Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Lacey!

One of the many surprises about motherhood is how emotional I feel on my kid's birthday. A mix of happy, nostalgic, a little sad and proud. A birthday really makes you look back at how they have grown and milestones they have achieved and it also makes you look forward to the year ahead, the good times you will enjoy together and the excitement of new discoveries. Sweet Lacey--you are TWO! I can't believe it!

Crap, I am already crying.

After we had Lana I wasn't entirely sure I wanted another baby, but Lacey, you have been such a blessing and a treasure to our family! I almost can't remember life before you came. Its true how your heart just opens up and loves the second baby, even if you think you couldn't possible love another human being as much as your first born. But now I know the truth--the love I have for you is unending and pure.

Lacey, you are sweet, sweet, sweet. At 2 years old you give hugs and kisses, just because, or when Lana is crying or if we ask for one. You love to laugh--anything that is funny to you just cracks you up and I never get tired of your belly laugh. You TALK, oh my goodness, the talking--in sentences and paragraphs. Of course, I usually need to translate for strangers, but we can usually understand your words, even the messed up ones like "aebee gub" (lady bug). You are so excited for your birthday--you tell everyone that you are "almost two", that you will have "docolate cake" (chocolate cake) that you will "share Nana" (share with Lana) and "party hats". You also sing Happy Birthday to yourself--"Happy Birtday to you, mei mei..."

At two you know a lot of stuff. You count from 1-13, then skip to 18, then clap. You can sing your ABCs. You can identify numbers 1-5 and a handful of letters. You also sing Twinkle twinkle, Row row row your boat and of course Happy Birthday. You know all your colors including the weird ones like pink, black, white and gray. You are quite obedient most of the time, you are helpful in cleaning up, you say please, thank you and sorry quite often. You also like to use the potty sometimes, but I think its only to get the jelly bean or swedish fish. You also call yourself Mei mei but if we ask you your name you always say Lacey. You love Curious George and Dora (ugh), you love to read books like The Runaway Bunny, Goodnight Moon and The Eye Book and you are just starting to experiment with Play-Doh and painting. You run and jump (almost). You play "cannonball" with Lana--jumping off the sofa onto a pile of cushions. You also love to play dance party in my room, wearing a tutu of course. You are quite coordinated and rarely fall, but when you do its no big deal, no tears or anything.

Lacey, your eating habits are horrendous. You eat 6 things + fruit + any junk food. Chicken noodle soup, spaghetti and meatballs, meatball soup, chinese rice soup with tofu, udon noodles with eddamame, chicken nuggets and french fries (that last one hurts a little to write). You are no longer allergic to dairy and we were excited to try to give you cheese and yogurt, but sadly the only benefit to your outgrown allergy has been ice cream. But you eat fruit, copious amounts of fruit and you are growing, so I am assuming you are okay.

Happy Birthday sweet girl. We love you more than words can express! I can't wait to see what the next year brings for you and us as a family.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sweet spot

You know how sometimes your kids are just behaving wonderfully, there are no major meltdowns or "issues" and you are just thinking--This is just great! Easy, even. We are in a good space. I could maybe even have another kid and it would be not that big of a deal! Well, life has not been like that lately in our house. I haven't really been blogging because at the end of the day I am worn out emotionally and I have nothing nice to write.

But, it is one of my parenting philosophies to find the good in every day. Find a moment or two that lift you up, that make you smile, that remind you how very lucky you are. My don't sweat the small stuff moments, because really things could be so much worse. So my favorite moments lately involve soaking in those smiles. The big smiles, the laughing ones--not the cheese for the camera smiles. Lana has a perfect symmetrical smile--those little white teeth in a perfect row. I love her smile and I may be a little sad when she starts losing the baby teeth. Lacey's smile involves dimples--one under her bottom lip, to the right, one on her cheek. She also giggles when she smiles sometimes. Love it.

Lana asks me everyday when Lacey will be able to follow directions and play pretend with her. I tell her soon--a few more months-- because I think 2.5 is one of those sweet spots, where they are not babies anymore. Today after school Lana wanted to play swimming, so she put on her swimsuit and jumped onto my bed to "swim". Lacey then asked for a swimsuit, plopped down on her belly and said, "sploosh, splash, sploosh, splash." We are so close Lana!!

I am also really loving the interaction between the girls. Okay, 85% of the time Lana is screaming, "NO LACEY! MOM she is _____". I know this is normal, but sheesh. Lacey just loves Lana, will do anything to get her attention and just wants to be like her. Lana is usually annoyed, but lately she has been showing sweetness to Lacey. This morning they both climbed into Lacey's crib and cuddled. Lacey was loving it. I almost passed out it was so cute.

So even though we are decidedly going through a rough patch with behavior and with parenting (I have not been winning any awards for patience lately), there are these little nuggets of sweetness--the ones that pull me out of my bad mood and make me so very grateful.

Friday, September 16, 2011

School, I heart thee

We made it through the first week of Kindergarten! As I mentioned briefly before, Lana has been dealing with "the worries", worrying about anything and everything. It sounds like a silly phase, but in actuality it has been very difficult to deal with on a daily basis. It had become so intense that I spoke to her pediatrician and considered seeing a psychologist. The weeks leading up to school starting were the worst and even though I predicted that school would be just the distraction she needed, it felt like the constant cycle of worrying and reassuring and crying and hyperventilating would never cease. Ah yes, this is my genetic gift to her--I am sorry sweet Lana, its all my fault.

The first day of school Lana was visibly nervous, but once she was in her classroom, everything seemed peachy. She came home exhausted and I was so frustrated that bedtime was the same ridiculousness pattern about worrying about not being able to fall asleep and that once she was asleep a bad guy would get in the house and steal her, which resulted in crying like a banshee, me yelling (not my best choice here) and then her passing out at 10pm.

When I picked her up on the second day of school, Lana seemed so happy (tired, but happy) and she told me, "Mom, the second day of school is a LOT easier than the first!" At bedtime, she promptly fell asleep within 5 min and SLEPT ALL NIGHT. First time in weeks! No middle of the night crawling in bed with us, no being kicked in the kidneys or face!

We started a reward sticker chart for going to sleep without crying to earn a family game night. Before school started, it was hopeless--there were no stickers earned. This week, she did awesome, fell asleep without the crazies and tomorrow night is our very first family game night ever (after Lacey is in bed obviously). YAY SCHOOL!

Thank you school, thank you routine, thank you distraction, thank you socialization. You have made me sane, once again.

By far, the best part of this whole ordeal is that Lana seems happy. When the worries were at their worst, she seemed so distressed, all the time. I answered the same questions over and over again. She was bored and scared. Now Lana is back to smiling, laughing and her creative wheels are turning. She is constantly talking and imagining and asking curious questions. My happy kid is back. I am sure we haven't seen the last of the worries--I was exactly like that when I was little, but for now I am enjoying sweet and carefree Lana. Now if I could only pretend I am not feeling that sore throat...

Monday, September 12, 2011


FINALLY. The first day of school! Good grief, Lana's school starts late and I am more ready than she is! She always says, "Mom, are you actually HAPPY that I will be in school and you won't have to play with me?" Well, not exactly happy in a relieved sort of way, but happy because she needs to go back to school to be with her friends and have structured activities and learn all sorts of interesting things, as opposed to whining about how bored she is and how she doesn't feel like playing with the same old boring toys and how Lacey doesn't listen when she tries to play with her, blah, blah blah... I am sick of the whining and I am looking forward to hearing about new adventures and new accomplishments. Lana is that kid who really digs school--so off you go!

Unlike most of our peers, Kindergarten was not a big transition for us. Lana's preschool offers Kindergarten and we decided to keep her there instead of starting her at the local public school simply because we love her school and she is happy and secure there. I am so glad we made this decision because even though it is totally familiar to her--she knows 11 of the 15 kids in her class, as well as her teacher--she has been very very nervous about starting up again. I think its just a worrying type of phase, but it has been interfering with sleep (going to sleep and staying asleep) as well as general anxiety about becoming lost or separated from mom or abandoned, bad guys coming in the house, being stolen by a bad guy at the park or in a store--you know really uplifting things. Geesh. I am hoping that re-establishing the routine of school will give her security and self-confidence and she can get off the worrying and get back to being her fun-loving self.

As for Kindergarten, it does seem pretty much impossible that the little round-faced infant we brought home from the hospital all wrapped up like a burrito is now in elementary school. How did this happen so fast? In the blink of an eye.