Monthly Archives: January 2014

Rolie Polie.

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This happy, chubby, playful, talkative, one-dimpled little girl is going to be three months old tomorrow! 3! Today she is 13 weeks old; as in, thirteen weeks ago I was recovering from a c-section with a brand new little person in my arms. And snap of the fingers, here we are.

We’ve come a long way just thirteen little weeks. No more newborness whatsoever. She’s just a regular old baby now. Last night she slept from 7:30-3:30, was up for 20 minutes, and slept from 3:50-7:30. I mean, I can’t ask for anything more. She treats me well. She’s to the stage that every day is something new, and I’ve learned from Leah, this stage doesn’t end. So we are in for some fun times around here.

I remember thinking when I was pregnant, if I can just get to three months life will be so much fun. Three months is kind of the magical month. Laughing and movement and talking and less crying and something new to look forward to every day. This is the wonderful part of babies. And we made it! 3! And Quinn has not disappointed. A week ago this past Tuesday she laughed for the first time. On Tuesday of this week she rolled over from her back to her belly for the first time (and the four times after that). And yesterday she rolled from her belly to her back for the first time.

Can we talk about rolling for a second. 1) Quinn did it earlier than Leah, and Leah did it early. Well, actually, Leah rolled from her belly to her back at 6 weeks. And until she was 3 months and 1 week she tried her hardest to roll from her back to her belly. Quinn at 2 months and three weeks just kind of decided that it was time to roll over. I thought it would take her forever, because she never seemed to care at all. She never tried. But low and behold she was trying to follow Leah around the room with her eyes and she just rolled. Just like that. Easy peasy. I wasn’t even sure what to think. And then she did it twice more that day, virtually effortless. Then yesterday, she was on her belly (and not happy) and just kind of pushed up and flipped herself over. Again, very nonchalant. Leah tried and tried and tried, and when she did it… she did it, and did it, and did it. Quinn just did it. And only does it when she needs to. It’s fun how they’re different. But apparently, equally strong. We make ’em long and strong around here. I mean look at this face:

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Doesn’t it just scream, “I got no where to be, I’ll roll when I want.”

She’s such a little goof. With so much personality. And so much to say. She still loves to have a conversation with anyone that will listen. She would rather have someone talking to her than to play with any of her toys. She’s a people person 100%.

She’s gotten some new toys in the past month:

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A high chair so she can eat dinner with the family. (Can we talk about the size of this child?!)

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And a big girl car seat so we can trash the infant seat once and for all!

Both of our kids have hated their infant seat, screaming bloody murder whenever they’re in it. I switched Leah to her big seat at 5 months and plan to do the same with Quinn. Basically, whenever she can sit up in a grocery cart. It kind of dwarfs her now, but once it’s installed properly and she’s ready we will all be in Heaven.

She also got to get in the ever popular jumperoo!!

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Leah loved this thing for crazy jumping. Quinn thinks it’s the perfect seat for watching TV.

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The morning traffic report is her favorite. The traffic on 70W in the morning is truly appalling.

Months 3-12 are going to go at the speed of light. We’re in the fun stage now (I’m ignoring all things teething). She’s going to learn how to eat, how to play with her sister, how to really get moving, and how to talk to us. I love babies. And I really love this baby, she’s a lot of fun. It’s fun to watch her develop in a similar, yet different, way than Leah. I thought Quinn would be behind because Leah was so crazy with everything she did. Turns out, she’s ahead – she just does things to the beat of her own drum. πŸ™‚

But one more thing I must show you. Quinn has a pretty big fan.

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“Lemme clean your ears, kid, mom didn’t get’em good enough.”

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She seems to really like when I help her pet him and he has 0 awareness of personal space.

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“Is she done eating, mom? Can we play? I brought her my towel.”

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Look at that face! “What is it, mom? Get it away!”

He can’t leave the poor kid alone! And she is really starting to watch him. She’s trying to figure out just what in the world he is. And if he will eat her. They will have fun together in months 3-12 (and beyond).

But don’t worry, he hasn’t lost interest in his first love:

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Ok, I lied. I have one more thing to show you. Look at these two!

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Quinn definitely fills out the seat more πŸ™‚

Ok, now I’m done.

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Have a nice weekend, everybody! When you see me again I’ll be 3 months old!!

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Three Months of Motherhood.

So many times in the past three months I have watched Leah and just thought to myself, “man, why did we ruin a good thing?” I mean she can tell me what she wants. She can ask for what she needs. She requires no diapers. She sleeps all night long. She can get from point A to point B all by herself. And she has 100% control of her head. But for some reason we decided to start all over again. From scratch. And we built another one of these little people who requires everything her sister does not.

It’s been a crazy three months indeed. I was really thrown for a loop on what motherhood really entails. When it was just Leah and I and I mentioned to people that I was a stay at home mom I would get comments like, “oh, that’s that’s the hardest job on the planet!” And, “how do you do that??” And I would just think to myself – the hardest job on the planet?! No way – I love this gig. It’s cake! And really, compared to my new gig, it was cake. One on one was totally doable. I’ve always heard that the most difficult transition in child adding (is that a thing?) is going from 1 little rat to 2 little rats. When you go from 0-1 you’re just so stinking happy to be finally experiencing everything everyone has always told you about. The love, the fun, the milestones. And then anything after 2 is just adding to the chaos. But going from your one perfect little first born child… to trying to balance two of them with just one of you… hard. Unlike any other challenge in the world.

Now when I get that same statement I would just to exclaim at the top of my lungs, “I KNOW! It’s so hard – please, pull up a chair and let me tell you just what I do every single day!” “Let me tell you how I don’t sit, don’t sleep, don’t eat, and don’t shower.”

I had a really hard time with it the first month. When I was needed around the clock with virtually no breaks. I judged my success of the day by how many things got done. You know, were the girls fed? Laundry done? Counters clean? Dinner cooked. After all, staying at home is my job… and these are the requirements. At least the requirements I set for myself, and ones that I had never had a problem achieving in the past. But during that first month or so I would look around at the end of the day and it just looked like nothing got done. And I would have to go to bed anyways because I just couldn’t stand any longer. It drove me to tears a lot, and I couldn’t figure out why I just wasn’t getting it. At the end of every day there were piles of dirty clothes on the floor. The counters were buried with everything from mail to burp cloths. Nothing was dusted, vacuumed, or washed. I asked Kyle to eat Wendy’s… a lot. I was completely overwhelmed by how to tackle it all. And then I had a breakthrough.

One of the nights when I left them all to fend for themselves while I walked the aisles of Target just to get a break it dawned on me… I’m getting nothing done because I’m doing everything! Being a stay at home mom means very little gets publicly recognized. Now, I’m not asking for public recognition, but hear me out. I’m assuming Kyle appreciates the fact that I’m keeping his kids alive, but unlike his job, I have no set worth to this gig. You know, $$$. I don’t get a paycheck that puts a value on the tasks I complete every day. I don’t get performance reviews. Kyle doesn’t sit me down and say, “I see the little one is growing at a record pace, here’s a raise!” Or, “I see the big one is familiar with the alphabet and counting, please, tell me the protocol you put in place to make that happen.” I just kind of do these things every day because, well, they have to get done. So I judged my own success by how clean my house was – that was something I could see every day. If it was clean… I had a good work day. If it wasn’t… I failed. Dinner – same thing. And I was really hard on myself, not realizing through the screaming that I had it all backwards.

My counters weren’t clean because I was literally growing a person… around the clock. The laundry was in piles on the floor because I used my spare time to play catch with a two year old. We ate a lot of Wendy’s because I chose blowing raspberries til my lips were numb and making playdoh birthday cakes over dinner prep. There is only one of me around here every day and there could be 1000 tasks if I listed them all out – but I have to stop myself. Raspberries and playdoh are everything to these little people I choose to share my days with. And that leaves laundry and dishes to being nothing. So since then I have changed my tune. I feel less guilty on the days where I don’t cook. I don’t care (as much) when I see stacks of clothes. I’ve taught myself that on the nights when I look around and it seems like I’ve gotten nothing done – it’s because that day I did everything.

And with that new philosophy I have forged ahead in this life of motherhood. It has been the most eye opening experience of my life, this mom of two business. Some days I wish someone would ask me a question harder than, “what this is, mommy?” when the answer is clearly, “a triangle.” And some days I wish the shoulders of my shirts didn’t have spit up stains. Some days I watch Kyle leave for work and get jealous that he’s wearing real clothes. Some days I must run out the door the second he pulls in the driveway. And some days I choose to take the trash out in sub-zero temperatures just to get a breath. But then some days Quinn smiles at me first thing in the morning with the best little dimple and I can’t wait to start my day with her. Some days Leah gives me a sentence like, “don’t cut my beena (banana), mommy, I promise!” and I get to laugh at how she’s trying out the English language regardless of if it makes any sense. Some days in the middle of playing “doctor” for the 87th time Leah tells me, “this is real fun, mommy” and it takes everything I have not to scoop her up and smother her in kisses – and sometimes I do it anyways. And some days stretching little arms and saying, “sooooo big” does more for my soul than a clean load of laundry ever could. Some days I sob. Some days I delight in my girls. Some days I’m frustrated beyond words. Some days I praise every little thing they do. Some days I hide in the shower. And some days all of those things happen in 10 minutes.

But I’m learning that’s motherhood. Trying to make acceptable members of society out of little people who spit on the floor is an exhausting endeavor, but it’s the one I signed up for. This job is my heart. These girls are my pride (not like lions, but like I’m proud of them). We did not ruin a good thing by adding on to the crazy, we made a good thing more wonderful.

I should thank them for teaching me that a clean house is not the measure of my success in a day. Their little giggles are.

 

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Off the Charts.

Oh, I love my Quinn. Like, a lot.

I think we’re out of the newborn crap. The hard stuff. The times where I pass out on the couch at 6pm, and tell her she sucks. Is that wrong? Because it got me through some rough nights :).

Today Quinn is 11 weeks old. She is sleeping most nights from 7:30-1 or 2. And then til 7 or 8am. Can I get an amen?! We have transitioned from the times of having lots of long nights with a few good ones mixed in to having lots of good nights with a few long ones mixed in. Life is just running smoothly. I’m used to two of them, and although it’s not always the easiest set-up, we’re making it work. We’ve got a new, wonderful normal.

Quinn is happy 95% of the day. She just kind of goes with the flow around here. Her 5% unhappy time is usually between 6 and 7 when she has to stay awake in order to be ready for bed. But even that is improving. With such good days and such good nights, however, I’ll look past a little screaming. Or better yet, I’ll hand her to her dad. πŸ™‚

I love having two girls. Or really, two kids in general. I love that we were able to make two of these little people and now we’re able to see how they are different and alike. On a daily basis I compare them at everything. Not in a “who’s better” kind of a way, but just in a, “oh that’s different” kind of a way. Leah was my mover. She never sat. She never slept. She cared very little about human interaction. Sure, she liked to talk to us and laugh and smile and all of that – but she really was happiest when we left her alone to figure out how to move. She rolled at 6 weeks. She crawled at 5 months. She walked at 8.5. She just had to get going with her little self. But Quinn, Quinn is my playful little girl. She loves when we talk to her. She smiles and coos and talks with the best of them. It’s becoming more apparent now that I have two, how little Leah cared about talking and how little Quinn cares about moving. Quinn is happiest just lying on the floor carrying on a conversation with us –Β  or her lion friend. She’s in no hurry to move. She blows raspberries with us, sticks her tongue out when we do, kicks in delight at silly noises and loves a smiling face – real or stuffed. She is such a happy little bug (unless she’s tired). She’s just pleasant. And playful. I think where Leah was advanced with moving and all things physical, Quinn will be out of control with talking. She’s quite a plump little chatter box.

Did you see that, plump.

Quinn is my talker. And my big girl.

And I thought Leah was big.

I’ve been saying for weeks that I want to cut all the feet off of Quinn’s three month footies. I stuff her in these things every night and just have to laugh. They turn into v-necks and her toes look like they’re just gonna bust out. But she’s two months old – six month jammies just seem ridiculous. Until today. Today we went to the doctor for a two month check-up. And she got measured. And they confirmed my suspicions… she is, in fact, a beast of a baby.

First of all, her perfectly round head full of chins and cheeks is 16.5in. 100th percentile. Her head is bigger than 100% of babies her age. Leah’s was 15in. This is the head we’re talking about:

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She’s just delicious, no?! Ahhhh. Love that giant head.

Then we got to her length. 26 inches. 26 inches!Β Everyone today had a comment (or 5) about how long she is. This was also 100th percentile. And Leah was 26 inches at 5 months. This is the length we’re talking about:

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And last, her weight. A little bit of normalcy here – 14lbs. Still big, bigger than 85% of babies her age – but unlike her head and her height, some babies out there do weigh more than her. He made comments like, “if you want to start solid food a little earlier to keep up with her you can,” and “wow, she could play volleyball,” and, “how tall is dad???” and, “she might not be as active as Leah because there’s more of her to move.” Ha! Grow, baby, grow.

You know what’s my favorite about having a big girl? Feeding a big girl. Breastfeeding is maybe more fun (and miraculous) this time around. Remember when I was starving all of pregnancy, and I was sure Quinn would be huge. Well, she is. And turns out, I probably needed to eat like I did to grow her. And now that she’s out my body is in overdrive making milk for this little (big) thing. I swear I’m carrying 20lbs of weight in my chest alone… all for her. I never felt like that with Leah, but turns out, Leah didn’t require it. She was always perfectly average. Quinn requires a lot of calories to keep on keepin on – and my body is up for the challenge. I love it. It’s just so cool to me that I can grow two very different babies and feed two very different babies and without doing anything “my girls” have adjusted to feed each one of them according to what they need. But enough on that – you don’t care.

Quinn is not completely immobile, don’t you worry. She is very good at sitting and holding her head up, which, given the size of her head is a major feat :). Take a look:

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She’s not a big fan of tummy time (unlike Leah) but she will entertain the idea and is pretty good at it. Leah lived for tummy time.

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Now, sitting in her bumbo watching TV… that is much more her style. She could sit there for days. Leah never watched TV as a baby.

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This one’s just for fun. I captured this at the exact moment Duncan was shaking his big body… Quinn got a little startled :). She is definitely noticing him more and more. He better look out, she’ll be tackling him like a line backer in no time.

So here we are. 11 weeks ago today I was holding her for the first time. Today she is a talking, raspberry blowing, sitting, big headed, playful little girl. She really is quite delicious. And delightful. Now that she knows how to sleep I am fairly certain that we will be keeping her around for a while longer. Oh, and one last thing about Quinn at 11 weeks:

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She loves her dad.

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Loves her dad.

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Loves her dad.

And in that way she is exactly like her big sister.

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Adventures in Duncanland.

Duncan and I had a date last night. Because, well, if we don’t get to leave the house once in a while we’re both liable to bite. We started out at the grocery store, and Duncan was just along for the ride. Now that it’s cold outside he gets to run all errands with us and loves commanding the back seat. After the store, we headed to his grocery store… Petco.

That’s where it all went downhill.

All we needed was a bag of food. But I happened to see a groomer roaming the isles and had a brilliant idea – nail clipping! I asked her if she could just take a quick walk-in and she obliged. I dropped him off, got the food, paid for it, took it to the car, came back in to get him and leave. Simple enough, right?

Wrong.

I come back in the grooming salon and hear the most obnoxious sounds coming from the dog we love so much. Seriously, you should have heard him. He wasn’t growling, but he was not enjoying his manicure. He was thrashing and moaning and crying and talking… it was a mess. All I wanted to do was go back there and help her by hugging him while she finished, but the sign on the door told me I wasn’t allowed. So I stood there and cringed. She was sweating and huffing and puffing and trying to talk him through it. I wanted to tell her to just forget it, but I thought that might be rude. So I continued to stand, he continued to freak out, and she continued to sweat. It was miserable for all parties involved.

She managed to get his two back feet done, then really started getting upset. The huffing and puffing increased and got notably louder – as if she was trying to tell me something. After a few more minutes of misery she told me, “he’s gonna bite – I can’t finish. He’s showing his teeth.”

I’m sorry, what?!

Lady, he is not going to bite. She had obviously confused him opening his mouth to whine with showing his teeth, or more likely, was sick of him and wanted to quit. Now, I’m not blaming her. She was barely bigger than Leah. I knew taking him in there that it would be a struggle for her to contain him. I also realize that he was completely obnoxious and unruly. He absolutely hated everything that was happening. But, bite you?! No. He is not going to bite you. I was standing right there – if I thought he was going to actually bite her I would have told her to stop.

So she offered to give me a refund, gave Duncan a treat, and that was that. She left us alone while she got the manager to sign off on the refund and I told Duncan what an idiot he was and patted his head. And then I see the manager walking in…

Now, he was also very nice and by this point Duncan was back to his normal happy obnoxious self. He greeted this manager with all 90lbs and a tail of steel. The guy pets him and talks to him and turns to me and says, “have you thought about training? I can’t believe a lab would bite.”

You have got to be kidding me?! THIS LAB WOULD NOT BITE, SIR. Who knows what horror stories she told him.

I’m not trying to be one of those owners who thinks their dog can do know wrong. That they’re perfect. Duncan is far from perfect. He is a complete nut. He jumps on people and runs circles and pees on the floor when we have visitors. He can’t calm himself down if he even senses someone will pet him. He wants to be on top of us at all times. He eats the trash. He eats his bed. He’s always in the way. He’s way too hyper. He’s Duncan, and out of control, and ya, maybe we should get him trained – but he is not the vicious monster they made him out to be at Petco.

Freaking petco.

So I told the manager, ya maybe we’ll get him trained, thanked him for my refund, apologized for my nut (and that I ever asked the lady to cut his nails) and home we went. We were both exhausted.

And it left me to think most of the night and morning – he might not be trained the way petco needs him to be trained – but he’s all the trained we need him to be.

When we got Duncan we expected a lot of him. We expected him to be well behaved and big and submissive – but mainly we expected him not to eat our kid (and future kids). We didn’t need him to be an obedience school scholar, we needed him to love our kids. To be tolerant no matter what.Β  And to protect them. And that’s what he has given us.

I will always be grateful for the time we came home from the store and had an intruder in the back yard. And by intruder I mean cable guy, but still. No one knew he was there, not even Duncan. We had just gotten home and I was ushering everyone in from the car. We were going right out to play (this was before it was 2 degrees and before Quinn), so without looking outside I opened the back door. Next thing I know Duncan was flying out the door, growling his head off, hair standing on point. I look up just in time to see the cable guy leap 10 feet in the air and over the fence into the neighbors yard – I honestly don’t know how he got that high up. Duncan stood his ground barking and carrying on, and in a terrified voice the guy yells to me, “I was just burying the line, I’ll be done in 5 minutes.” I said ok and called Duncan back inside. I didn’t apologize and I didn’t try to calm the guy down – after all, I was still home alone with my kid. I was so proud of that crazy dog. Unlike the groomer at petco, this guy had actual reason to be scared. And not that I wanted Duncan to bite his face off, but had he been someone other than a cable guy and Leah and I were all by ourselves… go for it, big boy, eat him! πŸ™‚

But that’s not typical Duncan. Typically he’s just a regular old, untrained lunatic. But he gives us all we need.

He might run bounding and leaping and spinning in circles towards to door anytime we have a visitor, but he knows that when there’s a little person near the steps he has to stop dead in his tracks until they hit the floor.

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He might go crazy when he actually gets to go to Petco or Petsmart, and he might rarely be calm in general, but he knows that when he feels little bodies around his he has to be still until they’re done with him.

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He might get annoyed or worn out with his siblings, but he knows the only time he’s allowed to show teeth is when it’s time for a dental check-up. About once a day.

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And yes, he gets tired and sick of them. He needs space. But he knows that when he’s done he can’t be mean. He can just go to his safe place, his cage or bed, and mom and dad will take care of the rest. And just like we’ve trained him, we’ve trained Leah on this one. Now when he leaves her for his bed she says, “dunkie no wanna pay wit me, mommy, dunkie tired. Dunkie pay later.” And she knows to get away from him.

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Petco might not be able to handle him. And he might hate having his nails done. And maybe he could stand for some actual training.

But hey – he loves our kids, he somehow understands they’re little, and he protects his home.

And in those regards he’s the best trained dog on the planet and I wouldn’t change him for the world.

Petco be damned.

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The Big One.

Let’s see. I’ve given you the little one’s update. I gave you the big news on the husband front. Now it’s time for…

The big one.

I promise I don’t ignore her – she’s just getting harder to write about. Every day is something new with this child and I can barely keep up, let alone write it all down. She also refuses to let me take her picture (“mommy, no take picture of me!”) and I feel like I have to respect that… so basically, she’s incredibly hard to document at two and a half.

Two and a half?! As in she’s going to be three this year! Where did that time go? The years keep going faster and faster – and I suppose it will only continue. Two is a fun, fun age. For the most part. We experience every emotion known to man in the course of a day. This kid can go from happy to sad to mad to silly to frustrated to excited to whiny to cuddly all in the course of one hour! It’s exhausting to keep up, and a lot of times I think she leaves me more drained than Quinn. But overall she’s happy more than everything else and that leaves me so very grateful she’s mine.

The talking is non stop. Non stop, I say! From questions to statements to demands to observations there is constant chatter in our house from 7:30am to 7:30pm. In true two year old fashion, though, she says some of the funniest things! I love to hear her thoughts about a given topic. And she always has thoughts. Some of my favorites of right now include:

  • “Taking shares” – Sharing. It’s a mix of taking turns and sharing πŸ™‚ “Me and mommy are taking shares.” Sweet, right? Too bad she doesn’t always enjoy taking shares.
  • “I’m having real fun.” Anytime we go anywhere fun (or even just target) she makes sure to let us know she’s having (or had) fun by saying, “I did have real fun!” Because fake fun just isn’t the same.
  • Snow ice cream = snowman ice cream. That’s a better name indeed.
  • She can reach Duncan’s milk bones in the pantry now and helps herself to giving him one whenever she thinks about it. After giving him one (and him continuing to stand patiently waiting for another) she tells him, “dat’s a-nuff, Dunkie, dat’s a-nuff bone. good boy.”
  • I suppose she’s seen me open too many things with my teeth, and the other day she brought me an unopened toy and told me to “here, mommy, eat dis.”
  • She calls a remote a TV.

I’m sure there are a million more “Leah-isms” but those are my favorite. She keeps us laughing for sure.

She is the most polite toddler on the planet, I can promise you that. The kid says thank you to everything. If I tell her “good job, honey” she responds with, “thanks, mom!” She has also thanked us for our house (and declared that it was pretty). And all of her meals. And if we tell her she looks pretty. Or is silly. Or when we take her somewhere (especially if she has real fun). Nothing goes unnoticed. It’s so sweet – I love her gratitude.

As far as academics go – she’s a genius. Duh. Let’s see, she knows her colors, shapes, letters, and can count to 11. 12 is just too much. The thing that impresses me the most right now is her ability to match sounds and letters. Phonics, if you will. The other day she was holding K and said, “K for cake!” Now, obviously, cake does not start with K – but I was still kind of blown away. K certainly sounds like it should start the word Cake, right? And she came up with it all on her own. I didn’t even care that she was wrong, I was so impressed I told her good job anyways (and she thanked me). And then sometime later she had a J and said “J – JAKE!” Kyle has a friend named Jake who she’s pretty fond of – and for her to think of his name to match the letter J she was holding… genius! She’ll be reading next week I’m fairly certain. She’s definitely drawn to letters.

She still loves Curious George the most, as far as TV is concerned. And actually, she picked George to be the theme of her third birthday! I loved planning her first and second birthdays, but I really love that she has an opinion on her third. And George is very fitting. It’s never too early to start planning a birthday party – at least that’s our motto. She also really loves Sid the Science Kid. She would like to enjoy Daniel Tiger, but I’d like to throw that darn Tiger and all his friends through a wall – so she doesn’t get to watch it as much as she’d like. Winnie the Pooh and Tigger are still her best friends, and honestly, I don’t see that ever changing. I think I’ll cry the day she stops wanting them.

She is still incredibly athletically inclined. She loves all things movement and all things ball. We are currently taking a winter break from gymnastics in order to keep everyone healthy (seriously, those places just breed germs and freak me out during cold/flu season). But where we miss organized gymnastics, we make up for in the bounce house. She still jumps and runs and somersaults like a complete lunatic. She loves to play basketball and baseball and just catch in general. She has incredible balance, and I will always be jealous of her flexibility and abs!

She definitely makes me appreciate the babyness of Quinn, because she’s just a big kid these days. She dresses herself, puts her own shoes on, feeds herself, gets her own snacks, lets Duncan in and out, and goes potty without me even knowing anymore (at least I’m assuming she does, if she doesn’t then she hasn’t gone potty in days). She is still fiercely independent, and I don’t think that will ever change. She loves her little sister, and is starting to enjoy showing her things and trying to really play with her. With Quinn under control as far as sleeping is concerned, I’m able to just play with this big girl and my heart is whole again. It’s so fun to watch the inner workings of her little mind go crazy.

Simply put, a two and a half year old Leah is exhausting. She can drive me nuts very easily, but I love the little (giant) personality that is emerging. I adore our big girl so, so much.

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An Ode to my Husband.

I don’t need to be married to the smartest man in the world to be happy –Β  it just so happens that I am. I didn’t need him to give every ounce of his energy to furthering his career – it just so happens that he did.

You don’t know what kind of day today is. You just have no idea. Kyle has been studying his behind off for the past seven years. Seven years. You can’t tell me there is a harder job on the planet – don’t try. Doctors and lawyers… psh. You haven’t seen what’s been going on around here for almost a decade!

And today it came to a close. Well, the brutality of the tests came to a close (there’s a few minor details left). This guy I married has been pouring everything he has into this career he chose (that I’m still not even certain what it is) and today he was so richly rewarded with a PASS. He passed his test, you guys! The hardest, most obnoxious test in the world… and he passed! People that want to be actuaries drop like flies through the years – after all, why wouldn’t they? Would you want to crunch numbers by day and study in your spare time for seven years straight?! Most people don’t pass one of these tests – my husband passed seven of them. Most people quit after several attempts – my husband stuck it out until the bitter end.

This is one of those days that I’m just going to sit and glow in the role of the doting wife. I couldn’t be happier for this man. I couldn’t be an ounce more proud. I know how happy he is. I know how relieved he is. But I wish he could feel the giddiness in my heart. I’ve never been more thrilled for someone in my life. (Except maybe when Leah rolled over for the first time). But seriously… OMG, Kyle… you did it! You don’t have to study anymore!

Have you read all of the ridiculous articles going around facebook right now about how wrong it is to get married young? That, basically, you’re an idiot and you’re going to get divorced if you marry young. That you don’t know what life is if you marry young. That you’ll never know who you are if you marry young. I read them and I just don’t get it. I married Kyle at 23. That’s the young they’re all talking about. And actually, I had only been 23 for a month. And today, here is my rebuttal to all of the negativity surrounding getting married young.

This very day is the reason it’s okay to marry young (if you like the person well enough). For the past seven years I have watched Kyle study. I have watched him pour himself into this crazy job he has that I’m positive I will never fully understand. I have hugged him out of celebration for a pass, and hugged him tighter when it didn’t go his way. I have brought him snacks to help him get through the unending hours he locks himself in a quiet room. I have been nervous with him, excited with him, devastated with him, and we have certainly stewed together. I have watched him pace, sit, grasp his head in his hands, and literally beat his head against a wall. I have heard him come to bed way too late and wake up way too early. These past seven years have been a journey, my friends. If I met Kyle after all of this was over, when he is an official FSA – what would that mean to me? Very little. I would appreciate his nice salary and I would realize that he probably had to do some work to get those letters behind his name, but that would probably be the extent of it. Marrying him young put me in the passenger seat of this ride with him. I know what those letters mean now. I understand to the fullest extent what brought him to this glorious day. I don’t take his paycheck, our groceries, or our house for granted – because I know that without his past seven years of studying – none of it would be ours. I didn’t get to just fall into a life that was already set – I got to experience it play out. I got to be a part of every aspect of it. It’s because of him that we have the life that we do. And I couldn’t be happier to have had the experience of growing up with him throughout this process. I’m so glad I married him young. That I got to see all of this unfold (even though it suuuucked most of the time). I’m glad I didn’t waste time figuring out my life – I’m glad I married him and got to gettin’ with our life – studying and all. We didn’t wait around for all the ducks to be in a row – we’re lining them up as we go. And this was quite a duck he just put in place for us. If I didn’t marry him when I did – I wouldn’t have ever felt the amount of pride I do right now.

I’m so glad he asked me to marry him.

I love you, Kyle.

I’m so insanely happy for you. And us. But mainly you.

I will end with the past seven years in pictures:

The beginning. Shortly before all of the studying ruined our fun.

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Smack in the middle. We shared a marital cake. (In true fashion with these tests, Kyle had taken one two days before our wedding).

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And seven years later. No more studying, girls! Just playing!

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Two!

The littlest bug is two months old already! Wow – time just keeps on flying by. And I thought time with Leah went fast…

She’s something, this little Quinn we have.

I think I love her more than I did Leah.

Hold the phone, right?!

Here me out, I love(d) Leah so incredibly much, but… with Leah I was so concerned to do everything right. Sleep schedules, eating, changing, not getting sick, tummy-time, head control, bathing… you name it – it had to be done correctly! After all, the books said so. With Quinn, like I’ve said before, I’m just much more confident – which leaves me a lot more time to just love her. To just cuddle her, and talk to her, and play with her, and treasure everything that two months old means. But if I’m being fair, although I may love Quinn more… I certainly don’t cater to her like I did Leah. My goodness if Leah cried I was there. Don’t cry my darling girl, let me help! I’m here, I’m always here! No tears ever went unnoticed. With Quinn, well, if she gets into an uncontrollable crying fit, I just kind of look at her from across the room as if to say, “oh… you’re still screaming? Well carry on.” Ha, sorry. And I do care when she’s upset, but most ofΒ  the time I know the reason and I know that it doesn’t have to be solved right that very second – especially if I’m occupied with Leah. And if I don’t know the reason, well the best I can do is hold her and let her get it all out – I don’t exhaust all of my energy trying to get her to stop. With Leah I would have gone to the moon and back to solve all of her life’s problems. With Quinn, well, I love her – but I’m a little too busy for that. πŸ™‚

Two months is when life starts to get a little manageable. The first six weeks you just kind of do what you can to survive. Now it gets fun. The sleep improves. The happy times outnumber the screaming times. The playing begins. She has just kind of settled in around here, and fallen in line with the rest of us. We like her quite a bit, too. I don’t care if it’s been a rough night – if she smiles at me (with that perfect dimple) all is forgiven in the morning. I’m still excited to get her out of her crib every morning even if I just saw her three hours ago. She is starting to rock the nighttime – thank goodness. She’s usually up twice and will give me, usually, two five hour stretches. That’s not to say we don’t have hiccup nights where it’s a free-for-all, but for the most part, the worst is behind us I believe. She is also rocking naptimes, thanks to the magic blanket. Man, we were having trouble getting this child to nap. She would fall asleep wonderfully in our arms, but the transfer to the crib left her wide awake and screaming. Talk about frustrating. So I started lightly swaddling her with a super soft, comfy blanket and what-do-you-know – out like a light – and stays like that! Hallelujah. Let us never lose the magic blanket!

We’ve battled a light sickness for the past couple of weeks. Someone shoot me. Sick babies are not fun. That’s the tricky part about two kids… twice the germs. Leah got the cold first… then passed it on to little sister. Ugh. I would have died if Leah had a stuffy nose at two months old. I do think it’s finally on its way out, though, thank goodness! It messed with a fair amount of sleep. And someone was not a fan of the booger sucker.

Two months means fun things, too, don’t worry. Little miss is a smiling fool. I could just eat her chubby, perfectly round head… and multiple chins. She can pick our voices out of anywhere and looks all around to find us. She’s an excellent tracker. She is really captivated by Leah, which is so fun to watch. She is now swatting and grabbing her toys, and trying her best to roll over. She has pretty good control over her head, and has even sat in her bumbo on several occasions. I’ve forgotten about tummy-time a lot with Quinn. That would have never happened with Leah. But that’s the thing, with two of them my brain is practically shot. If I remember to feed them both it’s a successful day around here. Tummy-time has taken a back seat, although, Quinn seems to be just like her big sister where strength is concerned. She finally loves her baths. Leah loved them for splashing and kicking and going crazy… Quinn loves them for relaxing. She just sits so quietly and peacefully! It kind of freaks me out. I’m used to being wet at the end of a baby bath – not the case with a Quinn bath. She looks around at everything and seems to really just enjoy being pampered. It’s quite the spa experience for a little girl. However, as much as she loves a bath she hates getting out. She has screamed at me every single night for two months. You would think she would catch on to the fact that if she’d just sit tight for a second I would get her lotioned and in warm clothes – but no – she yells at me the entire time. Someday she’ll figure it out I suppose. She lost a good portion of her hair (only on the top) around the one month mark – but it has returned with a vengeance at two months. She gets more every day, and it has stayed dark! I’m so excited to have one blonde and one brunette. Now they can be sisters… but with a twist. πŸ™‚

Two months also means… teeth! They’re baaaaaack. I should’ve known. And actually, I kind of did. Apparently we make children that like to get a head start on a mouthful of teeth. Leah got her first two teeth at 4 months and had the entire set at 11 months. She got her two year molars at 13 months. She was a freak. And apparently Quinn will be equally as freakish. Someone get the tylenol. And hylands. If my knuckle is within a foot of her mouth she will find it and latch on like an alligator. I remember Leah doing the same thing – only it didn’t last long because she got her teeth so fast I had to put an end to it or I would’ve had puncture wounds. However, for now, Quinn can feel free to gnaw on her mama. She eats her own hands quite nicely, though. I can here her chewing and sucking from across the room. I had to smother her in vaseline tonight. Drool, chewed hands, and cold weather are not nice to a baby’s perfect skin. So onward we will go with the teething. Not like I have any other choice.

The hardest part of the past two months has been sharing my time. It’s not the sleepless nights or the teeth or theΒ  newbabyness in general. It’s missing my big girl. Not getting to play when she wants me to. Telling her, “not right now, mommy has to take care of Quinn.” Gosh I hate it. It’s so hard. For two years it was just Leah and I every single day. We did what we wanted. I played (mostly) when she asked. We went where we wanted, when we wanted. I miss that freedom with her. I miss just playing with her and not worrying about waking you know who up. I think it’s been harder on me than her, though. At least I hope. She doesn’t seem too phased. But I feel like I say, “not right now” an awful lot – and I hate it. But at the same time – I have to keep myself in check. These first months go so fast (they already are). And then we’ll all be golden. We’ve given Leah a playmate for life – and if we can make it through this little bit of time – she’s going to be so much better off having a built in friend to go through life with. They will talk to each other when they’re mad at Kyle and I. They can get through the awkwardness of junior high together. They can play and dream and fight and talk their way through life – and that’s the best we could’ve given either of them. And then someday, when the growing up is done, they can experience raising families together. They can maybe have babies together, like their aunt Lauren and I. The advice they give each other will change from boys and clothes to “should I take my baby to the doctor.” The point being… this sister thing is forever. This baby thing is for a few months. If we can make it through this, in a few months neither of them will want me because they’ll be having too much fun together.

Soon we’ll be having dinner together and no one will be screaming (Quinnnnnn). We will have two little girls giggling and telling us all about their little lives. Soon.

But for now, we will carry on with two months. It’s been exhausting like I knew it would be and fun like I’d hoped. We will make it to three by the grace of God. Hopefully things will only keep improving in the way of sleep. Hopefully she will kick this cold for good. Hopefully she will learn that the time after a bath only lasts 1 minute. But if not, I will love her anyways.

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