Friday, April 9, 2010

Speaking of Growing Up - Or - EIGHT Months

When I envisioned bedtime for two kids, I always pictured it as Madeleine throwing a fit that Elena is still up, why does SHE have to go to bed??? I never dreamed it would be the other way around. The past while, every night at bedtime for Elena, she refuses. If Madeleine is still up, she HAS to be up and she HAS to be in the same room with Madeleine. Doesn't matter how tired she is, she screams and screams and then you put her in a room with Madeleine and all is right with the world. (Hmmm sharing a room doesn't sound so bad right now.....)

I'm just grateful she sleeps through the night most nights and is typically pretty easy to get down (for the most part. I hope it's just a phase!!). Her obsession with her sister is borderline absurd but it's completely adorable. Even Madeleine eats it up. I know I mention it in each update but it just gets more and more and stronger and crazier each month, I swear. I have a feeling that for a while, they are going to be two peas in a pod. Except that now that Elena is mostly mobile and can take what Madeleine has, that's already planting the seed of "evil sister" in Madeleine's head. And boy, does she like taking what her sister is playing with. It might be kind of nice once Madeleine figures out Elena WANTS to put the play food she makes in her kitchen in her mouth.

Just last night we were all playing on the floor and as soon as I text messaged Dan to inform him we have an army belly-crawler, she decided that was for babies and started pushing with her knees and feet. And so it begins - the end of just walking away from the baby. She hasn't quite perfected it yet, still pretty uncoordinated, but she's mobile. Especially if you put something shiny - say a phone - on the floor. When you wonder where it is, check her mouth.
For as much as she loves to put things in her mouth that don't belong in her mouth, she's not so great at putting things in her mouth that can go in her mouth. The Easter Bunny filled her eggs with puffs and while she sure loves them, they just hang out and get sticky in her hands. She gets the hand-to-mouth motion with EVERYTHING else but not the food. Glad she doesn't really get it with grass either. She loves playing in it and she pulls it so hard she knocks herself over. But at least what she pulls doesn't end up in her mouth. (Yet.)
Luckily we have a yard now and the weather is beginning to cooperate slightly. They both love being outside and it's nice to be able to just throw them out on the lawn and hang out. Yes, once she's really crawling, it will be hard to keep her on the blanket and out of the muck but chasing her around outside will be great. (I know, I say that *now*.) And I have a feeling we'll be going through a whole lot of bubbles this year...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What is This "Growing" Thing? And Can I Make it Slow Down?

I have been so bad at keeping up with the changes Madeleine has gone through over the past - oh I don't know TWO YEARS. And when I say "bad at it," I mean NOT doing it. There are so many things I have forgotten and know I will forget that I wish I would have documented somewhere. I think the last time I did any sort of official update or storytelling about her here was when she was just really starting to talk. Now she never shuts up and oh the things that kid comes up with! The stories are endless, the sass is unbelievable, the made up absolutely impossible can be unnerving and the pure innocence and sweetness is heart-melting. Every few weeks I take a step back and realize how much she is growing and changing and learning, and in truth, there is something new every day that I hadn't noticed or wasn't there the day before.
I'll be honest, there are days she's not an easy child (but, really, what "child" is?). She is so strong-willed and independent and stubborn and well, kind of spoiled. But she's also so caring and compassionate and sweet and kind and friendly and it blows my mind because I'm not really sure where she gets that. It breaks my heart to think that someday I am going to have to teach her to not be so friendly and fearless and trusting. That part is just not fair.
She's always talking about growing up and getting big and how she's a big girl, but a little big girl. And she's right, she's growing up so fast and getting so big (really, she still wants to be held and carried - she's not so little anymore). She understands and knows things that I never knew a 3-year old would actually get. She's clever and can be witty and funny and it's just obvious there is a little "person" in there - real logic and rationale masked behind a little kid.
We do go the rounds and she asks, "Mommy, are you mad?" and "Mommy, are you mad at me?" And really, how can you stay mad at that? Other times she cries at you and tells you, "Mommy, you made me mad!" or "Mommy, you made me sad/cry." At which point you really want to say, "Oh yeah? Well you deserve it because after what you did and that's how *I* feel!" But instead you tell her you're very sorry, as your heart breaks for upsetting a tiny little kid regardless of what's she'd done to make you mad in the first place. And she calms down and tells you, "Mommy, I want to listen now" and "Mommy, I want to be nice now." And after the scuffle, she's the sweetest, happiest, nicest little girl again. Until the next one...
And I'll keep taking them because all the bad that may come is nothing when compared to the giggles and "huggies" and kisses and squeals and help and happy that this little big girl is.

* The first photo was taken in March 2008, the second in March of this year. Yes, it is the same dress/shirt. See. I told you. She is just growing up too fast.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Weekend

Friday night we dyed some Easter eggs. We didn't get started until about 9 so it was a quick process and left out some of the fun and cute that it could have been. Which, for her, was just fine, she had a ball just dumping the eggs in the colors.
As soon as they were finished, she wanted to know, "When can I eat them?! Can I eat them now, Mommy?"

My sister is a genius and does an Easter egg hunt in their backyard. It beats fighting crowds at community egg hunts and it's a bit more personalized, NOT at too freaking early in the morning and it's with family. And it's absolutely adorable watching the little kids running around, shouting in excitement over all the candy and eggs they find.

Miss Monster collected so much crap candy that she could "barely lift" (wimp - hehehehe - even she was amazed at how much she put in there) her bucket. All of the kids came away with buckets as full. It was kind of crazy.
Her cousin got this cute little dress for Easter and turns out, huh, Madeleine had the same one. So they were twinners all day. Of course, this picture has nothing to do with Easter but all to do with cuteness. They're such good buddies (most of the time).
Some little baby was not very happy that she didn't get to participate in all the sugar-gathering fun.
At some point, really late Saturday night, the Easter Bunny snuck in and left a trail of candy-filled eggs from the girls' bedrooms to their Easter loot in the family room. Sure enough, first thing when Madeleine woke up that morning, "MOMMY!!!!! The Easter Bunny was here!!! MOMMY!!!" And the screaming kept going as she followed the eggs down the stairs, through the kitchen, down some more stairs and over to her stuff. At which point, she came all the way back up screaming some more about all the stuff the Easter Bunny brought her. (Really - who knew the Easter Bunny was way cooler than Santa Claus??) And, yes, it was while all of us were still completely asleep and enjoying it!
Let me just say this: I learned a very valuable lesson this Easter. No, this is not "us" spoiling our kids rotten. They are spoiled, that's for sure. But I held on to everything we had been given for them for Easter from all the grandparents and everybody and put it all out at once. Next year, no way, I'll give them their stuff as we get it and Easter morning, they only get what the Easter Bunny leaves them. That was way too much for two little girls on Easter morning. That's was way too much for Mom to deal with on Easter morning. But they had a blast. Even Miss E who couldn't partake of the candy side of the festivities.

Good thing the Easter Bunny is thoughtful enough to fill her eggs with Puffs!