Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy First Birthday Lacey!

Dear Lacey,
Today you are one year old! What a wild and wonderful year it has been since you joined our family. It has gone so fast! Wasn't it just yesterday that we brought you home from the hospital? You were so tiny, all 6 lbs 4 oz of you, that tiny little butt fitting right in the palm of our hands and your soft head with the fuzzy hair and the delicious baby smell that was so intoxicating. Oh sweet Lacey, you were so pleasant and content to sit and just watch the whirlwind of your big sister. Of course now you cannot just sit and watch, you are in the thick of the action, wanting to be everywhere Lana is, eating whatever she is eating, playing with the big kid toys, climbing the stairs (all 16 of them), crawling super-fast, ripping paper into tiny shreds which you then eat with mommy yelling--no no no! To which you respond with a smile, showing us your 4 little teeth. Lacey-lace (as we call you) you have our heart, you are so easy to love, you bring us so much joy.We haven't had a doctor's appointment in a while, but I am estimating you are about 20 lbs, you have a little bit of soft, dark brown hair that makes everyone think you are a boy even if I have you dressed in pink, you have delicate little fingers that you like to point to everything and say either "ah" or "up". I keep trying to teach you some words because I don't know what "ah" and "up" really mean to you. So far you say, "Mama", "Baba" and "Nana" (Lana). You love to take folded laundry or a stack of clean diapers and fling them all over the room, one by one. You love to crawl really fast to the bathroom and pull yourself up on the toilet (yuck) or the edge of the tub. You think its funny when I chase after you--you crawl faster and giggle. You are very curious, pulling on cords, trying to pull out the outlet covers, pulling on the nightlight, digging in trash cans. You love to play ball the most. If I roll a ball to you, you roll it right back. If Lana and I sit with you on the floor, we can roll the ball between the three of us for good long while (a few minutes, but still). You are not walking without assistance just yet, I think b/c you have decided you can crawl much faster.
Lacey, my dear, you are a little faker! When I brought you home from the hospital, you slept 4 hours straight every night and I said, "OH YAY! I think we have a sleeper!" Then at about 3 months old, you faked me out and turned into Worlds Worst Sleeper, which I have concluded is your natural pattern. When we started solid food--you ate robustly, but then all of a sudden you rejected everything you once ate. So I switched to homemade baby food, which was better. Then we gave you table food and once again you ate everything I gave you--pasta with meatsauce, salmon and pasta broccoli, homemade Chinese food, fish, meatballs. But a few weeks ago, you have suddenly decided that you only eat bread, pasta, sweet potatoes, carrots, fruit and tofu. That's it, no exceptions--no rice, no eggs, no green veggies, definitely no meat. Don't even try to mix it up. But you will giggle and wiggle if I even pick up the box of graham crackers--looks like someone has a sweet tooth :)
You are still breastfeeding (yay to me for that accomplishment!) and we are still up through the night once or twice. I love it when I pick you up and give you your giraffe lovey--you put your head on my shoulder and sigh and snuggle. Oh it is so sweet. I love how you hug back and that you are so quick to smile. I love watching you and listening to you. I know sometimes our house can be loud and busy, but I will always have the time to stop and listen to my littlest bug.
Thank you sweet Lacey for a wonderful year. We can't wait to see what this next year brings! Happy Birthday!

Monday, September 20, 2010

What we did on summer vacation Part 1

Summer is officially over here in these parts. Usually September weather still feels like summer (70s), but this year the brief summer we had has given way to rain, rain and more rain, with a little fog mixed in for variety. The rain actually doesn't bother me, but we all felt a little cheated this summer since it was cooler and wetter than normal. School is back in session (yay!) and Lacey and I are still trying to figure out how to get her to take decent naps in between dropoff and pickup. I have been frantically trying to get things done around the house--bigger projects like cleaning out the office, paring down the junk in our lives, deep cleaning things that have long been neglected. You know, fun stuff. My "To do" list is long and every time I cross something off, I have added 3 more things. But that is everyone's story, right? I do really love fall and after I catch up with these house projects, I plan to enjoy the crisp air, changing leaves, pumpkin patches and dairy-free baking!

Despite my focus on all of my fall activities and plans, we had a great summer. Lana and I had one special day per week when my inlaws watched Lacey. We did "big kid" stuff, like the public pool or the beach or the movies or the zoo, with ladies lunch first, usually at Red Robin or the sushi place with that awesome kids meal. Lana actually loved to sit at the sushi bar b/c "you can't do that with a baby!" She really did love and appreciate the one-on-one time b/c she often said, "Thanks mom for bringing me here." We had some really really awesome special days and even if she doesn't remember them over time, I sure will. I also had a special day with Lacey each week which was nice as well. Lacey is pretty content to sit on the floor and play, although with 2 naps a day its not like we were out and about too often. She is a happy little thing and even if she is a crappy sleeper, she is so easy to love and snuggle and smile at. That kid melts my heart. In just 8 days she will be ONE!!! I can't believe it.

Back to summer. In addition to our special days, we tried to enjoy every ounce of sunshine--we went to the splash park, the regular parks, we took walks in the neighborhood and we ate outside on our brand new deck every night. We had fun playdates with friends and we went to Jetty Island a few times.

Two big things we did this summer: 1) We took a big, 2 part vacation and 2) We did a big, loud, massive remodel.

Part 1 of our vacation was to Cape Cod where we met up with some close friends from Boston who have a 2 year old daughter, Elyse. Lana and Elyse had so much fun playing in the sand, searching for shells and sharing a room. Bill and I enjoyed catching up with our friends, eating boatloads of seafood and watching our girls play together. We all rented a house which was a great thing to do with another family b/c it allowed us to prepare breakfast and cook up the clams we dug up for lunch. Plus, it was relatively easy for Lacey to get her naps while one adult could hang behind and relax. I say relatively easy b/c Lacey did not sleep well during this trip. But it worked out okay, she was in a pretty good mood most of the time. The only bummer with this trip was that Bill got food poisoning on the second night. I tell ya, its not a family vacation unless someone pukes. It happens nearly every trip. But he has a good eject button and once it was out, he was good to go. It was such a great vacation. I really felt Bill relaxing, which is not an easy thing for him. We had great weather, it wasn't too hot, but definitely warm enough to spend lots of time swimming and building elaborate sand castles. It felt good to have the family time and it was really nice to share the fun with our friends. It was also super nice for me b/c our friend Nancy did all of the cooking since I was always holding Lacey or trying to keep her out of trouble. A whole week of no cooking? Now THAT is a vacation for me!

Here's the real kicker--when we got home from our trip, I read Megan's blog about her vacation in Cape Cod. I emailed her, thinking, oh its impossible that we were both in Cape Cod the exact same week. But yes, it was true--our families were in Cape Cod the exact same week! AND we were about 10 miles away from one another! I can't believe we didn't know it ahead of time so that we could connect! How awesome would that have been??? Seren and Lana would have talked each other silly. Darn it!

So here are a few photos from our trip:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Yeesh, I have been gone forever

Today is the first day of Pre-K for Lana! Here she is right before we left. It was raining, so we did the indoor shot this year. We tried to get Lacey to pose with her for a couple, but she was too busy chewing shoes and wouldn't sit still.

So I am back! I hope to have more time to blog now that I have one at home who naps, although PreK pickup is going to blow the PM nap. I am not sure if I am going to shoot for an early or late nap for Lacey, we will have to see how things go. Too bad she won't sleep in the car. Anyway, we had a nice summer, although the weather kind of was a letdown, but we made the most of it. I am hoping to do some retro-posts about our adventures this summer, but not today--today I am just catching up.

Lana was a bit nervous to go to school this morning. Last night she dissolved into tears about 100 times about all things not school related, but I could tell that she was just feeling some butterflies about school. I remember feeling that as a kid. Its funny b/c I remember being kind of sensitive as a child--nervous about things, scared of strange things. My mom says she never knew, that I never said anything about it. Lana is pretty open with her emotions and since many of them I can relate to, I tend to offer empathy and reassurance. Bill thinks I am feeding her anxieties, but I am just not the type to say--you are being ridiculous! Shake it off! But this morning went along without incident--we got up, had breakfast, got dressed and off we went to school.

When we arrived Lana sat down at the table which had a coloring page and a laminated name tag was on the table just above it. The teacher told her to write her name on her paper the same way it was on the name tag and that she could look at the name tag for reference. Lana grabbed a pencil and wrote her name on the paper about half way down the page. The teacher stopped by and told her to write her name on the line at the top that said "Name". She immediately said--"I was just practicing down here." I think Lana is a huge perfectionist. She told me last night that she is worried that she will make some mistakes at school and end up in the little blue chair (when kids have listening ear problems, that is where they sit). She said, "Mama, I am only 4, I am still learning things." I had to explain that nobody expects her to know everything and that she goes to school to learn new things and that everyone makes mistakes sometimes (even Mommys) and that if she listens to her teacher and doesn't talk sassy, she will not end up in the little blue chair.

Its bittersweet watching her grow up, gain independence, feel a little scared, send her off to school. I know its cliche and so expected, but I am happy and sad, all at the same time.

I am looking forward to catching up on things long overdue.

I also expect we will be sick by the weekend, b/c well, that's how school goes.