Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Five Months

Dear Margot,

You have been quite the chatterbox lately!  You love to gurgle and coo and siiiiiiing sing sing!  You especially love to make noises when Sylvia's around.  It seems you have a lot to say to her.  No one brightens your face the way she does and I'm so glad!  You're rolling over from your back to your belly, but you don't seem to be in too much of a hurry to get anywhere.  You mostly just like to arch your back to look at what's behind you or to get onto your belly so you can push up and feel important.  We love watching you slobber all over your blue puppy and your toy cow.  You've also started eating rice cereal a couple of times a day and I must say, you seem to enjoy it!

For Thanksgiving, we had dinner with Grammy's family and everyone commented on how "content" you are.  It's so true.  You really don't cause a fuss unless it's absolutely necessary.  We had dessert at Grandpa's and folks said the same thing.  You're such an easy baby!  Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins just can't get enough of your chubby cheeks and your sweet, toothless smile!

 You've been waking up a lot at night lately, but when you do, you eat and go right back to sleep.  I'm so torn about it because part of me gets very frustrated and thinks I need to just leave you alone and let you "cry it out" so you can figure out how to get back to sleep.  But once I'm up and you're in my arms in the rocking chair, I become very grateful for those middle-of-the-night snuggles.  It's like I can actually feel you getting bigger every night (which makes sense, since you're eating like a champ).  Your feet get farther away from my waist, your head takes up more room in my arms.  And your chubby little arms and legs are all curled up against me and it's the greatest, most delicious snugglefest in the world!  I know these nights won't last forever.  I know someday you won't need me in the middle of the night.  I know someday, I won't even know where you are in the middle of the night and that scares me to death.  So I'm taking advantage of these small little moments, where you and I get to be together.  The moments where we need each other.  And then I wake up in the morning and drink tons of coffee to get me through the day.  It's totally fine.

There's another reason why I love our night time snuggles - Uncle Evan deployed to Afghanistan this month.  Whenever you and I are together in the small morning hours, when it seems like the rest of the world is sleeping, I think about him and I know that he's living life in the daylight.  I think about how hard he is working and what he is working for.  I think about how big you'll be when he comes home again.  I think about all of the things I want for your future - opportunities to follow your dreams - and I think about how his work helps make your future possible.  We send up lots of prayers together, you and me.  I somehow feel like you and Uncle Evan will have a very special relationship, because you're spending so much time next to my heart while he's in it.

It's been a wonderful month, Miss Margot.  You are a sweet and special girl.  Thanks for loving life and thanks for being YOU!

Love always,

Friday, November 16, 2012

Oh, To Live in Her Brain for a Day

I take Sylvia to the library's toddler bedtime story gathering on Tuesday nights.  It's more fun than sitting at home and it's our special, weekly Mommy-Daughter time.  Side note: libraries have come a long way since I was a kid.  Our library has a giant room behind the children's books just for story time, and it has - get this - a HEATED FLOOR for the kiddos to sit on!  Can you believe that?!  All summer long, I thought it was so nice they handed out mats for the kids to sit on, but a heated FLOOR?  Ms. Theresa said last week, "Is everyone comfortable?  We turned the floor on tonight!"  And all the parents looked at each other like, "Did I just hear her correctly?  They turned the FLOOR on?"  And she said, "Yes!  We have a heated floor!  Is it warm?"  Now I've seen it all, folks.  A heated floor for toddlers.  What will they think of next?

Anyway, back to my original story.  Two weeks ago there was a giant white mailbox perched atop a candy cane post, surrounded by greenery and Christmas.  There was a sign that explained it was Santa's special mailbox and kids could send him letters.  If the letters were sent by a certain Friday in December, and if the kid's name and address were on the letter somewhere....Santa would WRITE BACK!  Now, I'm not really into the whole idea of photoshopping Santa into a picture of your living room to "prove" he was at your house.  But writing him a letter and getting one back just sounds like good literacy skill-building, doesn't it?

So we talked about it on the way home.  Mind you, Sylvia knows who Santa is, but she hasn't quite wrapped her brain about the whole idea of a man breaking into our house to give her presents.  Also, she just recently accepted the concept of birthdays: the idea that everyone has one, and they go in a certain order.  We had two toddler birthdays to attend in November, so we tried to explain that Daddy's birthday is coming up next, but Sylvia's birthday isn't for a long time.  So she asks me every day if her birthday is "coming up" yet.  Here's how our Santa discussion went:

Me:  Sylvia, do you want to write Santa a letter?
Sylvia:  Yea!!!!
Me:  What do you want to tell him?
Sylvia:  Ummmmm....I don't know!
Me:  Should we tell him what you want for Christmas?
Sylvia:  Yea!!!
Me:  What do you want for Christmas?
Sylvia:  Mmmm...anything.  (Which means nothing.)
Me:  Nothing?!  Do you know how Christmas works?

(I tried to explain that it's Jesus' birthday and Santa brings presents.  I said the word "birthday," so this is how the rest of our conversation went.)

Me:  Let's see.  What does Mommy want for Christmas?  I would really like....some new shoes!
Sylvia:  Yea!
Me:  And maybe a pretty scarf?
Sylvia:  Yea, a scarf!
Me:  What do you want for Christmas, Sylvia?
Sylvia:  Ummmm.  Let's see.  I waaaaaaant....A BIRTHDAY!
Me:  A birthday?  What do you mean?
Sylvia: Santa bring me a birthday.
Me:  You mean you want Santa to bring you a birthday present?
Sylvia:  Mmm hmm.  A birthday.

She was very satisfied with her choice and I had a very hard time explaining the difference between a birthday and Christmas, because let's face it, it's the same thing, really.  So last night, after she got in her jammies, I asked if she wanted to write her letter to Santa.  Here's how that went:

Me:  I wrote "Dear Santa" because that's how you start a letter.
Sylvia: Ohhhhh.....
Me:  Now, what do you want to say to Santa?
Sylvia:  HO HO HO!!!!
Me:  Okay.  "Ho ho ho."  Now, tell him what you want for Christmas.
Sylvia:  I want a birthday for Christmas!

I was surprised.  I thought she would have forgotten about that, but she remembered that she wanted a birthday.  So I wrote it down because it's pretty darn cute.

Me:  What else?
Sylvia: a scarf
Me: Okay, what else?
Sylvia: shoes
Me:  Is that all?  Anything else?  What do you really REALLY want?
Sylvia:  AN ELEPHANT!!!
Me:  Okay, but he probably can't bring you a real elephant.  Maybe a toy elephant?
Sylvia:  Yes.
Me:  Should we tell him what Margot wants?
Sylvia:  Yes.
Me:  What does Margot want?
Sylvia:  Ummmm.....let's see.  Margot wants......TOYS!
Me:  Okay!  That sounds good.  Now, when we end a letter we have to say thank you and write our name.  What do we say?  (I was hoping she'd repeat "Thank You" but she did me one better and shouted...)
Sylvia:  MERCI!!

So I wrote that down and thus was born the cutest Santa letter of all time...

Note that there is no mention of princesses anywhere in her entire letter - GRANDPARENTS.  Buy her an elephant.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Video Dump!

I know there aren't many people who care about a two minute video of my kid jumping on the couch, but I'll be glad I have these when I'm old and the girls are gone!  I just wanted to post the ones I've taken lately.

Sylvia feels like a real helper when she gets to give Margot a bath.  I had my phone handy when Margot showed her appreciation - her first (and only) belly laughs!  Too cute. This one also includes a giant digestive surprise from Sweet Sylvia!  

Sylvia sings five little pumpkins...sort of.

Sylvia explains exactly what you're NOT supposed to do on the ottoman and couch.  What a ding dong!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Girl Party Weekend

The weekend before Halloween, Sylvain took off to the middle of nowhere with my Dad and brothers, so it was just me and The Girls for a fun-filled Pumpkin and Princess Fest!  Let me tell you, it was F.U.N.  And exhausting.  But really just lots of fun.

On Saturday night we went to Mom's house for pumpkin carving.  I mentioned that it might not be the best idea for children under 3 to wield sharp knives, so I brought our finger paints.  That turned out to be the right move - Sylvia and Charlie had a blast!  I, of course, didn't bring the right camera, so here are some pics from my mother-in-law.
Running around in her first dress of choice for the evening.
Selecting the first of many pumpkin colors.

She started like a real art-eest...

...and ended like Honey Boo Boo in a mud pit.

Margot was there, too.  Probably counting down the days until she could escape this nonsense!
Speaking of my mother-in-law, she came up for the weekend and stayed at our house because she had a BIG surprise for The Nugget....

 She took us to Disney on Ice: Treasure Trove!  Wooooot!  It was a blast.  They packed a TON of Disney stories into two 45-minute acts.  If I remember correctly, they began in this order: Alice in Wonderland, Peter Pan, Lion King...

...but during the Lion King I was starting to get antsy, because if a princess didn't show up soon, this one was going to go NUTS:
 Alas, The Walt Disney Company did not disappoint!  The last four stories were Aladdin and Jasmine, Ariel, Snow White and finally...Rapunzel!!!  Thank God.  I was blown away by the costumes and the dancing, and I often had to remind myself that this is all being done ON ICE, skaters are awesome.  It was a really great show.  

During the Rapunzel story, they lifted all of these floating lanterns into the rafters and Sylvia was totally awestruck!  Then Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder started singing their song, which has the following lines in it:

"Now she's here, it's crystal clear, I'm where I'm meant to go.  And at last I've seen the light, and it's like a fog has lifted.  And at last I've seen the light, and it's like the sky is new.  And it's warm and real and bright, and the world has somehow shifted.  All at once, everything is different, now that I see you."  

Which is all fine and good when it's a love song between a boy and a girl, but when you're sitting with your daughter in your lap, a tiny little child who wasn't there three years ago, but suddenly, there she is!?  Oh boy.  I cried.  It was really sweet.

Okay, so then, as if that wasn't fun enough, out comes Tiana and Naveen for a little danceroo, which made Sylvia go even more NUTS. 

And THEN the show was over, and the curtains at the back of the stage parted, and....I'm not even kidding about this next part....EVERY SINGLE PRINCESS CAME OUT!!  In a row.  And there was a huge Princess/Prince number and Sylvia could hardly contain herself.  She was trying so hard to shout all of their names as they passed our corner.  She was bouncing up and down and pointing and...
Total Princess Mania!

We are so lucky to have a Mamie who enjoys the girly things in life!  I wish there was a good picture of my Mom and Sylvia, so you'll just have to trust me - she was there too and she loved every minute of it!  Oh, and as you can see, Abby came.  Thank goodness.  I can't wait until that girl can babysit!

I won't lie, I was wary about going.  I'm not the biggest fan of princesses, but I'm trying to be better.  I knew that this wasn't about me and my opinions, it was about Brigitte and Sylvia and a special day together for them to bond.  I was surprised at how much I loved the show.  It really was a lot of fun!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Margot's Four Month Photos

Oh my goodness!  I just now remembered that I didn't post Margot's four month photos after I posted her letter.  Geez.  I totally dropped the ball on that one!  Here they are.  I definitely TOOK the photos on October 21st, so at least I remembered to do it.  This month we enjoyed the introduction of a lovely white BOW on top of that big old square head of her's.  So. Stinking. CUTE!

We continue to fall more and more in love with this one every day.  Sylvia is totally smitten.  Margot laughs all the time, but for some reason she really BELLY laughs at Sylvia.  Sometimes just the sight of Sylvia makes Margot cackle with glee!  Margot is still trying to roll over, but she doesn't seem to be in too much of a hurry to get anywhere, which is FINE with me.  She is the most content, laid back, tolerant baby I've ever seen.  I do my best to keep Sylvia from trampling her over every day, but now that Margot's big enough to be tossed around a little bit, I tend to let the sister "rough housing" go on a little longer than I used to.  This morning, Sylvia was laying on top of Margot, making funny faces and silly sounds, and I didn't say anything because the smile on Margot's face was priceless!  I don't know how we ever kept our first baby entertained without a big sister!  I love watching them grow together.  I am one lucky Mama!