Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What Day Is It?

Who cares!!!  We are well into the middle of what Sylvain lovingly calls our "ninety day weekend."  We are so blessed to be able to stay home with our little one, enjoying some magical summertime memories.  Here are a few highlights, most of which involve water!

We've been to the zoo about......four hundred times already.  Seriously, we've gone about twice a week.  And we LOVE it.  Yesterday we met the Elliott's at the zoo and Sylvia got to run around with her adorable friend, Addy.   They held hands almost the entire time.

Addy is four years old, but has lovely manners, and used the word "offered" correctly in a sentence about her brother.  I love this kid and I hope Sylvia is just like her!

Today, we met Beth and Sudie at the zoo's splash park.  *Gasp!*  I finally let Sylvia go into the splash park!  Every time we walk by, it's packed with kids, and I'm all, "I don't knoooooow, we'd have to put her in her swim diaper (which is in the diaper bag)......and those big kids might knock her over.......and I might get wet......." But today I decided it was time to just go ahead and DO IT! It was a good idea.  She loved it!  And for the record, she knocked over plenty of big kids when she spontaneously left the baby side and made a bee line for the real action.  There were moms commenting on how amazingly small she was for a kid who is so fast and...assertive?  Yeah, she's assertive.

I've said it before...this child is fearless.  As soon as her feet hit the ground, she started running through the fountains and screaming like a pterodactyl.  But that's because she's had a lot of practice at our local sprayground!  Which brings me to our other favorite summer spot - the park!

We walk to this adorable park behind our house almost every night before or after dinner.  Sometimes we can walk right by the sprayground and she doesn't mind, because she knows we're headed for the swings.  But usually she starts pointing and shrieking and making the sign for "more" (which, I guess, she has turned into the sign for "I want!") when we get within sight of the fountains.  Tonight I finally got some good video of her two favorite activities - water and swings!

Here are some more pics of our wonderful park.  Notice all the shade and wide walkways and the cute bridge! 

On our walks to (and through) the park, we say hello to our neighbors, we pass the library, where we sometimes stop to drop off our books or get some new ones, and Sylvia waves, points, and talks to all the neighborhood kids.  We've really just started feeling like part of a community this year, and now we have to leave.  I can't even write that sentence without choking up.  The biggest reason I haven't blogged in weeks is because I am so incredibly and desperately S.A.D. about moving away from here.  I can't wait to be with my family, but our house hasn't sold yet, and our living situation is so uncertain that it's making me sick to think about it.  My Mom and Jay have graciously agreed to let us stay at their house until we figure things out, but leaving this sweet little house, in this sweet little neighborhood, where our sweet little girl was born and where we have spent every sweet day of her's just really, really hard. 

But I guess that's another post altogether.  This one was supposed to be about summer and sunshine and water and fun!!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Greatest Day Ever:

Look what I've got!

From left to right: Scarlett Louella Allen, Audrey Clay Marks, (Sylvia Joyce Fasciotto - who decided to take time out of her busy schedule to drop in for a head shot), Eleanor Wrenn Crawford, Clover Lydia Darko! Scarlett's snacking on the ol' fist, Audrey is skeptical, Ellie is eating Clover's shoulder, and Clover hasn't decided if she likes the set up yet.  I am in baby heaven!

Today, Sylvia and I went to Lexington to meet the newest arrivals - FOUR babies girls, all born within the last three months!  Does it get better than that?  I don't think so.

I was so impressed with all of my new Mama friends.  They all know EXACTLY what they are doing!  No cry, whimper, or smile went unanswered.  They were all in perfect sync with their own little one.  It was absolutely astonishing!  I spent the majority of my afternoon chasing Sylvia around the house, but I listened to the conversations, and I must say...these are some fine role models.  All of these women are smart, funny and creative.  I can't think of a better group of people to spend the day with.

While they were sharing the most intimate of thoughts and discussions, Sylvia was in toddler heaven and I wasn't far behind!  We've been using the cat to practice "gentle, one-finger touching."  She did really well, for the most part.  She rocked Ellie in her car seat.  She patted Scarlett on the leg before trying to climb into the bouncer with her.  She said "Awww, baby!" about a hundred times during the day.  She also loved.....THE CATS!  Poor Lucy The Cat got a run for her money today.  Sylvia ran through every room and squealed at the top of her lungs every time she saw that poor kitty.  Overall, today was one, giant, overstimulating party for Sylvia.  She didn't stop moving or making noise until long after she went to bed.  I was WORN OUT!

Regardless of our best efforts, Sylvia just can't pass up the opportunity to poke a baby in the eye.  Here are the girls before she assaulted poor Clover:

And here they are after she stabbed Clover in the eye: (notice how Audrey is starting to get worried...)

Sylvia's all, "What?  She has such a cute face!  What did you EXPECT me to do???"

Scarlett is the social one, grabbing Audrey's arm, trying to be all buddy-buddy:

Later, Scarlett would whisper sweet nothings into Ellie's ear.  I'm sure she's orchestrating some big "Take Over The World" scheme, but she doesn't realize that everyone here is a baby.  Patience, sweet Scarlett.  Patience.

I brought some of Sylvia's old toys with us, so I could convince these new Moms to take care of them until after we move (aren't I clever?).  Sylvia gave a demonstration and said, "Hey ladies, let me show you how this works...."

All joking aside, though, these four Mommies are quite an inspiration.  As I watched them mother their babies, I was overwhelmed with the amount of creativity, intellect, humor, and camaraderie that filled the room.  These girls have some mad mothering skillz!  With a Z!

To say that I have the "baby itch" would be an understatement.  How could I not want another little one when all of these sweet babies are so happy?!  I can't wait to watch these girls grow up.  They're going to do great, great things.  I just know it!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Before I Forget...

Words that Sylvia says:
Woof woof (more, like ooh ooh)
Ribbit Ribbit (an unintelligible gurgle in the back of her throat)
Chat (french for cat, it's easier to say)

Words Sylvia responds to:
Thank you! (When we want her to give us something)
Head or Tete
Nose or Nez
Hi and Goodbye (she waves)

Signs Sylvia can use:

Signs she recognizes:
finished/all done

This whole language development thing is fascinating.  A month ago she only said Mama and Dada, and she grunted or cried for everything else.  She is communicating in some very interesting verbal and non-verbal ways!  She's pointing to things, she'll try to open the fridge when she's thirsty, and she reaches for the door knob when she wants to go outside.  It's really nice to watch her tell us what she wants.  I feel like we're guessing less and less every day.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fourteen Months

Oh, My Sweet Nugget!

You are so much fun.  Summer has started, and you absolutely love to be outside.  Every morning, you look out the window and start barking like a dog, looking for Shelby next door.  Your bark sounds more like a monkey, "Ooo, ooo!" But we all know it's a bark, because you do it every time you see a furry, four legged creature.  Like when you're watching your favorite show - the horse racing channel!  You can't really tell the difference between dogs and horses yet, so when you see all those lovely "dogs" running around the track, your sweet little heart just can't take it, and you "ooo! ooo!" yourself all over the living room.  It's pretty adorable.  It might not be so adorable if you turn into a racetrack junkie, but whatever.  We'll deal.

After you wake up from your morning nap, we go straight outside and play in the yard.  Or, as you see it, THE MAGICAL GREEN WONDERLAND!  Every blade of grass...every rock, stick, and leaf...every chunk of blacktop...goes straight into your mouth.  I have to stay two steps behind you at all times so I can fish out whatever trinket you've decided to explore with your tongue.  Your daily morning tour includes a few times up and down the back steps, a lap around the yard in the wagon (actually, you prefer to push the wagon instead of ride in it), a quick check of the vegetable garden so you can trample on the green bean plants, a visit to your rose bush, and a jaunt in the white rocks on the back patio, which you love to taste and then toss into the air.  After you've approved every area, we usually break out the bubbles while you shriek and dance around like it's DJ night at The Dame circa 2005.  Trust me, you have a blast.

You are getting so fearless.  You will climb up and down steps without thinking twice.  You will shove your head into any stream of water that gets close to you, you'll dip your face into your bath and dump a cup of water right onto your head, you'll toss yourself backward in my arms until you're swinging upside down and side to side!  You have no inhibitions whatsoever when it comes to daredevil one-year-old antics.  And most of the time, when you fall down or bump your head, you get right back up and smile at us as if to say, "Ha!  Did you see that?!"  Just this evening you were helping Papa sort the mail, and you started walking away, holding an envelope up to your face, and you ran RIGHT INTO THE WALL!  I was worried for a second, but when you bounced off the wall and stabilized yourself, you went right on down the hallway like nothing happened.  I laughed my butt off!

Sometimes, though, you still need us.  You get scared when new people are around, or if there are loud noises, or if you really get hurt.  And when you do, you stretch out your arms, grab hold of my neck, nestle your head next to mine, and let out a little whimper that begs me not to let go of you.  Other times, you just want to snuggle, not afraid or scared, just loving and sweet.  You pull your face back and look right at me, then you touch my nose or my hair or my eyes and we both smile.  You open your mouth wide and slobber all over my cheek, squeezing my neck tight.  You did this tonight before I put you to bed and I just didn't want to let go.

You are my whirly twirly dizzy wizzy girl, sweet Sylvia.  I just can't believe how much you've grown since last year.  You are not a baby.  You are a full fledged, on-the-go toddler.  You are funny.  You are sweet.  And we love you!


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Seniority Means Nothing Around Here

In my last post, I mentioned that Sylvia chases our cat a lot.  Scratch that!  She doesn't need to chase her anymore because Brown Audrey has officially GIVEN UP!

The morning after we went to the zoo, Brown Audrey was sitting on the top of the couch by the window, where she always sits in the morning, and Sylvia begged me to lift her up onto the couch.  I obliged and put her on my lap, waiting for the cat to dart away.  Sylvia stood in my lap, reached out her hand, and HEY YO!!!!! She grabbed a fist full of cat fur and the poor kitty didn't bat an eye!  Sylvain and I were both cautious; we knew the cat would run any second, but she did no such thing!  She sat there while Sylvia screeched and hollered and grabbed and stabbed and POKED THAT CAT IN THE EYE!  No lie, folks, Sylvia tortured the heck of her.  Brown Audrey just turned her head to look at me, and this is what she said:

"Are you serious?  You're kidding me, right?  You're going to sit there and laugh while this maniac slowly pokes me to death?  HE has known me for more than ten years, and YOU for more than seven, but hey!  That's alright.  Go ahead and let this BRAND NEW CREATURE just ruin my life.  That's cool.  I'll just sit here and wait for my internal organs to start bleeding."

Poor kitty.