Monthly Archives: August 2015

Growing Up Quinn.

So last night Kyle and I couldn’t get Quinn to sleep. Every time I put her back in her pack and play set up in our room, she would cry within 30 seconds. And then I’d groggily walk back to her, pick her up, and nestle her in the bend of my elbow – and almost with a smile on her face, she’d go right back to sleep. Kyle would try to sneak her out of my arms and put her back down so that we all could get some rest, but it didn’t matter how careful he was – she was going to wake up. She was going to cry for the bend in my elbow to place her tiny little head. Her swaddled little body was only going to sleep nestled next to her mama, after all, the previous 10 months of nights she slept right beneath my heartbeat, I’m not sure why I expected last night to be any different.

Except it wasn’t last night, it was almost two years ago. Our first night home.

I’m struggling, ya’ll. I don’t know what it is with these second babies, but there’s something different. You have experience on your side the second time around, so you don’t have to spend so much time worrying; there’s lots more to enjoy. You also don’t have to spend as much time trying to get to the ‘next level,’ because you know that level is coming quickly whether you want it or not. And most often with the second, you don’t. Time slow down has never been spoken louder than watching a second baby grow up. Quinnie growing up is giving me all the feels. Every last one of them. I’m laughing at her because I’m learning she’s quite hilarious – already with a clever wit, that one! I’m crying at her because not only is she sleeping in a toddler bed, she loves her new Minnie bed, and has been caught talking to her Minnie pillow. I’m smiling at her as she goes before her big sister, “Dwess, Ye-ya?” showing off her dress to seek approval from the only opinion she cares about in this house. I’m angry with her as she learns appropriate behavior… and that hitting is not on that list. I’m staring at her, in awe of how much she has learned just as an observer in this crazy house. I’m annoyed with her, in her attempt to fill every silent moment with noise, shouting to me in the car, “mom! whereareyou?!” over and over and over until she comes up with something better to say. I’m blessed by her, to have nightly prayers be extended until every family member (down to the dogs) is covered in prayer per her request. I’m occupied by her, having every moment she’s awake be blanketed with, “watch me.” I’m hugged by her, literally, metaphorically, physically, mentally… she is still my koala… whether it is snuggles on the couch or her sweet little voice doing incredible things to my heart – she is one constant hug.

She is a new Quinn these days. Not to be lost in the big milestones of her big sister, she creates her own hilarity and drama just so no one will forget she’s here. And we don’t. She is a little rough around the edges. While she is snuggly and cozy, there’s a side of her that we are uncovering a little more every day. Where Leah is our “sugar,” Quinn is our “spice.” Not afraid to voice her opinion or willing to accept a no, she will fight for what she wants. There was the time I fought with her for a solid 15 minutes to pick up TWO cards of a board game and put them in a box. She says no and means it, and I’m still not sure how to get around that. I need to read books. She yells not mommy or mama through the house, but, “Ma!” like the little Italian that she is. She is now, and has always been, intense. I blogged about it while she was still in my belly; I just knew there was a layer to her that was going to give me trouble. She is Quinn, hear her roar.

The moments are coming more and more with her as we approach her second birthday. The ones where I stare at her in wonder on how we already got to the point where she’s wearing underwear and asking me for exactly what she wants. How we got to the point where she climbs in her bed and goes to sleep without needing me to bounce her on the exercise ball until my legs are numb. The point where she thanks me for buckling her into her car seat, tells me her finger hurts, or that she wants to eat. The point where I don’t have to puree food or even chop it in a million pieces, after all, she can walk around the house gnawing on a carrot. I was doing a little closet organizing today, and was shaking my head back and forth the entire time. You see, I went to the basement to get out Leah’s tub of 3T clothes to fill Quinn’s closet (because, ya, she’s that big). And it wouldn’t have been too big of a deal, except for these 3T clothes that I was unloading are the very same 3T clothes Leah was wearing prior too, during, and after Quinn’s arrival into our family. And now Quinn is wearing them.

DID YOU HEAR THAT?!

Just look:

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Do you see those jammies Leah has on… I put them in Quinn’s drawer today. So there. Now you understand, now we can all cry together.

What I mean to say is, Quinn is growing. She is changing and evolving at a rate I’m not at all comfortable with, but that I love at the same time. I feel like I leave her in the dust sometimes as the second baby, and that she just has to fall in line. Leah will always being doing the “new thing” first. But Quinn is incredible in her own right. She talks more than Leah ever did at this age. She is learning more than I want her to just by observing. She is funny and snuggly and stubborn and perfect. I can’t believe she is closer to two than to a newborn; I promised I wouldn’t let time go so quickly the second time around. But that’s the thing with babies, it all goes so fast. And you have to learn to just sit back and let it happen and enjoy all the little moments in the middle. Because you’re fighting them for sleep one minute and fighting them to pick up after themselves the next. You don’t know how they could possibly fit in clothes so tiny one minute, and then filling their closet with clothes that couldn’t possibly fit them the next.

I love you, Quinn bug. I love that you love to have your nails painted, that your favorite color is green, and that you need all the condiments on your plate at all times. I love that your blankie is your instant calm, and that Samson sitting on it will cause WWIII. I love watching you be the little sister. I love when you say, “sure,” and I hope I never forget how it sounds. I love that your favorite part about church is the Cheerios. I love that you know exactly how to make us laugh and that you’ll do it when you’re in trouble just to see if we’ll crack. You are my sunshine… with a little bit of thunder and lightening. Keep growing, babydoll, I’ll keep watching.

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Winding Down.

Oh, hey. Remember when I blogged?

Let’s try that again.

It has been a summer, has it not? I’ve got a pretty good love/hate relationship going with the summer of 2015. I hate it because it seems to be either raining or 178 degrees with 400% humidity. I hate it because I miss some of the routines we were accustomed to May 9th and earlier. I hate it because fall (my favorite) is so close, yet I know, still so far. And I hate it because I’ve got some sort of poison ivy thing on my chin/neck that has no known origin and is really cramping my style the past few days.

However, I can’t complain to terribly much, because I also find myself loving it. I’m loving not having a schedule most of the time. I’m loving my big four year old who is transforming herself into a wonderful little girl more and more every sweaty day. I’m loving my little 21 month old who is blowing my mind with an entirely new skill set developed just this summer. I’m loving spending lots of time at the pool, flip flops, painted toes, thunderstorms, hosing down the dogs, family summer outings, BBQs, and baseball in the backyard.

You see, it’s been a very strange summer. It just kind of feels like this is life now. Summer of 2011, I was waiting for Leah and then begging her little newborn self to sleep. Summer of 2012 we were house hunting and moving. Summer 2013 I was waiting for Quinn and waddling around with Leah. Summer of 2014 I had a new crawler and a ‘I can do it myself but if you don’t help me I’ll probably die’ three year old. But the summer of 2015… things have really come together for us. We have arrived.

For one, Leah is proficient in the pool. Back in May, she could tread water and move herself slightly where she wanted to go. She could also spin in circles with water up to her chin (she calls it the “chicken spin”). By the end of June, she started doing some serious under water dog paddling. By the end of July I was not allowed to help her do anything. And with 3 days until the pools close… she is running and jumping into the water, popping back up and swimming back to the side to do it all over again. Of all the milestones, this may be my favorite. One, I don’t have to worry about her drowning. And two, it’s like a flashback of myself. I lived for swimming growing up, and Leah is the exact same. I love love love watching her in the water, her smiles are everything. And Quinn is not far behind. She doesn’t like me to hold her in the water anymore, so I let go, she goes under, I grab her, and she pops up smiling. Over and over and over. We have been water logged this summer, and I am one step closer to being able to sit at the side of the pool and tan while they act like maniacs together.

For two, Quinn is not the baby that she once was. This time last year she was 6,7,8 and 9 months old. And yes, we had passed the newborn stage, but she still couldn’t be trusted alone for very long. She learned to crawl last summer, so that brought on a whole new set of baby challenges. We put up a baby gate. We constantly had to know her exact whereabouts. This summer, though, the baby gate came down and the undies came out! This little baby impresses the pants off me (or herself, I guess). I constantly underestimate what she is capable of or what she learns just through watching her big sister. This morning she counted to 10. She talks non stop and is so very polite. She’s gone potty in public restrooms. She can climb the ladder on the playset and slide down while I watch from the patio with a cup of coffee. She knows some letters, all colors, takes her pants off, sets the table, and drinks with cups without lids. She is still a snuggle bug, but her independence is emerging, and I love to watch what she is capable of.

Do you see where I’m going with this – I love the summer of 2015, because my kids are basically like real people. I don’t have to treat them like babies for the first time since 2011. We can pick up and go somewhere if we need to. We can all walk the zoo together. I can easily take two to the pool. Leah can get herself dressed, hair brushed, teeth brushed, shoes on, buckled in the car... without assistance. I can throw them outside with the dogs while I stay inside and make them lunch. I hear conversations such as, “Quinn do you wanna go up in the playroom?” “Sure.” “Okay, c’mon.” And I don’t have to have anything to do with it. We can push bedtimes, and nap times, and meal times, cause darnit, we just don’t want to stop having fun!

It doesn’t get much better in those regards. But it all comes to an end in just one week because…

Back to School.

We met with Leah’s teacher last week and got her year book pictures taken – I guess it’s really happening! I was so excited to send her to school last year, and I think I’m even more excited this year. Her teacher is nothing short of fantastic, 2 for 2. She loves going to her school, and this year she will get to walk into her classroom and see some of her best buddies from last year!

This is a big year for all of us – with a July birthday baby we get to decide if we’re going to let her be one of the youngest in her class or one of the oldest; this year will determine is she will graduate class of 2029 or 2030! (How weird is that?!) One thing I love about her school is that for these special summer birthday kids they have a special Pre 3/4 class – for the really old 3s and the really young 4s. So if we decide to keep her in preschool another year and send her to Kindergarten when she’s a young 6, she won’t have to repeat a class, she’ll simply go to the Pre-4 class next year. Or if we determine she’s ready for kindergarten in all areas we can go ahead and send her as a young 5. I don’t know, this is when parenting becomes a pretty big deal, guys! Scary. Kyle and I are praying for lots of wisdom this year 🙂

As much as I have enjoyed this summer and it’s casual nature, I’m excited to be winding down this week. I’m excited to get back into eating really well (Oh my goodness with the ice cream cones!). I’m excited for earlier bedtimes. I’m excited for a reason to get dressed in the mornings. I have not enjoyed the weather this summer, but I have certainly enjoyed playing with my kids and their dad. It has been one I hope to remember. For now, we begin our descent towards cool weather and pumpkins. School bells will be ringing in just a weeks time.

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