I was buckling in The Little Sis in the car when she noticed that one of our trees has bloomed overnight. She said, “Oh, Mommy! Look! The tree has flowers on it!” I turned around and said, “Oh yes, it does! They’re pink!” Enunciating each word carefully, she said, “I LOVE flowers! They are so PRETTY. I am so ‘CITED!” (Have I mentioned she’s very in tune with her own emotions, as well as the emotions of others? She loves to identify how she’s feeling. “I so fwustwated right now.” “Is Sissy mad?”)

I must admit that her enthusiasm is quite contagious and makes me want to start singing the praises of all the little things in life.





Meet the babies

Monday, March 24, 2014

Meet The Little Sis’ current favorite baby dolls:

From left to right:

1. Ariel. This one is technically The Big Sis’ plush doll, but The Little Sis sort of took it over. She is greedy with babies like that.

2. Soft Baby. This was the baby doll we got her for her first birthday. Soft Baby is the mom of School Baby, per The Little Sis.

3. Lilly. Named by The Little Sis after the daughter of one of her teachers. This is one of her favorite babies; she gets lots of extra attention and nurturing. She is the mom of Ashley, according to The Little Sis.

4. Ashley. This was The Big Sis’ first baby doll (back in 2008), but The Little Sis found it and took it as her own. This is her overall favorite baby doll.

5. Belle. This is still technically The Big Sis’ doll (sense a theme here?), but she is “borrowing” it.

6. Big Baby. We got this baby doll for The Little Sis for her second birthday. We’ve taken Big Baby to the grocery store before and we’re always stopped by people who think the baby is real!

7. Grandpa. No idea why she named the baby Grandpa, but there you go! Grandpa is the dad of School Baby, per The Little Sis.

8. School Baby. This is a baby doll that we found at my dad’s house — no idea where it came from. Maybe my sister’s from a long time ago? I’m not really sure. She named it School Baby because she likes to take it to school. School Baby is the daughter of Soft Baby and Grandpa, according to The Little Sis.

You say potato

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Some of The Little Sis’s current word mispronunciations (I’m blanking out on a lot of them right now, but will come back and add more as I think of them):

Chex sticks = chapstick

La-la-la-la = Cinderella

Iguana = Tiana

tea = bottle of water with ice (because she sees my iced tea and thinks anything with ice is tea)

blelly = belly

Air-wuh = Ariel

some-scream = sunscreen

pancapes = pancakes

‘licious = delicious

callipater = caterpillar

First film!

Monday, February 3, 2014

A few weeks ago, we were looking for something to do as a family, and after much discussion, we decided to take a risk and take The Little Sis to her first theater movie. The Big Sis went to her first theater movie when she was between 2 1/2 and 3, so this would have us doing it a little earlier for The Little Sis, but overall we thought it would go well. And overall, we were indeed right. We went to the dollar theater so if we had to bail, we weren’t out a lot of money. We loaded up on snacks, snagged seats in the back row on the side, and hoped for the best.

Really, the only “problem” we had was that The Little Sis is currently going through a phase where she narrates EVERYTHING. So she’d say — just slightly too loud — “Look, it’s a monkey! He’s silly,” for example. So while not awful, I’m sure it was distracting to those who were closest to us (though we really didn’t have anyone super close to us, part of the reason we chose to sit in the back). Toward the end, The Little Sis started to get a little wiggly, but for the most part, she did really well sitting in her seat between the wall and The Big Sis.

Oh, and for the record, her first movie was Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2.

The Big Sis’ first movie? The original Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. πŸ™‚

People play

Thursday, November 21, 2013
As shown in yesterday’s Wordless Wednesday, The Little Sis has been playing with her Little People a lot lately. She’ll set them in chairs around a table and have them eat dinner…have them go on trips in the airplane…have them use the potty in the house.
Anyway, she’ll set up these little scenes, then ask me to take a picture! “Go get camera?” she’ll say.

A girl after my heart!

So I’ll take a picture, then of course she wants to see it. So I’ll hold the camera for her, and she says a quiet “ahhhh!” almost under her breath when she sees it, then she always asks, “I hold it.”
So I let her hold it.
And she looks at it, amused and self-satisfied.
Then she carefully turns off the camera and hands it back. “Here go!”

Wordless Wednesday: People play

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

These boots were made for sleeping

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I’ve mentioned The Little Sis’ love of shoes, and I think also how she’s gone to sleep in shoes before. But this picture rocks, so that’s tonight’s post:

Time lapse!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Feb. 2012

Oct. 2013

Shoe in

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ways you know your 2-year-old is utterly obsessed with shoes:

#248: She is currently asleep for the night with The Big Sis’ too-small Crocs on her feet, after wearing them non-stop once she got home.

#249: When #248 becomes a regular occurrence in your home.

Get the back

Sunday, November 10, 2013

With The Little Sis in the potty-training process, there are a lot of times she tries to use the potty but doesn’t do anything. Maybe this should be a confession, but we don’t make her wash her hands every single time she sits on the potty; we do if she is productive, of course, but otherwise, we just have her use some hand sanitizer, which we call “hand rubbies.”

Recently, I was showing The Little Sis how to use hand rubbies on her hands. “Rub your hands together. Good! Now make sure you get the back.” What I MEANT was to make sure she got the backs of her HANDS. However, she took this to mean her ACTUAL back, so she reached around her body to spread it onto the small of her back.

And each time since, she does her hand rubbies by rubbing her hands together first, then reaches a hand around her body to put some on her back. I tried correcting her the first few times, but now I just let it amuse me as I watch her do it and don’t speak up. πŸ™‚

Clowning around

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Dear Adult Little Sis:

You might be wondering why you have a seemingly irrational fear of clowns even though you don’t know why.

Well, I can tell you why. It was because of that one kid during trick or treating in 2013 who walked right in front of you wearing a scary clown mask. I had hoped not to pass along my own personal dislike of clowns, however it turns out the universe had a different plan in mind.

At least you’re not the only one with this fear??



What about the other one?

Friday, October 25, 2013
The Little Sis is just the sweetest little thing, and I am fond of telling people that. “She’s made of sunshine and rose petals,” I’ll say. “She’s made of gumdrops and vanilla lattes.” “She’s made of unicorns and pixie dust.”

But seriously, she’s just the best little 2-year-old ever. She’s entered Parrot Mode, where nearly anything someone says or does is fair game for her to repeat, making it hilarious when she says things like, “Move it, buddy” with her innocent, angelic voice after I’ve just said the same thing to The Dog. Of course, that also means it’s not quite as hilarious when she tries to jump off the couch like The Big Sis (who is NOT supposed to be doing that in the first place).


She’s talking up a storm — she doesn’t seem to have the “second child talks late” thing going on, as she seems right on par compared to where The Big Sis was at that age (which we can tell by watching old YouTube videos of big sis) — and it’s so much fun. She’s all about noticing patterns and narrating everyday life, which makes sense, since that’s exactly what we do with her. “Mommy take stuff to car? Right back?” Or before dinner: “Go wash hands…then eat dinner.” Or when getting dressed: “Put sock on. Go get shoes. Put shoes on. Get jacket.”


She counts accurately from one to 11. She sings her ABCs very well. She knows her colors with accuracy. She knows her shapes — including the octagon, so every time we pass a stop sign, she yells out, “Daddy! Ock-a-gon! Right there!” I’m almost certain I didn’t know what an octagon was when I was 2.


The Little Sis loves reading books. She has her favorites, usually an animal or word picture book that she likes us to quiz her on. (She also likes to tell us the color square behind each animal/object.) Her other current favorite is a potty book, which she now calls the “i-cream book” because there’s a page toward the end that depicts a family enjoying an ice cream outing on a park bench after potty success. Naturally that’s the ice cream book.


Speaking of the potty, The Little Sis has taken some steps forward in that arena, though we’re still taking a mostly laid-back approach to it at this point and will continue to do that until she has regular success on her own. Right now we offer her plenty of opportunities to use the potty, or we allow her to give it a try if she asks to go, and sometimes she is productive, and sometimes not. We get excited with her successes, and we congratulate her on trying when nothing happens.

She is still very much obsessed with babies and is naturally drawn to them when they are nearby. She just looks at them and you can see the love in her eyes. She starts to smile — small at first, then bigger — and leans in for a hug. She’s adorably sweet with them.

The Little Sis still has a very clear preference for me, which is both super awesome and semi-frustrating (at times), but mostly super awesome. πŸ˜‰ There’s nothing like seeing her when she comes home from daycare and having her exclaim, “MOMMY!!!!” as she runs over to me for a huge hug.

Two is such a fun age!


Monday, October 7, 2013

For several months now, The Little Sis has shown pretty much all of the readiness signs for potty training, but she wasn’t productive when giving it a try. We didn’t really press the matter, and weren’t in actual potty training mode or anything, but we just used it as a chance to give her opportunities for success, and if she did something great, but if not, then oh well. This has led to many, many times sitting on the potty without actual success. (Though, really, in our book, her sitting on the potty WAS a success.)

So we were at an indoor playground on Saturday, and I needed to change The Little Sis’ diaper before leaving. I took her to the restroom and tried to open the changing table, but she was very insistent, saying, “I wanna pee pee on the potty!” Thankfully, being a kid-centric business, they have a kid-sized toilet, so I told her we could give it a try, not expecting her to do anything at all. We went in, she wrestled off her own diaper, and she sat down — and I’ll be damned if she didn’t pee in that kid toilet within a minute. Go her!

I won’t bore with details, but we had two additional successes at home on Sunday, one with the potty chair and one with the potty ring for the toilet.

I still think we’re far from actually being potty trained, as she doesn’t usually let us know in time when she needs to go (usually, she has JUST gone in her diaper, so she can at least tell us that much), and she’s just beginning to have success, but it’s certainly exciting to see some additional steps forward and know that we are gradually nearing the end of the diaper-buying days.

Did you do your taxes?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Even though The Little Sis is 2 years old and has her share of moments where she doesn’t want to go along with what we ask of her, she’s largely a compliant and obedient child. Some days, I think her favorite words are “yes” and “okay.”

[boggle] This is a very different experience compared to The Big Sis, who is a lot more spirited and defiant by nature and certainly gives us a run for our money most days.

But The Little Sis? If you ask her to put her clothes in the hamper, she’ll respond with an enthusiastic, “OKAY!” and the scurry off to do just that. If she’s standing in the recliner and you ask her not to, she might resist at the first request, but then she does just as she’s asked. Truthfully, I almost don’t know how to react; I’m sort of conditioned to continue making my point, and I’m almost shut down when she behaves.

Now, I’m not naive enough to think she’s always going to be like this. At some point, whether a week from now or when she’s 15, she will test her boundaries more — but for the moment, I am enjoying every single minute of compliance.


At dinner, I ask both of The Girls questions about their day. “What did you do in Art?” “Did you read any books?” The Little Sis is always so eager to answer her questions with a cute little, “Yeah!” But she’s so agreeable that after a while, I start to wonder whether she’s answering my questions for real, or if she’s just answering everything with a yes. So I throw in some trick questions for her, just to test her answers. For example, after getting a string of “yes” answers, I’ll ask her, “Did you get to swing on the playground?” And if I get an affirmative answer, I know she’s not really answering my questions correctly, as her daycare’s playground doesn’t HAVE any swings.

My favorite question to ask her, though, is: “Did you do your taxes?” What a ridiculous question to ask a 2-year-old, and it amuses me to no end when she smiles and says, “Yeah!” Then I begin to unleash a series of silly questions to see how many she’ll agree with. “Did you all go to the zoo? Did you get to be the teacher in your class today? Are you going to take out the trash later?” The Big Sis has gotten in on the action, too, and poses crazy questions of her own, all in an attempt to see just how agreeable she will be.

If she answers “no” to doing her taxes, then we know we can take her answers at face value. Well, for the most part…

Wordless Wednesday: R2D2 and Ewok

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Wigging out

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

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Baby love

Monday, August 12, 2013

Like many toddlers, The Big Sis certainly had her moments of baby obsession, but The Little Sis has taken that and raised it to the millionth degree. Babies might be her absolute favorite thing in the whole world. It is so much fun to watch her with her baby dolls, rocking them, shushing them, patting them on their backs, feeding them, offering them drinks of her water, and just generally being so loving with them. The other night, she said (unprompted): “I love you, baby” in just the sweetest little voice. Shortly after that, she also was trying to put the pacifier back in the baby doll’s mouth and it fell out, and she said, “I sorry, baby.” She also asked if I wanted to kiss her baby, then removed the pacifier for me so I could kiss her on the lips.

I love my baby, and I love that my baby loves her baby. πŸ™‚

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(Bad cell phone pic, but you get the idea…)

Two-year checkup

Friday, August 9, 2013

I took The Little Sis to The Pediatrician on Thursday for her two-year well check, and everything checked out great!

The stats:

*Weight: 30 pounds (90th to 95th percentile)
*Height: 35.5 inches (90th to 95th percentile)
*Head circumference: 19 inches (50th to 75th percentile)

She met all of her milestone questions, which were:

*Can your child walk up stairs?
*Can your child stack at least 4 blocks?
*Does your child point to pictures in books?
*Does you child attempt to remove some clothing?
*Does your child use at least two-word sentences?
*Does your child say more than 40 words?

The unusual thing with this appointment is that as soon as they called us back, before we were even through the doorway, The Little Sis started crying and clinging to me — she has never done that before! They tried to weigh and measure her on the real scale, but I couldn’t get her away from me long enough to get an accurate reading. So we had to weigh her on the baby scale (which she didn’t like either) and measure her height on the exam table paper (which, again, she didn’t like).

Thankfully The Pediatrician is understanding in situations like this, and he did as much of his exam as he could with her sitting on my lap and needed her on the exam table for less than two minutes. In addition, the nurse was willing to give her the one shot she needed with her sitting in my lap, which I would have requested anyway and they’ve always let us do when possible, but it was especially helpful since she was already displeased with being there. She calmed down quickly after the shot and was fine the entire way to daycare.

So now we’re caught up on shots until age 4! (Though, those four-year shots were rough with The Big Sis! But we’ll deal with that when we get to it.)

It’s hard to believe she’s already two, but she’s at such a fun age and we’re enjoying her personality so much.

Wordless Wednesday: Happy 2nd!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

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In case of emergency…

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The other night, a vivid dream startled me awake: My family and I were in a minor plane crash. For some reason, our seats had been assigned separately, so I went to talk to the flight attendants before take-off to see if we were allowed to move to a different, emptier section of the plane where we could all sit together. We got the okay, but as I was walking back to tell my family, the plane started moving and I had to take the first available seat to buckle in, and I didn’t have enough time to move The Big Sis and The Little Sis, who were sitting beside each other but not with The Husband. They were in my view, but not within arm’s reach since they were on the other side of the plane — maybe 15 feet away. I thought about asking someone to switch seats with me, but we were just about to begin acceleration for take-off and there just wasn’t enough time.

The plane began to speed up, faster, faster, faster, and we magically rose into the air, onward to our destination. In an instant, however, it became clear that we had not gained as much altitude as we should have, and we were going to be unable to clear the building that was right in front of us. Plane vs. building: I’ve seen how this ends, and it isn’t good. The crash itself was minor, and hardly anyone was injured (we later learned), but being unable to reach the girls immediately was one of the most helpless feelings ever. Chaos and smoke filled the plane, and it was all I could do to climb over broken airline seats to get to my children and help them. But when I finally reached them, I was taken aback.

There were my two girls, calm amid the panic, and I watched as The Big Sis carefully unbuckled herself, then The Little Sis, and they embraced in a giant hug, there for each other in their parents’ absence.
And in that moment, both in my dream and in real life, it hit me: My girls are growing up more and more each day, and they need me for less and less. I am actually okay with that; new adventures await, and it gets even better as we keep going along this life path with each other. But mostly I want to rest secure in the knowledge that they’re there for each other. They might not be best friends for life as nearly every parent hopes, but I hope that when it counts, they’ve got each other’s backs. That they help each other through the difficult times. That they cheer each other’s successes. That they can be for each other as adults what The Husband and I are for them now: a support, a guide, a cheerleader.

Wordless Wednesday: My big girls

Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Monday, June 17, 2013

Within seconds of birth, a newborn baby uses its voice to produce its first cries. For many months thereafter, these cries become a crucial part of a baby’s communication system, letting others know when the baby is tired, or hungry, or needs to be changed, among many other things. In addition, coos, gurgles, and babble make their way into the baby’s “language,” forming the foundation of what will eventually be real words. At first the words come singly — “ball,” “mama,” drink” — often recognized only by those who spend the most time with the child. But soon those words can be recognized by all, and the child eventually begins stringing words together to form sentences and questions.

“Where doggie go?”

“Mama, sit down here!”

“Help me, Daddy!”

“Play outside!”

And that’s where we’re at right now with The Little Sis. Despite the fact that we already went through this once, it remains quite fascinating that in less than two years, we have gone from instinctive cries straight out of the womb to questions communicating what The Little Sis is thinking and wanting. We have a front-row seat to language development, and it’s an amazing process to witness first-hand, with them making leaps and bounds truly each day at times. It seems like every few days, The Husband and I look at each other and say, “Wow, she had another language explosion,” as she adds more and more words and sentences to her personal dictionary. I am constantly in awe of how quickly it happens.

Just two years ago, she was just a lump of a baby. Now she’s starting to have little toddler pseudo-conversations with us.

I don’t plan to give up my front-row seat anytime soon.
(p.s. Finally updated the blog header. You know, 22 months late!)

This ‘n that

Friday, May 24, 2013
I’m so incredibly behind on kid updates from the past couple of months, so I’ll just rattle off what I think of right now:

*The Big Sis (finally!) has her first loose tooth (and her second loose tooth). I don’t think they’re coming out anytime soon (the first one has been loose a couple weeks already), but there’s definitely some wiggle to them. It’s interesting — with nearly all of her (and The Little Sis’) milestones, I haven’t found them to be sad or even bittersweet. I tend to embrace the stage she’s at currently and welcome with open arms the new things to come. But for some reason, the tooth thing is getting to me, and I can’t quite pinpoint why. Maybe it’s because to lose the teeth she had from so early on really seems to be sealing the deal on ushering out babyhood. I don’t know.

*The Big Sis completed her spring MAP reading test and improved her score 9 points from her winter test. With a 186, this puts her at above-average reading level for 1st grade; in fact, she’s just 4 points away from being considered an average 2nd-grade reader. She absolutely loves reading — both being read to and also reading herself — and it’s so amazing to reflect on this school year and think about how far she’s come with just this one skill. But it’s an important one, and like all parents, I hope she continues to nurture this passion and ends up with a lifelong love of reading.

*Over the past month, The Little Sis’ communication has exploded. She has just started to say a few very basic sentences (“Mama, come!” for example), she knows way more words than I can count, and she is at the stage where she will parrot nearly anything you say to her, if you ask her to repeat it.

*The Little Sis has taken to calling The Big Sis “Sissy” now, as well as by her real name. However, she still calls the dog either “dog” or “dog-doh” but won’t repeat his actual name to us yet. (Confession: I’m going to miss the word “dog-doh.”)

*The Little Sis’ #1 current obsession: buckles! She insists on doing the chest clip of her car seat by herself, which was frustrating at first because she took so long to do it (and insisted on no assistance), but now she’s much better at it, so it doesn’t take 15 minutes just to leave the driveway. She also loves fastening the buckles on the booster seat. We can set her to doing that and she’ll seriously keep herself occupied for 15 or 20 minutes.

*I’ve discovered that The Little Sis loves to have her back patted at bedtime. I put her in the crib after stories and songs, and she lies on her side, then twists her arm around and taps her back and says, “One mo’?” I’m guessing they do this to her at daycare for nap, as it’s not something we’ve done with her since she was a few months old. I love indulging her when she insists, though. πŸ™‚

*The Little Sis is really starting to use her manners, offering a polite “thank you” when appropriate. And also sometimes when not appropriate. πŸ™‚

*There is probably nothing The Big Sis would rather do than play outside with her friends on our street. This is both awesome (yay for being active!) and hard to get used to, as it takes away from her time with us. It also leads to many battles, as she still hasn’t accepted that our rule is that she’s not allowed to go play outside after dinner even though apparently everyone else is allowed to (there’s not realistically enough time before bedtime, plus it’s impossible to bring her inside if she goes out again, plus it makes it harder for her to settle her body for bedtime).

*I know kindergarten graduation is rather pointless, as it’s not like they’re graduating to a different school or anything. (I know some people think junior high/middle school graduation is pointless too, but I actually can understand that one, as it’s a big transition to high school and usually involves physically changing schools.) Many schools around here seem to be doing a kindergarten graduation anyway, but ours doesn’t seem to be. I mean, that’s fine, but I just find it a little surprising, I guess. The last day of school is this coming Friday. We’ve almost survived the first year! Just 12 more to go!

Wordless Wednesday: Cool cat

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

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Obsession. For toddlers.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

I’ve been crafting a post in my head about The Little Sis’ current toddler obsessions for a while now, but just never seem to have the time to sit down and write it. Then the other day I was looking through my blog archives for The Big Sis’ 18-month checkup update when I ran across this post that I wrote about her toddler obsessions, and I just had to smile — so many of them were almost exactly the same. So, without further adieu, presenting The Little Sis’ toddler obsessions, version 18 months:

*Shoes. Ohmygoodness this girl loves shoes. Which is funny, because the first time we went to buy her real shoes after she could walk, she was crying her little head off because she hated them so much. Funny how some things change. We actually have just one pair of shoes for her (confession??), but she loves them. It’s often the first word she says when she wakes up in the morning, and she often indicates very clearly to us that she wants to take OFF her footed pajamas so she can put on her shoes, even before she’s had her diaper changed or eaten breakfast. But it’s not enough to have on her shoes. She then wants to take off her shoes. Why? Solely so she can put them on again — no joke. She retrieves our shoes, often from other rooms, and offers them to us, even if we’re currently wearing shoes. She likes to return all shoes — hers and ours — to their rightful spot when they’re not being worn. Girlfriend loves her shoes, much like The Big Sis did as well.

*Dogs. This is another obsession she shares with The Big Sis (and many other kids, I’m certain; I understand it’s not unique to just them), but she gets so excited by the “dog-doh.” (And yes, she says it exactly the same way The Big Sis used to; I have no idea why, but I think it’s endlessly adorable.) At each first sighting of The Dog — first thing in the morning, after returning to the room, after returning to the house, whatever — she eagerly and quickly proclaims: “Dog-doh! Dog-doh! Dog-doh! Dog-doh!” and her body convulses with sheer joy. She’ll run over to him and give him a great big hug, and acts surprised — but insanely happy — if he returns her greeting with a lick. But her obsession isn’t limited to just our “dog-doh.” Like with The Big Sis, she has some kind of freaky dog radar, so she is nearly able to detect any dog within a half-mile radius before it’s even come into view. “Woof! Woof!” she’ll say, then start up with: “Dog-doh! Dog-doh!”

*Babies. This obsession started about six months ago, over Labor Day weekend, when we found The Big Sis’ first baby doll at my parents’ house and brought it home. The Little Sis took immediate possession of it (and thankfully The Big Sis was agreeable to this), and she hasn’t looked back since. I’d say it’s somewhat of a comfort item for her, at least at bedtime and occasionally around the house; we don’t usually take it with us if we leave the house. This baby doll is named Ashley, and she also got another baby doll for her first birthday that we call Soft Baby. (Creative, no?) She has some other baby dolls as well, but these are her two favorites by far; when she starts calling out for “baby! baby! baby!” these are the ones she is requesting. She also loves to look at pictures of babies in books. The other day, I made the video camera on my phone forward-facing, so The Little Sis was staring at herself on the screen while it recorded, and she was quite entertained by herself. Then, I played it back for her, and she was so funny reacting to the “baby” on screen. I’d ask, “Who’s that?” and she’d declare confidently: “BABY!” in between cracking up at herself.

*Mama. I have long joked that we needed to have another child because The Big Sis was 100% a daddy’s girl — often to the exclusion of me — so I needed a kid who liked me better. Well, let’s just say I got my wish, and boy does The Little Sis prefer her mama at this point. As we’ve seen with The Big Sis, this likely will be cyclical over the years, and it won’t always be like this, but I’ve had to learn to do a lot around the house one-handed with a toddler on my hip, as The Little Sis can’t bear for me to be much more than an arm’s length away from her at any given time. Sometimes, like when I need to get something done in another room and don’t feel like listening to a meltdown because I walked away for 20 seconds, it can be frustrating, but secretly I sort of love it. πŸ™‚

*Juice. The Little Sis does not get “juish” — ever — at home or at daycare. Yet she uses the word generically to convey a desire for her cup that contains either milk or water. For some reason, I can’t let this go and feel the need to correct her every single time she asks for her “juish.” “You mean your milk? Yes, here it is.” But anyway, she’s obsessed with her “juish”-that’s-not-really-juice.

*The Big Sis. The Little Sis has long thought that The Big Sis hung the moon, but this sister worship has really kicked into high gear of late. If The Big Sis is not within view, The Little Sis will call out her name in question to ask where she is. She loves playing in her crib with The Big Sis. She loves reading books with the Big Sis. I could go on, but you get the idea. Another obsession to add to the list.

All is well

Thursday, February 21, 2013

It was a week late thanks to her bout with RSV last week, but The Little Sis and I ventured to The Pediatrician this morning for her 18-month checkup. Nothing really big to report from the check-up; she looks nice and healthy and the doctor has no concerns. We didn’t have the usual developmental questions to answer but instead had to fill out the 18-month M-CHAT autism screening (no concerns there at this juncture).

Her stats:

*Length: 33 inches (75th to 90th percentile)

*Weight: 25 lb. 12 oz. (75th to 90th percentile)

*Head circumference: 18.5 inches (50th to 75th percentile)

She had one shot (DTaP), which made her cry for less than a minute and then she was fine and we went on our merry way.

Next check-up will be at 2 years. Wait, what? Two years?!

Eighteen months

Friday, February 15, 2013

Well, this is a bit late, but here is The Little Sis’ 18-month pic from last week. She’s getting to be such a big girl!

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Chillin’ and illin’

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I’ve hesitated to say so, for fear of jinxing it (even though I don’t truly believe in jinxing things), but we’ve been very fortunate this fall and winter when it comes to our family’s health. So many people I know have been struck by a variety of illnesses — norovirus, influenza, respiratory infections, etc. — and we’ve all somehow managed to avoid the crud. (I secretly like to think it’s because we were hit pretty hard for about the first three years of The Big Sis’ life. We paid our minor-illness dues, so to speak, and are reaping the rewards now. Crazy, right?)

Anyway, our streak unfortunately ended last Friday night when The Little Sis was fine one minute and then during dinner became lethargic, developed a cough, then finally had a fever soon after she went to bed. With flu being so prevalent this year, I wanted to get her swabbed, so I had The Husband take her to The Pediatrician on Saturday morning. (The Big Sis and I were visiting a friend out of town.) The flu swab came back negative (yay!) and The Pediatrician mentioned that there were a lot of cases of RSV going around, though at that point she didn’t have any respiratory symptoms going on. Unfortunately, she didn’t order an RSV test, and The Husband wasn’t aware that it could be tested for, so he didn’t know to request it, so they left there with “it’s probably just a virus, call us on Monday if she’s not improving.”

She definitely wasn’t improving by Monday; in fact, when she woke up, she was breathing fast (though not labored) and her lips had a purple-ish tinge to them — not good. We’ve had plenty of experience with RSV before (The Little Sis had it last year, and I lost count of how many times The Big Sis had it), so I got The Big Sis’ ProAir inhaler and we gave her some puffs of that, hoping to help her breathing. It did seem to have an effect, and her lips returned to normal color pretty quickly (whew!), but I still called The Pediatrician mid-morning and asked to be seen again, and we were in the office around noon. Poor thing was just so out of it — clingy, sad/tired eyes, lethargic — just not herself at ALL.

The Pediatrician (our usual one this time) agreed that it sounded like RSV and did a test, and I was not that surprised that it came back positive. Unfortunately there’s nothing to do to treat the virus; we just had to manage the symptoms. On Tuesday morning, The Little Sis woke up without a fever and was acting quite a bit more normal that morning but around 4 o’clock that afternoon, she was struck again and her fever returned, this time in the 103 range. Ugh. And here is where I mention that this was not the most convenient week for her to be sick. I suppose it’s not ever really convenient, but I had multiple deadlines this week for one of our busiest issues of the year, so on top of caring for her most of each day, I had to work some late nights and early mornings to get my work done. I’m ready for Friday! And it’s a long weekend, at that — it’s the first time I’ve ever had Presidents’ Day off!

Anyway, the last time she had medicine or a fever was on Tuesday night, and Wednesday was a more normal day for her. She was still fussy and clingy, but not feverish and lethargic as before. In an ideal world, I would have kept her home again today (Thursday) to let some of her chest congestion clear up, but as all working moms know, sometimes that’s just not possible and we have to send a less-than-healthy child to daycare. Sigh. (At least she shouldn’t be contagious with the fever gone 24+ hours.) She had a hard time with me leaving her at daycare this morning. Her teacher had to hold her and give her a hug and she just cried and cried as I walked out the door. Ouch. Before I shut the door, I told her teacher that she would probably be fine once I left, since she was acting mostly like herself this morning, but that she could give me a call if she just didn’t seem like herself. It’s almost pick-up time, so it looks like she made it through the entire day, and I’m eager to give my sweet girl a big hug on this Valentine’s Day.

Blessing baby

Monday, February 11, 2013

I was talking recently with one of the group leaders at The Big Sis’ after-school program. She is not The Big Sis’ leader, but sometimes she’ll sub in her group and I’ve seen her fairly regularly since the beginning of the school year. I try to pick up The Big Sis first (it’s a whole lot easier logistically that way), but when I worked at my last job, it made more sense to pick up The Little Sis first (daycare was two blocks from my office) and then pick up The Big Sis (her after-school program is two blocks from our house).

Anyway, all of that is to explain that this Other Group Leader has seen The Little Sis several times, and we were chatting about sibling age differences, with me pointing out how wonderful and helpful The Big Sis is with The Little Sis. The Other Group Leader said with a laugh, “Wow, you sure did plan that timing right, didn’t you?”

And maybe I should let it go now, but I just can’t help myself. I don’t usually volunteer the information unless it’s relevant, but I found myself saying, “Well, I wouldn’t exactly say that timing was planned on purpose. She took two years to conceive, so…yeah…didn’t really plan for 4 1/2 years apart. But it’s worked out very well indeed.”

She didn’t miss a beat, though, and proclaimed with a genuine smile, “Ah, so she’s a blessing baby, then. Very nice.”

And she is. She truly is.

Wordless Wednesday: First time “using” the potty

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

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Things I love, #354

Monday, January 28, 2013

When The Little Sis leans in, out of the blue and unprompted, with her lips puckered, giving a perfect kiss complete with That Kiss Sound.

And when she does the same thing when walking up to The Big Sis, right after an unprompted hug.

Eep! I just want to squeeze her all the time.

The crib

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I hear a timid mumbling coming from the backseat.

“I’m sorry, sweetie, I can’t hear you, ” I say to The Big Sis as we round the final corner to reach The Little Sis’ daycare.

“If she wants to, can we do it again?” The Big Sis asks me in a tiny voice, afraid that I’m going to say no to the thing she wants to do most when we get home.

See, this started a few weeks ago. One weekend morning when we went to get up The Little Sis, The Big Sis asked if she could get in the crib with her. Their combined weight in the crib probably makes this a bad idea, but she agrees to a “no jumping in the crib” rule and we lift her over the rail as we used to do so many years ago — though time and growth spurts have served to make this a more difficult task now.

She looks very out of place in the crib — an almost six-year-old, nearly as tall as the crib is wide. But she lays down on her back and The Little Sis climbs on top of her, and suddenly it’s the most natural place for her to be. They play with baby dolls. They snuggle in blankets. The Little Sis rests her head on The Big Sis’ chest. The play little games of peekaboo. I don’t really believe in the concept of soulmates, but if I did, they would be soulmates. Most definitely. They are both very alike and very different from each other and it’s hard to imagine one without the other. Sure, there’s occasional screeching when one of them gets tired of the current game, but that quickly turns to giggles and spontaneous kisses and a knowing look shared between them.

Their relationship will evolve over the years. There will be times it’s not all sunshine and roses. They will butt heads. They will annoy each other. They will wish they didn’t have a sister. But hopefully their giggly moments will always return; hopefully it will be their default…their norm. Hopefully the special time they share in the crib now will always happen in some form as they grow older and long after the crib has been put away for the final time. The Big Sis helping The Little Sis with her homework. Huge, genuine hugs at graduations. Stealing a few minutes to meet for coffee in between final exams. Catching a quick martini after work.

The crib is where it all started. It was The Big Sis’ first home, and now the same is true for The Little Sis. It’s their safe space, where they can shut out the noise of the world. And when I see them playing in the crib together, I see — both literally and figuratively — how they can shut out the world but still have each other’s company.

So whenever The Big Sis asks if she can get in the crib with The Little Sis, I try to make sure I always say yes (as long as there’s nothing else we need to do then). I want to give them their space. Their time together. Their chance to make memories with each other.

The crib won’t always be there, of course. But hopefully the foundation that was formed there will last a lifetime.

Giggle spray

Friday, January 11, 2013

The other day, The Big Sis was taking her bath, but it wasn’t bath night for The Little Sis, so she wandered in and out of the bathroom while The Big Sis was in the tub. At one point she found the open box of bath toys right in front of the bathtub, and the spray bottle caught her attention. She handed it to The Big Sis, who filled it up with warm water and gave it back to her. (Partners in crime, I tell ya.)

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but wouldn’t you know that she figured out how to pull the trigger of the spray bottle within a few minutes.

And I shouldn’t be surprised, but every single time, she managed to spray it right into my face.

And I really shouldn’t be surprised, but every time she sprayed it in my face, she let out the biggest and best giggles in the world.

Fumble with trigger.


Look up at me.

See my surprised face. (Confession: I exaggerated it sometimes.)

Erupt in giggles.

Second (and third, and forth…) verse, same as the first.

So by the end of it, my face ended up pretty wet, and my shirt was rather damp, but OH it was worth it to get those giggles. She gives them freely even on off days, but there’s something so sweet about it every single time.

Even if it meant water in the eyes every 20 seconds.

Wordless Wednesday: Spending time with sis

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

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Foto Friday: First ponytail (kinda sorta)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hey, gotta start somewhere, right??

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Perhaps some real curls thrown in too? We shall see in time…

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Wordless Wednesday: Seeing Santa

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My girly-girl helper

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

*One of my favorite things that The Little Sis does right now is take her diaper to the garage and put it in the diaper pail. (Well, the wet ones that we’ve wrapped up. I don’t give her the dirty ones. Gotta have some standards.) After I re-diaper her and pull up her pants, she stands up and eagerly takes the diaper in her hands, then makes a beeline for the door to the garage. She also does this when she takes off her shoes and socks…we say, “Where do your shoes go?” and she’ll take them immediately to the place where we keep her shoes. Same thing with putting her clothes in the hamper (most of the time). She’s such a tiny little person.

*As has been well documented, The Little Sis has very little hair. We’ve gradually seen a little growth, but still not that much. But the other day, The Big Sis got out some of her headbands and showed The Little Sis — and boy did she fall in love instantly. She put on not just one but four headbands, all at the same time, grinning real big and offering some repeated hearty laughs, all while bouncing up and down as she walked around the room to show us. It’s like the girl was made for some hair accessories but poor thing just wasn’t born needing them. All in good time, my dear… Patience.

Cracker monster

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Making dinner with a toddler underfoot isn’t the easiest task to accomplish, but we do what we can to get the job done with the least amount of whining (from either toddler or whoever is making dinner). My general MO is to open up the pantry doors and let her play with the stuff on the lowest shelf (the only one she can reach at the moment) and the stuff we keep on the floor. So if one were to walk into our kitchen during dinner prep time, one might find The Little Sis carrying around something like a box of cake mix, an unopened package of napkins, or a plastic jar of mandarin oranges — you just never know what might catch her attention.

The Husband, however, has turned her into a cracker MONSTER. When it’s his turn to cook, he will get out the saltines and give her one; she takes it and scampers off to eat it, returning mere minutes later begging, “Mah! Mah!” (more). Repeat this anywhere from six to ten times and then voila! Dinner is made! So now she has come to expect this when it’s my turn to cook.

I have to admit: It’s kind of stinkin’ cute when she comes back into the kitchen asking for another cracker. She’s just so eager about it. So sure about what she wants. My little cracker monster. πŸ™‚